Content starts here


Living Long and Loving it in America


If you are wondering why I am standing on a chair raising my fist and shouting "Right on!" it's because someone has finally come up with a formula for human longevity that makes sense. If you want to live longer, part of the formula goes, eat out alone at a different posh restaurant every night-and that doesn't mean a Burger King.

The advice was contained in a story from The New York Times that carried an interview with a 103-year-old retired business man, a bald, skinny fellow with big ears, who ran an office supply business before he walked away from it just a few years ago. When asked to what he owed his healthy old age, he replied with the aforementioned advice, pointing out that he meant dining out at the best restaurants he could find. That means no delis or fast-food places.

Slideshow: 16 Foods for a Long, Healthy Life

Makes sense to me, although I could never afford the average of $100 a dinner that the centenarian, whose name is Harry Rosen, shells out at fancy eateries with exotic names. He considers it his therapy. "It gives me energy," he told the Times. Personally, my energy is derived from a martini before dinner, a source of power that lights my afterburners with a glow that would blind an owl if he looked directly at the glare.

I know of three other men who are almost 100 and have formulas of their own for living as long as they have. One runs endlessly in special marathons and never seems to stop running, sprinting to the store, around the house and probably up and down his street just for the exercise. Another plays tennis every day and bounces about like a teenager on steroids. The third produces plays and musicals in his own theater with a schedule that would exhaust a mongoose.

There are other ways to attain a long life. The Galapagos tortoise, for instance, can reach 150 years but I bet it could go to 300 if it didn't drink martinis or smoke cigars. It lives so long on a kind of vegetarian diet, by swimming a lot for exercise, and by otherwise crawling along on land at maybe three inches a day. It's a boring life at best and I would not want to be a tortoise.

According to expert sources, Hawaii has the longest average human lifespan in the United States, at 82.7 years. Maybe it's because of "hula power," which, I assume, involves swaying and shaking the old behind around. Mississippi has the shortest lifespan at 75 because, well, just because it is Mississippi. Grits, as it turns out, are not a reliable source of energy.

A positive attitude, says a researcher, also provides for a longer life by significantly improving one's overall health, which I feel is a lot of crap. But I'm amenable to advice, so when we dine tonight, I will have only one martini and grin like a simple minded dork at everyone who passes by. Hell, I might even pluck a ukulele and swirl my butt to the middle of the room and dance to "Lovely Hula Hands." Now wouldn't that be sweet?

Photo: CameliaTWU/Flick


Also of Interest


See the  AARP home page for deals, savings tips, trivia and more


Search AARP Blogs