I’m madder then a tortoise with shell shock over my recent realization that I’m going to die some day, and there is nothing I can do about it — or is there?
Look, you all know the Screecher is 76 years old, which would be, like, middle age if I was a mighty oak tree, but as I’ve told you before, I’m only human. And that means that, believe it or not, I’m going to leave this place at some point.
Now, I know what your thinking: “Carmine, what are we going to do without you? You are the only one who makes things happen, who gets things done.”
I know! So don’t think for a minute that I’m afraid of my journey into the undiscovered country. Of course I’m not. I more worried about what all of youse would do without me! And I can guarantee you that I am going to do everything possible to make sure you’ll have ol’ Carmine to kick around for a long, long time.
So you can understand how excited I was the other day when I was speaking to the manager of a local bank and I noticed a “Lemco Diagnostic Laboratory” card on his desk.
Of course I recognized the card, because it was my cousin’s, Sal Cumella.
So I says to the guy, “What the heck are you doing with my cousin’s card?”
“Sal is your cousin?” he answered. “He’s in the bank right now.”
The next thing I know, me and Sal are exchanging Sicilian kisses and talking about the families, business in general, and the fact that I’m 76 years old and not necessarily a prime physical specimen, being that I use a scooter — my beloved Tornado — to get around because I’m a couple pounds overweight.
To make a long story endless, he starts telling me about these “telomeres,” some things I can’t even pronounce that apparently can expand human life to about 150 years through cell regeneration — which, if it came to fruition, would make me a spring chicken.
Apparently, this renowned scientist Bill Andrews has spent two decades unlocking the molecular mechanisms of aging, and by golly, he may have figured it out.
Of course, there is a down side, my doctor cousin said. See, even though they can get a human to live 125 years with telomere, they would need some organ transplants to make it to 150. But that’s a price I’m willing to pay.
Dr. Cousin extolled the process which has garnered a frenzy of attention from billionaires, kings and queens, government heads, and yours truly. You don’t believe me? Well, pal, the proof is in the pudding, and in this case the pudding is not Jell-o Brand or My-T-Fine, it’s an article in last August’s issue of Popular Science. And because the Screecher always does his homework, I’ll even give you the page number: 28!
And the headline: The man who would stop time.
And the author: Joseph Hooper.
And for you whippersnappers who don’t know what a magazine is, the place where you can find it on the interweb: www.popsci.com/science/article/2011-07/man-who-would-stop-time
Look, I’m not going to bore you with the details of how this actually works, you can read the article and figure it out for yourself, but the fact is time marches on, and I’ll do just about anything to stop it.
So what happens if scientist Bill Andrews succeeds in stopping it? Can you imagine everyone getting free longevity shots, like they get free flu shots, at Walgreen’s, Rite Aid, and CVS?
Look, I’m not going to lie to you, I’m pretty excited about this, and I can’t wait to attend my great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandchildren’s weddings, recitals, bar mitzvahs, graduations, birthday parties, christenings, and sweet 16s.
I can just see me and the misses, 50 years from now, watching the evening news at 6 pm, seeing Joan Rivers and saying, “Wow, she doesn’t look a day over 112!”
Screech at you next week … and for the next 75 years!
Carmine Santa Maria's Big Screecher collumn appears every Saturday on BrooklynDaily.com.