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I’d like some new blood, please

Posted: May 8, 2014 9:06 a.m.
Updated: May 9, 2014 5:00 a.m.

I need some new blood.

Literally.

Maybe you read the story earlier this week in a newspaper: researchers injected the blood of young, vigorous mice into old, lethargic mice, and a dramatic transformation occurred. Not only did the older mice start looking better, but their memories sharpened and their physical abilities ramped up a few notches.               

I was all ready to call the research center and volunteer (“Hello, I’m an old rodent and I need help.”) when I read further and noticed that a great deal of research will have to be done before scientists can determine whether such transfusions can help humans.

But scientists are enthusiastic  about the possibilities. If new blood can rejuvenate worn-out mice, maybe it can do the same for worn-out people.

Just think of the implications for problems such as Alzheimer’s and other geriatric diseases. The possibilities are intriguing.

But back to last week, when I saw the story:

It hadn’t been the best few days for me. I’d gotten out of the shower Monday morning and looked in the mirror, and there staring back at me was my grandfather.

OK, maybe not my grandfather, but at least my father.

There were wrinkles where smooth skin used to be, bags under my arms, yellowed nails and droopy eyelids. My back was scrunched up and my knee hurt.

That’s what happens when you get on the north side of 65. If you’re there, you know what I mean.

So I started thinking what the blood of a 20-year-old physical fitness freak could do for me and for all my buddies who are, as the writers of devotions like to say, entering our twilight years.

(Those devotional writers can go to hell as far as I’m concerned. Twilight years? Harumph.)

If the scientists could get this thing going in a hurry, I’d order up a cocktail of new blood -- maybe a pint each from an Olympic sprint medalist, an award-winning symphony conductor, a best-selling novelist, a champion marathon runner and a hedge fund mogul.

Then I could be speedy, talented, imaginative, durable and rich.

Come to think of it, maybe I shouldn’t get greedy.

Perhaps I should just be satisfied to get a little blood boost so I can hear better, throw away my reading glasses, see the white lines on the road at night, remember where I put the car keys and approach three-foot putts without twitching like a hooked bass.

That might be the wave of the future, if the mouse projects turns out to work in humans the same way it’s worked in some rodents.

It could mean the end of geezers driving for miles with their left blinker on. The Viagra market could crash. Nursing homes could become night clubs. Knee replacement surgeons might end up selling pencils on the street corner. Depends could once again become a verb rather than a noun.

Oh, well, you get the message.

People have been looking for a fountain of youth since before Ponce de Leon landed in Florida. Multiple movies have dealt with the theme of eternal youth. Nobody likes getting old and wrinkly.

A new blood regimen won’t solve every problem, by golly, but it could certainly put a big dent in the Metamucil market.

Stand by for further research, and if you find yourself yearning for a big slice of cheese, don’t worry about it.

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