Live Long, Finish Strong – Attaining Maximum Functional Longevity
A man visiting at a local neighbor’s house for three days parks his brand new Corvette sports car in their driveway. I notice this because during the course of my life, I have owned two of these vehicles, and appreciate the design aesthetics. The sparkling red thoroughbred finds the man cleaning and polishing it daily, sometimes up to an hour at a time, meticulously grooming every possible area that is visible to onlookers.
The owner is in his early thirties, the same age as the folks who own the house. His actions with the Corvette seem to indicate he is proud of his automobile, and wants to give it the best care possible. I am sure he also maintains the engine and all parts with equal fervor. The car is in superior condition compared to its owner. The man is shirtless in the warm sun, wearing shorts and flip-flops, as he pampers his car. A very large belly protrudes over the top of his pants, giving the appearance of a woman nine months pregnant. All the while, this man is puffing on a cigarette, which is replaced with another once burned down to the nub.
There is no doubt that this man takes better care, by a huge order of magnitude, of his prized race car than he does of his own physical body. This scene I watch from the kitchen window, while washing dishes, for three days during his visit across the street is typical of the larger picture of American male behavior. There is nothing askew about it, and we have all witnessed similar episodes many times during our lives. This man represents a sizeable percentage of affluent Western males. He is so average that hardly anyone sees anything amiss regarding him. He is what we might term as normal.
I am not normal, as I am sure most of you might accept if you’ve been reading my stuff over the years. Of course, who is to say what normal is? I see normal as what the largest percentage of any given population is or does in relation to what is being studied. My base of reference is primarily the first-world country in which I have found myself residing since my reported birth in the middle of the twentieth century: United States. I say “reported birth” because I have absolutely no recollection of it, and am basing the event totally on what is called “hearsay” in the justice system courts.
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