Sooner or later we’ll kick the bucket, buy the farm, push up the daisies, be hauled away in wooden pajamas or whatever. While waiting, there is a free service you just may want to consult, and then again you may not. Developed a decade or so ago, the original now has a number of rivals. Named The Death Clock or something similar, all are easily located on the Internet and each will project day, month and year of — your death!
There are usually only a few pieces of information required. Date of birth, height, weight, gender and whether or not you smoke. Some clocks require a bit more. As to height, I have always been completely honest about a slight loss during recent years. My eldest son calls me the incredible shrinking man, but never mind. As to weight, I must admit having two figures. The one I use is my weight goal and the figure I never use is my true weight. The fact that I will never reach my weight goal, something I admitted years ago, is quite beside the point. After all, a few things really are confidential.
You might be surprised to learn that country of residence has a significant impact on life span. For example, using my data, projected life span in various countries is:
• South Africa: 48 years, 9 months, 18 days;
• Iraq: 59 years, 1 month, 4 days;
• Brazil: 65 years, 8 months, 17 days;
• USA: 74 years, 7 months, 4 days;
• Italy: 76 years, 9 months, 18 days;
• Sweden: 77 years, 11 months, 12 days.
You can ask for your expected life span in following modes: normal, pessimistic, sadistic and optimistic. Again, using my data, the calculations are:
• Normal: 74 years, 7 months, 4 days;
• Pessimistic and sadistic: I am sorry but your time has expired. Have a nice day;
• Optimistic: 98 years, 3 months, 20 days.
The clocks are all pretty close to one another. This leaves one big question to ask yourself: do you want to live a long or short life? Marvin Hamlisch, composer of Chorus Line, said: “I don’t see why I should deprive myself of everything I like to eat just to have another five years to deprive myself of what I like to eat.”
Well, there’s one thing we can be sure about. Sooner or later the grim reaper will be paying all of us a visit and, as in The Godfather, he’ll make us an offer we can’t refuse!
Charles Blank lives in Oak Bluffs.