First of all, you must think about what the following list have in common:
- Winston Churchill
- Fidel Castro
- Groucho Marx
- George Burns
- Mel Brooks
And just to throw you off a bit, the case that proves the rule is George Carlin. And the exception that proves the rule is Samuel Clemments, otherwise known as Mark Twain.
Have you figured it out yet? OK, I know Fidel Castro throws you off, but we'll get to him in a minute. You may have noticed, though, that all these men are famous for three things: laughing, women and smoking cigars. Amazing, isn't it? I almost fell out of my chair when it hit me.
I know what you are thinking. Churchill? Think about it. He was obviously famous for his massive cigars. In fact, there is an entire line of cigars called "Churchills," which have a large ring size and ponderous length. His sense of humor was notorious. His quips and witticisms are well known to humor aficionados. He was also known for his eye for the ladies, though rarely discussed in polite company. He died at the grand old age of 91.
You will, of course, notice the number of professional comedians on the list. The three listed are all famous for their senses of humor and their life-long devotion to cigars. They are also quite famous for their dalliances with the ladies.
Groucho was a self-confessed lecher and was often seen in the company of attractive young women in his later years. One cannot deny that laughter and cigars were an integral part of Groucho's persona. He is reported in his last moments to have released his mistress' hand, taken the cigar from his lips and said, "This is no way to live." He expired at 87.
But what of the exceptions?
Well, George Carlin was obviously one of the greatest wits of all time, but he was not known for womanizing and made fun of cigar smokers. His punishment for defying the gods of long and happy lives was to leave us crying at the tender age of 71.
As for Mark Twain, well...like Groucho, the cigar was as much a part of Twain's image as his Einstein haircut and the white wooley mammoth that lived on his upper lip. Twain was famous for sticking a hat pin in his cigars when he spoke, so that by the end, the audience would be completely hypnotized by the length of the ash, reporting that Twain's speech was amazing, though they couldn't remember anything he said. Twain died at 75, despite his devotion to women, laughter and cigars, because he had already determined that he would follow Halley's Comet out, the way he had followed it in. We would have gotten another 20 years out of him if he hadn't been so damn hard-headed.
At last we come to Fidel Castro. Now you might be thinking to yourself, "Hey, this guy has only got one part of the recipe." I beg to differ.
Obviously, Fidel has the cigar part of the recipe down pat, but what about the laughter and womanizing? Well, Fidel and Mel Brooks were born two months apart, so we can assume that Fidel is a big fan of Brooks and likes to laugh, since the two men have so much in common already. In addition, you just know that Fidel has spent many hours laughing about the number of US presidents he has outlived, having stared down eight of them and so far outlasted five of them, and he's still going at 90.
When it comes to womanizing, we know little of Fidel's proclivities, but we can make some valid assumptions. If you were the beloved dictator of an entire nation, having served now well over 50 years, and your nation was world famous for cigars, wouldn't you have a private hareem of lovely young virgins rolling your cigars on their silky smooth thighs? I know I would, and as soon as I become dictator, that will be my first order of business.
Thus we can infer from Fidel's 90 years and counting of cigar smoking is matched by a somewhat more private habit of laughing and chasing women.
I don't know about you, but having discovered this magical brew of eternal life, I immediately ran out and bought all the Cuban cigars I could find and put them in my newly rented Sugar Shack, wherein I will keep my bevy of beauties. The Sugar Shack is also in the process of receiving my world-record collection of comedy movies and albums, with a modest stage for private shows with top stand-up talent currently touring Southeast Asia.
I shall, in fact, live to realize that everyone who was born before or at the same time as me has died! I have determined to laugh, smoke and...well, you know - my way to extreme long life!
I shall hereafter be known as the Laughing Smoking Screwing Guy Who Won't Die (LSSGWWD)! HAHAHAHA (coff coff) Honey - I forget your name - be a good girl and grab my oxygen tank would ya? That's my girl. The rest of you rub my funny bone.