The onions of immortality

You know your life is at a standstill when you’re regularly reporting stuff from Aftonbladet in your blog…one day they’re going to find out and CLOSE ME DOWN, man!

Anyway, today’s star article highlights a subject that has always fascinated and annoyed me in equal measure: how people who live long manage to live so long.

As seems to be standard in articles of this type, the oldsters have their little “tips” about we too can keep on our feet fifty years after all our friends have died. So let’s take a look at some sage eating advice from people who can barely remember their own names:

  • Ada Mason, 111, UK: Bread with lots of lard and salt
  • Eva Morris, 114, UK: Boiled onions, tea and whiskey
  • Maria Esther de Capovilla, 116, Ecuador: Donkey’s milk
  • Jeanne Calment, 122, France: Port and olive oil
  • Fred Hale, 113, USA: A teaspoon of honey and beeswax per day
  • Sarah Knauss, 119, USA: Chocolate pralines and crisps

Oh for fuck’s sake, people…Now listen up, just because you like something a lot does not make it some kind of “miracle cure”. Everybody has to eat SOMETHING – you may as well attribute your long days to breathing air, wearing shoes or thinking about frilly underwear. And if these things are “cures” then why doesn’t your whole family, or whole village for that matter, live as long as you? Hmm..?

There are two secrets to a long life: having fairly good genes, and being bloody lucky. Not smoking or drinking too much will probably help a bit, but nothing beats the random hand of fate. In a population of 6 billion, there will always be a handful of people who live to be 120, even if everybody in the world ate gravel and Weetabix and smoked a big fat spliff every morning with their croissants. Statistics is a cruel mistress, but we need to remember that most things happen only because SOMETHING has to happen. Otherwise nothing at all would happen and where would we be then, eh?

Although in hindsight I must admit I quite like the idea of the chocolate praline and crisps diet, and maybe with the odd glass of Port thrown in, I might even give it a shot myself…

/ paddy

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