First Person

Lori Cormack
Lori Cormack
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With Lori Cormack

Having seen a picture of the man in question, I can confirm he does look pretty old. But 123? I’ve seen some 40-year-olds with more wrinkles.

If the claim turns out to be true, it would make Mr Flores Laura seven years older than the current ‘Oldest Man in the World’, Jiroemon Kimura.

But what must it have been like to have seen three centuries, given that he claims to have been born in 1890?

He has lived through two World Wars, a man on the moon (all you conspiracy theorists - I don’t want to hear it) 29 prime ministers and 45 Olympic Games. Poor thing, he’s even lived long enough to witness the inexplicable fame of Justin Bieber.

Personally, I have always been fascinated by sci-fi films where writers and directors imagine the future and what it might be like. So imagine how much life has changed for Mr Flores Laura since he was a child, not just through technology but life in general and how people’s behaviour has changed.

I think that might be the only reason I would want to live beyond 100 to be honest. Obviously, I’m a naturally nosy person and, given how much our world has changed in the last 50 years alone, I would absolutely love to be around when they announce that someone has landed on Mars or that time travel is finally a reality or cancer is a thing of the past.

Just after the Royal baby was born, I read an article online which had been written as if the journalist was living in 2083, or thereabouts.

George was about to take the throne, and life was very different to how it had been when he arrived in 2013. I for one loved reading how the journalist thought life might work out, with online chips inplanted in babies’ brains so they can go online just by thought, or the aboltion of actual money.

But, obviously, that’s just one vision, and nobody really knows what life will be like in 70 years. But if things continue to change at the rate they already are, I know that life will be very different. I wonder if Mr Flores Laura imagined how different the world would be?

Apparently, he told a Bolivian news station that the secret to his long life was long walks and not eating pasta or sugar. Well, I’ve already failed.

Yes, I have been trying to walk a lot more recently (I can’t bear to pay for an extortionate gym membership), but give up sugar and pasta? Sadly, that’s not going to happen. Doesn’t this man know that chocolate contains sugar? Obviously, he’s not too bothered but I guarantee that if I cut out my little bit of the sweet stuff every day, it would shorten my life, not pre-long it!

When Mr Flores Laura does eventually pass away (or maybe he won’t, maybe he’s immortal...but that’s a whole other discussion) he leaves behind three children, 16 grandchildren and 39 great-grandchildren. That’s quite a legacy. Isn’t it wonderful that he has had the chance to see so many of his family members come into the world and grow up. I still have all of that to come, but I know from my own grandparents’ joy at being able to see their own great grandchildren come in to the world that it is something which is cherished.

But, if I were to live until the 22nd century (that’s the goal, three different centuries, or what’s the point?) I would want to be lucid enough to actually witness the change that was going on around me. According to Mr Flores Laura’s family, he still goes on long walks, albeit with a walking stick, and doesn’t even need glasses. Pretty good going.

Sadly, I think at 123, I’d probably be about three feet tall, completely deaf and as blind as a bat. Perhaps two centuries is quite enough for person...