World’s Oldest Man: The Secret to Living to 111

The king is dead. Long live the king!

That phrase always struck me as heartless. Jeez, take a second before you move on. At least pretend you’ll miss the old one.

With a new king comes a new regime, a new set of rules. The same is true for a different kind of king; the title of world’s oldest man. If we are taught to respect our elders this guy is the Mac Daddy.

Britain is the proud home of the new holder of that title. John Tinniswood is officially the world’s oldest man at 111. It’s gender specific as the world’s oldest person is mainly a woman. It’s the one area where there would be push-back at biological women identify as men competing. It’s not often the controversy is that way round.

John says he isn’t too bothered by the title. I understand why. It’s one you only get when someone of your approximate age has just died, which is hardly something to celebrate. It’s also a title that you only lose one way. Put it this way, it’s a title for life. What’s left of it.

Normally news stories tell us about the world’s oldest man or woman and they ask the OAP for their secret to living so long. They don’t have a secret. It wasn’t something that set out to do. No 18-year-old has their eye on the title.

Nevertheless the old person will say they have a drink every day or they enjoy a good fry up and the newspapers make it seem like that is scientific evidence. “See, this old person smokes cigars and lived to 111, ergo smoking cigars is good for you.”

These stories totally ignore the other evidence that’s out there of all of the millions of people who also smoked cigars and died in their 50s or 60s. They’re outliers.

Newspapers prefer the narrative that these old people prove medicine wrong. They want to say, “Don’t listen to so-called experts. This guy had red meat seasoned with methamphetamine every teatime and he lived to 100.”

Cut to 2024. The newest oldest man is crowned and Mr Tinniswood puts his longevity down to the fact he does not smoke and rarely drinks alcohol.

I’m amazed the newspapers even mentioned him. No one likes people who rarely drink. He was officially named the world’s oldest man by the Guinness Book of Records. I bet they’re furious. They’ve got stout to flog.

John is a great-grandfather from Merseyside. If the people from Guinness have just left could you send them back. I think most people in Merseyside are great-grandparents by 36, so he might be getting his second record of the day.

The final word should go to John who said his secret to longevity is "pure luck", adding: "You either live long or you live short, and you can't do much about it." He’s 111 and he’s talking more sense than most stories about people living to an old age.

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