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Though I am a huge advocate of exercise, mostly because I simply enjoy movement, I understand when people who find no joy in activity become weary of commands to exercise. For that reason, I had to chuckle when I heard of an elderly man’s response to the ageless question, “What’s your secret to long life?” “I stay fit being a pallbearer at the funerals of my friends who exercised,” he replied.

It reminded me of someone who spoke at my uncle’s funeral. My uncle’s friend, a very heavy chain smoker for many years, spoke about my uncle who was vehemently opposed to smoking long before it was fashionable to take that position. The eulogy went something like this: “To Harry who for years tried to get me to stop smoking, and here I am still smoking and speaking at his funeral.”

Sarcasm, even or perhaps especially in the context of morbidity, is something we need now and then to remind us that life is too short and unpredictable to take too seriously.

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