Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Oldest Person Alive

The problem with being the Guinness Book of World Records holder as the Oldest Person Alive is that by the time you receive the title, nobody else is alive that you were competing against.

Everyone on Earth born before you is dead! That’s kind of a bummer.

This is a weird category for a record holder because all you have to do is stay alive in order to get it. There’s no endurance feat with pushups or eating an entire bicycle to get in the book

Interviewer: Congratulations Mrs. Ancient, how’d you manage to become the oldest person alive?

Mrs. Ancient: Perseverance

That’s it, isn’t it? You have to wait around and hope all the older people die before you do. Oh, and once you get the title, there’s a bunch more waiting around hoping you’ll die so they get the title. It’s the ultimate relay baton-passing game.

Of course the famous story of Jeanne Calment is a good one to end on. In 1965 at the age of 90, Jeanne Calment signed a deal to sell her former apartment to lawyer André-François Raffray, on a contingency contract. Raffray, then aged 47, agreed to pay her a monthly sum of 2,500 francs until she died, an agreement sometimes called a "reverse mortgage". Raffray ended up paying Calment more than the equivalent of $180,000, which was more than double the apartment's value. After Raffray's death from cancer at the age of 77, in 1995, his widow continued the payments until Calment's death in 1997 at the age of 121. Talk about a seemingly good deal going bad!

53 comments:

subtorp77 said...

LOL! I remember that one! Must have been a hell of a contract, tho', yes? Good one VE :)

subtorp77 said...

My vote's in for the extreme BBQ thingy and interesting couch...er?

subtorp77 said...

Ooh one more thing: was that "perserverance" or "preservatives"?-LOL!

Beth said...

Oh, I think managing to stay alive and attain that title is definitely a feat of endurance – one I have no desire to emulate or achieve!

Kurt said...

Gertrude Baines, the oldest woman in the world, just died.

Gladys said...

Now see that is what I call getting ahead. Live until your 121 years old and collect money doing so.

English Mum said...

I happened to mention, last weekend, that I didn't want to leave 'til I was really ancient and piddling in my pants, and that I'd happily pop my clogs at about 70. That really upset my Dad, who's 74. oops.

English Mum said...

Live. Live 'til I was really ancient. Damn this early onset Alzheimers.

Elizabeth said...

She was 121? Wow! That would mean I'd have 81 more years to live! I can't even imagine what the world would be like in 81 years.

ReformingGeek said...

Old is relative. I used to think 40 was old. Now 70 doesn't seem old, but 80+ does!

Baino said...

The other problem with being in the Guinness book of records is that by the time it's published you've shed your mortal coil anyway!

lime said...

that apartment deal was a pretty good one, i remember reading about it.

Carla said...

I guess ya win some and ya lose some. lol.

Jeff said...

Imagine how Tom Hanks felt in the Green Mile.

Quirkyloon said...

Dang! I want a reverse mortgage! Now!

hee hee

Anyone? Anyone?

Janna said...

Wow! She looks exactly like I feel during a migraine!

In fact, maybe I AM her, and went forward in time just long enough to get... no, wait...
Maybe I went BACK in time, to be born in the 1800's, and...
No, wait...

Now my head hurts.

Matt-Man said...

When I heard about this I was waiting for someone to say the thing that always make me laugh in cases like this, "No cause of death has yet been released." Helloooooooo how about old fricking age being the cause!? Cheers VE!!

Candie Bracci said...

LOL yeah I remember Jeanne Calment and we share the same birthday!LOL!I'll be burying ya all!hahaha

Roy Scribner said...

I'd probably hold some kind of world record if I didn't have to do anything to get it.

freetheunicorns said...

You've inspired me to contact Guiness about a new category of records. There's to be more recognition for doing nothing. That way, I'd maybe have a chance of getting in.

Now if only I wasn't too lazy, I'd come up with these categories and write a letter.

Anne said...

121!
that means i'm not middle-aged yet!

:)

VE said...

subtorp77 - I want a lucrative contract that pays me to live...

beth - You obviously subscribe to the "it's better to burn out than fade away" group...

VE said...

kurt - I saw that...coincidence?

gladys - Works for me. I should be able to start now...

VE said...

english mum - See...you're already blabbering about living and leaving. Don't forget about laughing, loving, and laundry...the other important l words.

elizabeth - Me neither. Can you imagine how bad the TV shows will be then?

VE said...

reforminggeek - You're right, old is relative. I've got a few of them in my family too...seems like all the relatives are old!

baino - Yeah, that's a shame. The one category you don't get to see your name in print!

VE said...

lime - I'm sure that's what motivated her to live that long.

carla - Losing your life is a bummer though...

VE said...

jeff - I forgot the plot of that movie...I know it had some huge guy in it...

quirkyloon - Never works that way; you're company where you work would just start demanding reverse paychecks...

VE said...

janna - If you go back in time long enough; nobody will be there to care!

matt-man - Yeah...they never do admit to that cause do they. They have to get all scientific on us!

VE said...

candie - Wow, that means you'll be alive to see them invent an instant toaster!

roy - Perhaps you already do and you don't know it because it would mean going to look it up!

VE said...

freetheunicorns - That's the kind of sloth-like attitude I aspire too! Well done...

anne - See...there's always a bright side!

Dee said...

that is just awful about the reverse mortgage LOL

I'm too vain to die that old. :)

Roy Scribner said...

hmmm, good point - I will see if I can get someone else to check into that for me.

VE said...

dee - You don't have to worry about being vain...you'll be the hottest 121 year old on the planet. Of course, you'll probably be the only one too! Less competition!

VE said...

roy - Delegation! Good move... you obviously have management potential.

Chris Wood said...

Christ, that shot of Angelina Jolie without the makeup really is rough ...

MikeWJ at Too Many Mornings said...

I remember that story about the French apartment very well. I loved it because it was one of the few occasions where an old person got the better of somebody younger. Go old persons!

Janna said...

"janna - If you go back in time long enough; nobody will be there to care!"

I hope that's not wishful thinking on your part. :o

On the other hand, it would be a nice quiet world where my headache would go away.

Unless the dinosaurs ate me first.

Serena said...

I guess it might be worth it to live that long as long as I could con somebody into paying my mortgage. And if it was a lawyer I scammed, so much the better! The $$ I'd rack up would pay for the face lifts which, I'm sure, would add up to some big bucks after 121 years.:)

VE said...

chris wood - Yeah...air brushing is becoming a real art form!

Mike WJ - I smiled when I first heard the story too!

VE said...

janna - Come on now...you know I was only concerned about your headache! You could go back before pre-dinosaurs to. Perhaps back to when everyone else was just an amoeba...it would be a good time to buy California for later...

serena - Nothing like stickin' it to lawyers! haha

Perpetual Chocoholic said...

Wonder what she'd look like had she had years of plastic surgery.

VE said...

perpetual chocoholic - I think at 121...neither approach will help anything!

Ronda Laveen said...

Crikey! What a sucky deal!

Jaime said...

ugh - i don't ever want to get old. old people scare me...and before you ask, yes, they scare me worse than clowns!

Maureen said...

No way I want to live that long and see everyone I knew die before me... no frickin' way.

VE said...

ronda - Of course the alternative is death...

VE said...

jaime - Of course now I want to market a line of old clowns... muhahaha

VE said...

maureen - Better to burn out than fade away!

Megan said...

For some totally unknown reason, I've always wanted to live until the tricentennial. Don't ask me why, I'm not even particularly patriotic - but at least I only have to make it to 107.

Uncivil said...

Those government run death camps are looking better all the time?

I'm gonna start burning the candle form both ends!

VE said...

megan - Will you ride a tricycle in the tricentenial?

uncivil - Well something is spewing from both ends! Ha! ;)

Mrsupole said...

Just so you know last place is just as much fun as first place. LOL.

God bless and get that lady some wrinkle cream.

VE said...

mrsupole - It's gonna take a lot of wrinkle cream I think...