A couple of nights ago, Garry and I watched an HBO show called ‘If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast.” It was put together by Carl Reiner and it features his gang of over-90 year old friends from show business. Many of them are enjoying what you could only call extraordinarily good health, but not all. It’s a pretty good show and if you get a chance, you should watch it. It’s funny — it’s Carl Reiner with a dollop of Mel Brooks, so why not? But it’s also good sense.

Courtesy: HBO

Listening to these guys talk about getting very old — not just regular old — brought up a lot of consistent themes. All of them were busy. All computer literate. Most of them are writers. All of them felt the quality of their work was as good or better than it had ever been. Many of them said how grateful they were for their computers and being connected … and at least one of them commented that he hoped to die with his fingers on the keyboard.

From left, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear and Carl Reiner in the HBO documentary “If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast.” Credit HBO

There were other commonalities. All of them were healthy eaters. None of them were smokers. If they were ever drinkers, none of them are currently is. All of them exercised as much as life allowed. No one seemed resentful of having to give up fatty or fried food. No one felt that life wouldn’t be worth living if they couldn’t overeat or keep hold of their old bad habits. I got the feeling that most of them hadn’t had all that many bad habits anyway.

And all of them were enthusiastic and excited about life, even though — obviously — all of them had lost many friends and family to death. Because at that age, that’s the way it is. For that matter, at our age, that’s also the way it is.

Courtesy: HBO

It was the energy and enthusiasm which was so striking. And the writing.

I have always thought writing is one of those things that keeps your brain alive and working. When people ask me why I do this — blog — and why I write so often, I just smile. What else would I be doing if not this? What else could I do that would make me feel as involved and alive as writing does?

Young people assume that all very old people must be creaking along, barely able to walk, much less think. Some of us may have trouble walking, but mentally? I don’t think there is a smarter group of people anywhere.

Categories: Getting old, Health, Media, senior citizens, Television, time

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16 replies

  1. Humor. I swear, that’s what does it. The really old guys can see the funny bits, they ARE funny, and bright, and honest. I think if you can laugh at stuff, even your own stuff, you have a better chance of living much longer.

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  2. They look like they enjoy each other’s company too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It sounds like a good programme. I wish there were similar programs for the golden oldies in my life so they feel more enthusiastic about life.


  4. Of course I couldn’t watch this Programme, but they were special golden oldies. I remember dad still clinging onto the old times, refusing a bank account and still not wanting to use an electric razor. I am not a great writer, but thanks to being a cyber golden oldie I can stay more or less brain active with my computer, meet other computer contacts on the way, like your good self and generally have fun discovering.

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    • It’s a pity you can’t see it. These guys are amazing. They are all over 90 and a couple are a lot closer to 100. Writing, literate, and having a really good time. I think we are kept smarter because we ARE computer literate. It may not keep us young, but it helps keep us smart!


  5. These guys were mental giants even before they got old….

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