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Monday, July 12, 2010

I Need Help


I’m still going. I may have just eaten an entire Tesco’s finest creamy pasta bake that was meant for two, but I’m still going.

One of the problems involved in attempting this feat is that I have so much time to play with. To break the record I need to stay alive for about another hundred years, so I don’t have all that strong a sense of urgency just yet. I know I’ll probably have to make changes to my slightly podgy lifestyle at some point but right now, another helping of ice-cream seems fine. I’ll eat sensibly in my fifth decade. Or maybe my eigth.

I still do want to live to a ripe old age – beyond ripe, in fact; withered, just before mouldy – but perhaps because I’m fairly healthy (albeit paunchy) right now I can’t bring myself to make the wholesale changes to my lifestyle that I may well need. I don’t smoke, sure, but I do drink, really well. I’m a member of the gym but I’ve only been once this year. And then there’s these pasta bakes...

As for some of the suggestions I’ve been given over the last few weeks – for which, if you’re reading, I thank you – they nearly all require a level of commitment I’m just not sure I can muster yet.

  • ‘Methodists live 9 years longer than other religions’, I’ve been told. But somehow becoming a Methodist seems too laborious in the short term for the long term gain. There are, after all, four steps to take when will I find the time to take four steps?

  • ‘Practising Qigong for half an hour twice a day will add 20 years to your life, while green tea lower the risk of death by 12%’. Yes, I suppose I could try green tea (although I really do like brown tea), but doing exercise half an hour twice a day? That’s an hour a day! For one hundred years that’s 36,500 hours! Which is 4 years! Ok, so I’d still be in profit, but only just! (seriously, Liam, thanks for the Qigong info – out of everything, this is the one I’m going to do my best to try soon).

  • ‘Why don’t you have a sex change?’ someone asked me. Now that one I could easily answer; because I’m aiming to be the World’s Oldest MAN. Yes, of course, we all know that women live longer than men, but if I become a woman I’ll then have to beat all those aged women too.

  • ‘Well, why don’t you have a quick sex change back again at the end then?’ Now that is an excellent suggestion. Would it work? Do women who were once men live longer than men who have always been men? Again, I’d love to know, but I’ve just got so much on (what with the Edinburgh Festival, World Cup and a baby) I don’t think I’ve got time for the op. It’s not just a quick snip nowadays (was it ever?).

  • While good, these suggestions are all just so daunting. What I can do is little things. I can do some exercise. I can eat some decent food. Some of you may have noticed that my attempt is being sponsored by Innocent (all good athletes have sponsors nowadays – Federer, Woods, Horne) and that is certainly helping.

    But that’s the thing, I’m too lazy to make my own smoothies. I can’t be bothered to find the fruit, crush the fruit, then clean up the fruit. In much the same as I can’t be bothered to go to the gym (find the body, crush the body, then clean up the body).[1]

    So, what I’m saying is this: I am 100% committed to becoming the Oldest Man in the World. Of course I am. It may look like I’m not throwing myself as fully into the attempt as is possible, but that’s only because I have to ensure I stay on top of what is still, at this stage, a fairly normal life.

    But if there was a way to spend more time testing out the various longevity theories, I would jump at it. If, for instance, someone employed me to stay alive IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE, well, then I’d certainly consider taking those four steps to becoming a Methodist. Of course I have the smoothies from my friends at innocent (plus £1 million when I reach 150) but will those smoothies last another hundred years? I need more commitment!).

    In short, I need someone to pay me the same as those footballers get so I really can ensure I do everything in my power to live for as long as humanly possible.

    There. That should work.

    In other news, the sea dog pills I’ve been taking since my time in Hong Kong are apparently not so much to help longevity as impotence. Still, if it doesn’t kill you...

    [1] But maybe laziness is the key. Of all the old people I’ve spoken to, none has said their longevity comes down to regular and vigorous exercise. In fact most have said they’d always been active, but in a gentle sort of way – they’ve gardened, cycled or played the trumpet.


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    The only flaw I can spot here is that if you do indeed succumb to death prematurely then you will be unable to blog about it, which would be disappointing. At the very least a post-mortem interview would seem appropriate, highlighting your regret and your intent to do better next time.

    There was a woman on CNN the other day who claims to be 130. What dyou think of that?

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