Shell Shocked: Celebrating Immortality Day
I have a milestone birthday coming up shortly. I won’t tell you what it is. But I can assure you of one thing. I’m not immortal. Now how’s that for a comforting thought?
Do any of you wish you could be immortal? I don’t. How many more years can I stand the thought of the New York Mets not winning a World Series? Even if I live to eternity – whenever that is – I doubt that the Mets will win it all. So what’s the point of going on?
But reaching a milestone birthday does give one pause for thought. Where did the time go? How did this happen to me so quickly? Have I done all the things I want to do?
These are the usual banal questions we all ask ourselves when we reach any birthday, even if you’re only 10 years old. I would like to ask questions that aren’t usually asked. For example, why does the neighbor across the street look far younger than I do? Answer: Because she’s far younger than I am.
Will Sanibel endure as Sanibel? Well, it certainly won’t endure as Miami Beach.
Will blackened fish still be around 100 years from now? So long as there are still fish in the Gulf and black crayons there will still be blackened fish.
Will there be a time when mortals become immortal? Yes. It will be called Immortality Day and it will be the third Saturday in March. Why? Because March is an orphan month. It has no national holidays to speak of.
One annual ritual of Immortality Day will be to pinch your withered skin to prove to yourself that you’re still alive. It will also be the day that voters will be trying to figure out how to get 250-year-old justices off the Supreme Court, and whether or not to vote for George Bush XXI as president.
Fortune tellers and psychics will now have more latitude to predict the future. Instead of making use of current mortality tables, they will be able to predict life events for an individual 500 years from now. Imagine that. In 500 years you will meet your wife to be while walking your robot.
“Your grandson will celebrate his 340th birthday. You should put together a surprise party,” your psychic will tell you.
How will immortality affect the way you look beyond the first 100 years? Plastic surgery, of course. Imagine having your entire body and face redone to accommodate changing fashion trends. Will tattoos still be a trend in 300 years? Will body rings? The art of plastic surgery will be so advanced a hundred years from now that you will never look older than 40 – forever.
What will sex be like after the age of 100? Since this is a family newspaper, I won’t go there.
But will infield fly rules still apply in major league baseball? Will someone hit 100 home runs in one season? Will Tom Brady still be throwing touchdowns when he’s 200?
The idea of immortality is indeed intriguing. Human knowledge will be so advanced in the coming years that scientists will indeed find a cure for mortality. But will scientists also find a cure for an aging and weary planet? Or will earth simply expire and find its way into an old planets graveyard somewhere in the universe before humans do?
All these milestone birthday questions. I think I’ll just settle into a rocking chair, sip on a martini and envision myself doing the same thing until the end of time, which in my case is bedtime at 10 p.m.