Friday, December 21, 2007

109 Causes of Death

One of the oldest surviving veterans from World War One has died. I'm kind of thinking that the terms "oldest" and "veteran from WW I" are rather redundant when used in conjunction with one another. I think it's a given that if you fought in WW I, you're old. And it's even more of a given that if you fought in WW I and you're still alive and, presumably, the majority of people who also fought in WW I are dead, then you are automatically one of the oldest, yes? That's what I thought.

J. Russell Coffey was one of only three known surviving veterans of WW I. I find the term "known" to be ridiculous, as I'm sure if there were more, we'd know about them. It's not like they have to hide out from the paparazzi.

I'm also feeling that the term "WW I veteran" is used rather loosely in this context, as the guy never even made it out of basic training before the war ended. Not that his service to this country wasn't needed and isn't appreciated. It was and it is. But "WW I era veteran" might have been a more appropriate term.

The man was 109. One hundred and nine years old! That's like FIVE people who just turned the legal drinking age and a four year old (whom the five drunkards are probably corrupting, but that's another story). The guy was born in 1898. William McKinley was President of the US. (McWho?) But here's the part of the story that slays me:

The article on CNN that I was reading states, " No cause of death has been determined." Huh?

Hey, um, death determining folks? Yeah, lemme help you out with determining that cause of death. You ready? Here we go.....HE WAS ONE HUNDRED AND NINE! THAT in and of itself is the cause of death. Being 109 CAN lead to death! What more determination needs to be made? Perhaps you'd like to ask President McKinley for his opinion? Oh, wait, you can't! He died 106 YEARS ago! This isn't tricky! Cause of death: Being 109. Reason for Death: Not making it to 110.

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