92 and Not Dead Yet: Sing, You Seniors, Sing!

The Death of the Bohemian, Edvard Munch, 1930s

A few weeks ago, I read an arresting statistic: the mortality rate among humans is 100 percent.

I’ve always known the hazards were all around, of course. As the rustic philosophers of old sang:

     Ashes to ashes, dust to dust,
If the wimmin don’t get you, the likker must.

Like many others, however, I’ve always felt death was for other people and that somehow a facile tongue, a burst of speed or an eleventh-hour amendment would win an exception.

Philip Larkin, who thought (and moped) a lot about death, is not reassuring, however. “Most things don’t happen,” he wrote. “This one will.” Colin Dexter is no better: we are all racing towards death at the same speed of 24 hours a day, he said, an observation that should not be taken lightly, since he not only died himself but killed his most famous creation, Inspector Morse, too.

The astonishing increase in longevity in recent years and the long period of decline that goes with it, however, have reshaped our vision of how we go.

With our drinking confined to wine by the thimbleful and our philandering, such as it was, limited to lusting in our hearts after Nancy Pelosi, let me suggest:

Tablets, injections, blood work and pills
if angina don’t get you, dementia will.

Photo by Reg Green between sips.

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