Saturday, January 3, 2009

Other Guys That Turned 30 And Lived

For some reason, I can't shake this nagging feeling that I'm going to die before the day's end. When I woke up an hour ago this morning, I was no longer in my twenties. Up to and including yesterday, I had suffered from the delusion that I had "just graduated" from college. In reality, that rather anticlimactic event occurred seven-and-a-half years ago.

The United States government ensures me that there are in fact many people over 30. According to data pulled from the Census of 2000, 56 million men and women were aged 55 or older at that time. Still, though, I'm not buying it. We all know that number do not lie. We also know they don't necessarily tell the truth. And let's not forget that those numbers have been given to us by the government.

Many scientists believe there is evidence that man's maximum life span is between 115 and 120 years. The case of Jeanne Clement is promising--a French woman that lived to 122 years, 164 days. Again, we run into the statistics problem, and the fact that Clement was a woman. Unless I undergo some surgery, I will be shedding this mortal coil as a man.

Nothing beats anecdotal evidence. (Just ask Christopher Hitchens.) I personally have met at least three other guys that surpassed 30:

1) My Dad. But for God's sake the man ingests upwards of forty vitamins a day. If that's what it takes, I don't know if I can do it.
2) My friend and fellow author, Nate Green. Nate has only been 30 for 5 days though, so the jury's still out.
3) Michael York. As it turns out, Logan's Run is a true story.

So there you have it. The best evidence that men can live beyond the age of 30 comes to us via a campy sci-fi film from 1976. That's good enough for me.


adrian mckinty said...

I remember that we used to joke that Belfast was like the city in the Logan's Run - everyone over 30 was dead. Why? well Belfast Northern Ireland has the highest rate of heart attacks in the world. Its hard to figure out why. A sedentary life style, rain, massive beer and spirit consumption, endemic cigarette smoking and of course fried food. Every day I went to school on an Ulster fry which is fried: sausage, bacon, egg, potato bread, soda bread and black pudding. Delicious but not that good for you.

Good film BTW except for the crackpot ending.

Nick Hughes said...

Brian O'Rourke rules!

Way to do your research for this post, bud. Happy day after your birthday. I'll assume you're still alive.

Brian O'Rourke said...


Aside from the rain and cigarette smoking, I think you've just described my life style. That Ulster fry does sound delicious, but I'd probably have a coronary halfway through the meal.

By reading your blog the other day, I was reminded I'd never read I, Claudius yet. One of those books that's been on the To Read list for at least 10 years. I picked it up at the library the other day and am really digging it.

Brian O'Rourke said...


My research consisted of skimming two wikipedia pages and the first two paragraphs of an executive summary about the US Census. Hardly counts as research, but it is more than we usually do for the podcast, heh?

I am indeed still alive. Or maybe I just programmed my computer to respond to blog comments in the event of my (un)timely demise?

Nate Green said...

Make that 7 days now, Brian. A whole week and I'm still kicking.

I've only mentioned my hip pain four times and shaken my fist at some youngsters twice.

And I could really go for an Ulster fry right now ...

Brian O'Rourke said...

7 days makes it official, Nate. And after you came out of traction, you looked like you were getting around fine the other night.

I think Fincher should rename his movie "The Curious Case of Nicklas Hughes." That guy just keeps looking younger and younger.