6/16/2009

When I am King: On Birthdays

When I am King...

Everyone will get old.

Some people say that getting old sucks, but I disagree. Our bodies and minds are engineered to make sure that our lives improve as we get older. Sure, there are mishaps along the way. And debilitating illness and terminal disease may creep in to spoil the fun. But in general, life gets better as we slowly erode. Here are a few examples:

Memory:
Our memories fail as we age. This has several advantages. For one thing, we can’t remember how much worse we feel now than we did when we were younger. Also, we eventually forget our birthdays and even how old we are.

Alcohol:
We can’t drink as much as we used to, so it takes far less for us to have a good time. For that matter, it takes far less to bring on a hangover which must, by definition, mean that we had a fantastic time the night before.

Vision:
Our eyesight degrades, which has several implications. For one thing, our personal space expands since we can’t see people anymore when they’re too close. This prevents unnecessary contact and the spread of disease. Also, our eyes provide an automatic soft-focus filter to things that we see, making our loved ones look more romantic and our reflections look less wrinkly.

When I am King, aging will be celebrated with cakes and candles and insincere wishes for good health. Or do we already do that? I forget.
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