Who you calling old?

One of the characters in the novel I’m working on, Blood on the Water, (the sequel to Blood Justice) had herself turned into a vampire to seek revenge. That got me thinking…

If there are such things as vampires, I hope before one changes me into a ravaging blood-thirsty beast I have time to get hair plugs, a face lift, a tummy tuck, a bit-o-liposuction, and a little tightening of the neck. My nose is good. Even though I’ll be lurking in back alleys and dark parks looking for cute, blonde teenage girls (I didn’t add smart because a smart girl wouldn’t be in those places) to slake my maddening thirst for fresh young blood, I want to look good for the rest of my immortal life.

I just celebrated (?) one of those milestone birthdays no one looks forward to. If I’m destined to be changed into an immortal beast monster gentelman this isn’t the one I’d have chosen to be changed at.

What  would be the best age to be upgraded to immortal? “Go Young” you might say. But how young? Certainly not less than 18. It might sound fun to be a teenager for ever, but after 30 or 40 years you might want to go into a bar and have more than a Shirley Temple. They card vampires too, you know. Not to mention that as a teenager you might think you know it all, but you don’t. Unlike Rodney Dangerfield, if you want some respect, you should wait until at least 21 before allowing that charming bad boy/girl vamp to give you the bite that lasts. Even at 21 you’ll still get carded everywhere, and after 20 or 30 years nobody is going to look at your ID and believe you’re 40 or 50 years old. You don’t want people looking into your birth records then bugging you for the secret of how you’ve stayed so young looking, do you?

If you want to flow through the centuries with a certain level of gravitas, you might wait until 50, or even 60. Maybe 62 if you’re big on Senior Discounts. Who knows, if us mortals continue to live longer on our own 60 might be the perfect time to get that sporty convertible to scratch that mid-life crises itch. However, if you’re going to choose that option I suggest you go vegan and to the gym, starting now.

30ish would seem to be the ideal age to receive the gift, or curse, of immortality. Old enough to leave some, not all, of that youthful wildness behind you and still have your body, good looks, and hair.  If male pattern baldness is already creeping up on you, you might consider going younger, or learn how to shave your head. Bald is beautiful, Baby! You’ll also be young enough to be envied by all those old folks over 40. A plus for sure.  At 30, with experience and youthful indiscretions behind you, you’ll be ready to start building the fortune that will sustain you for the coming millennium or two; houses, cars, boats, travel, spouses.

Speaking of hair, make sure you have your hair cut in a classic style for the ages that you like. Because I’m not sure the hair of vampiric immortals will grow out to fix a bad haircut.


What if you were young and down on your luck, maybe living in your car, with few prospects, and a stranger, say 65-70 years old, offers you $100,000 dollars for your youth.  You would still be you, just 65-70 years old. Maybe some grey hair and some sagging here and there, but still you with the same mind as now, just older. You agree. Abra Cadabra you’re old, but not without some intelligence. You look into this age swap thing, find out the stranger’s secret, reverse engineer it, offer some not too bright drunk 25-year-old $5000 for his youth. “Sure. Why not?” he says. You swap, and then you find someone else with $100,000 and make them an offer. And you do this swap again and a again, a nice lucrative business. Except there are some bad guys who want a piece (all of it) of your action. And then there’s the father of a woman whose youth you sort of stole. And a cop who knows more about youth stealing than he should and he’s looking for you.

What if some kids are telling their Grandpa how proud they are of him that he’s such a hero, and he says, “Ain’t nothin’ to be proud of here.” And the kids say, “But everybody says you saved the town, village, city, country, world, galaxy.” “Humph,” he says. “Maybe at the end I did somethin’ good. But that ain’t how it started. They don’t tell ya that, do they?” “What do you mean, Grandpa?” He sips his whiskey and tells them, “Once upon a time….”

What if  you were a retired criminal well into your 60s, but still vital, living nicely with your wife on your ill-gotten gains. Then you had a visit from a some of your old crew. One of the old crew is dying of cancer, because a particular doctor misdiagnosed him, possibly on purpose. He has a family that depends on him. So you agree to look into it and find a criminal enterprise way beyond what you used to do. So you all decide to go against the doctor and all the other white collars who are letting people die for their own gain. The old street-smart tough guys against  the new ruthless, boardroom smart guys.

What if there was a planet where the sentient inhabitants grew old in the usual way, but at a certain time they grew younger, Benjamin Button style. As the unaged they brought all their experience of growing and being old to their government, business and culture. How would that make said government, business and culture different from ours?

What ever your age, be nice to the oldsters. Because sooner than you think you’ll be one of them bitchin that them youngsters don’t give any respect, just like you.

Happy Birthday, Again?

So next month is the event you’ve been waiting for. I know you’ve been checking your New Word a Day calendar every day, ripping off  the page with that new word you’ve either known since you were three, or know you’ll never use at any time for the rest of your life even if you’re immortal, with great glee, knowing you are one day closer to my __ birthday. I know, it gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling just thinking about it.

It doesn’t really matter what number is assigned to this event. You’re only as old as you feel, you’re not getter older you’re getting better, blah, blah, blah. Just remember  that 65 is the new 60, maybe even the new 57. I’ll have to check with my doctor on that one.

Now I know you’ve been planning for months what to get me for my birthday present. Well, I’m here to set your worried mind at ease. Although, I do realize that some of you feel you aren’t really living unless you have something to worry about. Even when all is cool, all is fine, the bills are paid, you still have a job, you’re pretty sure your kids aren’t on drugs and if they are everybody’s kids ought to be on whatever they’re on,  your spouse isn’t cheating on you, or doesn’t know you’re cheating on them, and there is no logical reason to worry about anything, you worry that everything is going too well and that OH MY GOD something terrible is going to happen and I need to be PREPARED! This is how survivalists are made.

So don’t worry about the two-week cruise, or that little bungalow on the beach, or that very fast red car, or that motorcycle that was in that movie, or the high-end computer/entertainment system, or unlimited movie or book store gift certificates that you were thinking of giving me as a small token of celebration. I have something else I you can give me, though I wouldn’t turn down a 35 foot bluewater cruising sailboat.  All I want for my birthday is for you to read my latest e-book, Ancient Mariners, and write a review of it to post on Amazon, Smashwords, KOBO, Goodreads or any place else that prospective readers might stumble on it and shout “Eureka!” and fall on the floor in a fit of expectant literary extacy. Cheap and simple. Why worry? And, as a bonus, you’ll be able to answer the question way below.

Speaking of birthdays, what I’m wondering is – How does somebody who believes in reincarnation number their birthdays? Instead of a mundane, “Oh, I’m 46 today,”  do they say, “All told I’m 378 today, plus those two weeks I spent as a mosquito in Africa. I wasn’t carrying any diseases so I got a small bump up  to a banker in my next life. Or, do they only count the number of past lives? And if so, how do they know when to start counting?

As far as I know, most people who believe don’t remember their past lives. Which brings up the question – if you don’t remember your past lives, what good is it? What does it matter? If you don’t remember, how can you learn from your mistakes and better yourself so that next life you will be the next Warren Buffet, Michael Jordan, Elizabeth Taylor, or, OMG, Justin Bieber.

Of course when have humans as a whole ever learned from their mistakes? Wars still happen, politics still happen, religious extremism still happens, hate and evil and intolerance and greed and selfishness and plain old stupidity still happen. So whether you’ve only had two lives or a hundred,  put your memory cap on and learn something to help us poor one-lifers.


What if you could remember your past lives, really remember, and throughout them you knew you would remember everything going into future lives.  How long would it take for you to own the world if throughout those lives you stashed away money, gold, jewels, art, made long-term investments relying on compound interest and the like? And what would all those lives be like, knowing what you knew? If nothing else you’d be a hell of a history teacher.

What if you remembered from birth? What would your life be like being fully aware of hundreds of  years of history at birth. Talk about your child prodigies. Who knows, maybe that’s where they come from.

What If you were from a family of wizards and witches. On your birthday you were allowed one wish for yourself. The thing is on this particular birthday you are afflicted with a debilitating disease that will leave you incapacitated for the rest of your life, which may not last until your next birthday. Wish yourself cured, a no-brainer. But the other thing is the one you love most in the world has suffered an accident and is dying. So do you save her/him with your wish, knowing you may not live until your next birthday wish, or cure yourself? How much do you love them? How much do they love you? Is there a way around the decision?

What if you were immortal and enjoying it, living large, not giving death a thought. Then you find out they forgot to tell you your immortality only lasts 1000 years. However, there is a way, exactly on your 1000th birthday, to extend your life another 1000 years. The thing is, after 990 plus years, you’ve lost track of your birthdays so now you have to figure out when it is, exactly, or the immortality you have become used to, and like, will end and you will be a mortal, living out your short life to the end. Of course there is that person you’ve fallen in love with. And the niggling question of is she/he immortal, too?

In any case, whether it’s today or a 1000 years from now, Happy Birthday wishes to you. And a light blue hull on my sailboat would be perfect.

The question – Is Beth Portman the new Lisbeth Salander, Katniss Everdeen, or Vanessa Michael Munroe? https://davidburtonwriting.wordpress.com/ancient-mariners