Some scientists believe that certain reptile and fish species don't age the way we do. As long as there is food and room to move about they will continue to grow, often to monstrous sizes. Unlike us, they do not have aging built into their genetic code - it is simply their own bulk and the lack of resources to support it that kill them off.

Hopefully, the recent mapping of the human genome will make it possible for humans to adopt this aging pattern. I'm looking forward to the day when as I age, I just get bigger and stronger. Assuming that you continue to grow at the same rate as in youth, I imagine that people in their 70s would be around 15-20 feet tall, and tip the scales at about 700-1000 pounds.

This greater size and strength would help the elderly finally get the respect that they deserve; kids would think twice about smart-mouthing Grandma if she were twice the size of Shaq.

Some professional athletes would have much longer careers - a football player wouldn't even be big enough for the NFL until he was at least 50. NBA teams would consist of mostly septegenarians, and track records would be blown sky high by long jumpers and hurdlers with 7-8 foot legs.

Feeding the elderly would be a problem, but that could easily be corrected by another small genetic modification. Most reptiles eat large meals that then take days, weeks, or even months to digest. The elderly could save up money between meals, and then eat heartily, say, 3 to 4 times a year.

Great Uncle Earl, living it up down in Boca

Naturally, a few weeks after each feeding they would need to shed their skins to accommodate the new growth. I propose that the new sturdier furniture the elderly will need should be made of a textured concrete, thus giving them safe and comfortable seating, coupled with a shedding aid. More expensive models could even have heating coils built right in, to help deal with that pesky cold bloodedness.

Most of the giant reptiles (the reticulated python, green anaconda, spectacled mother-in-law, saltwater crocodile, etc.) eventually find it takes too much energy to move their bulk about on land and retreat to water. Retirement homes would take this need into account, and soon going to visit your aging relatives will be coupled with the fun of a dip in the pool. Water slides the size of freeway on-ramps will allow grandpa and the kids to bond.

I hope scietists are working on this problem as we speak. I'll be happy to volunteer for the human trials.


"I heard your grandfather died - I'm so sorry."
"Thank you. We'll miss him, but he lead a full life."
"What was it that took him from us?"
"Gravity. He was rubbing his back against the sofa, trying to shed a hard to reach spot, and he fell through the floor. We kept telling him it was time to move to an assisted living condo down in Boca - you know, the nice ones with the reinforced concrete - but you know how they hate to leave their favorite hotrock."
"Yeah, that's a tough one. That's how my great uncle went. He slipped getting out of the pool and that was that. Tragic, but it really was his time; my mom said that the last time she took him out for lunch the bill came to over $1200 before the tip."


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