Irving Schumacher has seen a lot in his day. Born in 1899, the 118-year-old is America’s oldest man, but you’d never know it just by looking at him. Full of love for life and brimming with vitality, Irving is an inspiration to us all. He was kind enough to take some time out of his day to share some tips with others looking to live long and happy lives. Less fortunately, however, is that all of Irving’s tips are somehow super racist.
“I was born three weeks before Duke Ellington,” Irving said proudly. “And I’m the first to admit he played pretty good horn. Those coloreds have natural-born rhythm. They don’t make ‘em like Duke anymore though. God bless the boys in blue dealing with those people. I’ve always avoided colored neighborhoods when I can, you won’t get mugged if you stay away from MLK street.”
Er, yikes! Those aren’t exactly the kind of tips we had in mind … But knowing Irving is proud of his active lifestyle we changed the subject and asked him how he’s stayed spry after all these years.
“Well, in the ’40s I started walking down to the oriental market in town and stealing ginseng tablets,” he said. “You see the orientals walk everywhere, it’s very healthy — boy, I was so young back in those days. But then Pearl Harbor happened and they shipped Yoshi and his whole family to one of those camps. It was sort of a bittersweet moment.”
Wait, bittersweet? What’s that supposed to mean? You know what, nevermind, we don’t want to know. What about Irv’s love life? Has that played a role in his longevity? That’s an innocuous enough question, right?
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“When I was growing up there was this girl named Charlotte who lived on my block. She came from a wealthy family and was always dressed in the loveliest clothes. Her hair was gorgeous and her eyes were like two shining star, they knocked me right out when I saw them. Everything about her was perfect.”
Alright, great! Now we’re getting somewhere! That’s beautiful, Irving!
“Anyway, I slept with Charlotte’s maid, Rosa, or Rosalinda, or something like that. I usually don’t like the Hispanics, but I made an exception because she didn’t speak English. And hey, take what you can get. That’s what I’ve always said, Sonny.”
Jesus Christ, Irv! You can’t say things like that!
OK, this might’ve been a bad idea. We were going to end with a question about learning who you can and can’t trust in life, but, uh — let’s just call it a day. Thanks, Irv, and congrats on making it this far. Try not to stick around too much longer.
Article by Rick Homuth @rjhomuth