Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Your Initials Could Kill You (Seriously)

Fosco enjoys making fun of Parade Magazine as much as any other person who prefers to read magazines that don't come free with the Sunday paper (well, except for the Times Magazine--that rocks!). But every once and while, it's actually possible to learn something from Parade. Like, for example, nine tips on how to live a longer life. While some of them are pretty obvious ("6. Have your heart attack in Las Vegas," or "9. Don't cross the street on December 23." Duh!), there is also this surprising titbit:

In one intriguing study, California researchers analyzed death records to find out whether there was any correlation between people's initials and how long they lived. They divided their subjects' initials into positive and negative groups. The good-initial group included ACE, WIN, WOW, and VIP; the bad contained RAT, BUM, SAD, and DUD. Then they matched up initials with lifespans and looked for any correlation. The results were stunning (and also hotly debated): A person's initials actually may influence the time and cause of his or her death. "A symbol as simple as one's initials can add four years to life or subtract three years," the researchers wrote. They speculated that bad initials were irritants, or stressors, which over the course of a person's life can add up and contribute to health problems.
Luckily, the real people behind the Fosco and Oz avatars, as well as Fosco's new friend Anne Jacqueline Hathaway, have initials that spell neutral nonsense words, so they're in the middle. However, Fosco does know some people who will probably be affected:
  • Friend-of-the-blog John Ezekiel Mackey spells JEM. I'm not sure if this is a bad thing or a good thing in terms of longevity, but I do know that it is truly outrageous.
  • Gay activist pal Ted Aquinas Gideonse spells TAG. This is a good thing if we're talking the game, but bad if we're talking the body spray.
  • Corn-syrup-defamer Todd Ulysses Draper spells TUD, which isn't a word, but still sounds yucky regardless.
  • Romantic blogger Joanna Oprah Goddard spells JOG, which is a healthy activity and will no doubt lead to greater longevity.
  • College roommate and blog czar David Shasta Lat spells DSL, which is slower than cable internet access. I think that bodes ill for his life expectancy.
Of course, if something as minor as one's initials produce enough stress to shorten lifespan, we probably should start worrying about other, similarly minor, stressors. Things like itchy socks. Or persistently cawing crows outside one's window. Or television ads. And there is no fucking way that Fosco is ever going to wash his car again. That should be good for like ten extra years.

I'm going to live forever!


Anonymous said...

Oz wonders if Todd has a second middle name that starts with "R"...

(Don't worry, Oz is joking.)

FOSCO said...

Ouch. That's cold. Oz: don't make me assign you an unpleasant middle initial!