Wolfe’s Woofer: Longevity

Sunday, June 25th, 2017

“Hey, Mr. Dennis.”
It was Mario, my sometimes yard man coming from the water taxi with a suitcase. He came up on the deck and took a seat at my table.
“Where were you last week? I asked, after ordering a beer for him. “I tried to reach you all week to come over and paint the porch.”
“I had to go home to Orange Walk to my Grandpa’s funeral.”
“I’m sorry for your loss,” I said. “That’s sad.”
“Not really. Grandpa was already ninety-eight years old and he had a good life.”
“That’s the way it was with my Grandad,” I said. “He lived to be ninety-three. He left behind three children and a whole lot of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”
“Your grandfather’s health was good until he died?” Mario asked.
“Oh, yes,” I said. “He was never sick. I asked him what the secret of living a long, healthy life was and he said the secret was to drink at least three beers every day.”
“My Grandpa lived to be ninety-nine,” Mario said. “He was healthy and strong, too.”
“He must have had his three beers a day,” I joked.
“He probably did but he had his own secret for living a long time.”
“What was that?”
“He always swore it was because he ate one tablespoon of gunpowder every day for his entire life.”
“Gunpowder?”
“Yes. And he was healthy all his life. Right up ‘til the day he died. He left my Granny and eight of us children, thirty seven grand children and five great grand children.”
“All because he ate gunpowder all of his life?” I asked. “Maybe I should try that.”
“Don’t try it,” Mario said. “Grandpa left something else, too.”
“What else did he leave?”
“He left a fifty-foot hole in the ground where they tried to cremate him.”

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