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Dr. Centenarian: A Prescription for Living to 100 … and Beyond

Jun 042014
 By , June 4, 2014

Several centenarians give their tips on longevity

The BBC recently reported that 25% of all children born today are expected to live to be 100 or older, becoming centenarians.   That is amazing!   It made me wonder how I would celebrate this chronological victory:  Disneyworld?  Denny’s?  Donepezil … If I remembered to take it?

Dr. Centenarian, 100 yearsI love to see the news bits about local centenarians on their special day.  Willard Scott…I tip my hat to you.  There’s a lot of family and food and flash photography at these celebrations (Be careful!  The heart…remember the heart.).  At some point, someone thrusts a small voice recorder in the celebrants face and asks them to explain to what they contribute their longevity.  Their responses are classic-

Cowgirl Pearl, 105, of central Texas attributed her lengthy existence to…bacon…which she ate every day.  Oh, and country dancing and more bacon.  [Sidenote:  During my next grocery excursion, my cart will have a sizeable amount of thick cut bacon slices instead of the usual fruits and vegetables.  What’s good for Pearl is good for me.]

Mademoiselle Jeanne of France, 122, recommends a heavy dose of olive oil; in her food, on her skin, and everywhere.  She also suggested a glass of port wine and two pounds of chocolate each week.  Recently, Jeanne left her home to go on a grand walking adventure around her entire town at age 121.  You go girl!

Centenarian Peggy went paragliding at 105.  Emiliano, 115, ate a steaming bowl of funche (boiled corn, codfish, and cream) each and every day.

Doctor Laila, 114, finally hung up her stethoscope at age 103 because she couldn’t quite see as well as she used to.  Her patients were probably relieved after having that tongue depressor poked into all of the wrong places.

Ms. Vivian, 109, just sat in her favorite recliner and laughed.  Periodically she would whack her son, age 83, with her cane in order to get him to get up and fix her two cocktails and bring a new pack of cigarettes.  Pre-dinner routines are fun, aren’t they?

Lieutenant Louis, just making centenarian status at 100, led a squad of nurses onto the beach at Normandy on June 6, 1944.  She recalls that being a ‘busy day.’  You think?!?  She suggested we young whipper-snappers learn something new every day, travel the world, stay fit; and oh yes, sipping a little Scotch now-and-then helps too.

Centenarian stockbroker Irving, 107, told New York Magazine that he reads three newspapers every day and watches C-Span to ‘keep his mind sharp.’  Um…I’m going to not dwell on this little oxymoron.

When you ask the doctors today (none of which have reached 100 yet themselves) how to live for a century, their general consensus is to take four specific supplements, all of which are boring.  They also recommend organic foods, seaweed, unsalted pumpkin seeds, unsweetened cocoa, and a nice enema each week.

Something tells me that those physicians are all going to die early,  brutal deaths.  So sad.  Sniff!

Michigan resident John, 113, recommends lots of coffee.  Shigechiyo, 120, of Japan recommends sake.  Canuck Marie-Louise, 117, advocates salt.

I’m sensing a trend with these last three.  These are preservation agents.  Perhaps the next time I’m at the local deli, I’ll skip the pickle with my ham and Swiss on rye and just ask for a cup of brine.

Here’s to and LONG and happy life.  Cheers!

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Michael Larson is newly minted Texan. He is a retired teacher, current university librarian, and a future 'great American' author.

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