Ever since I returned on Wednesday from the Milken Global Conference, I have had the inescapable conviction that I am truly a privileged person. It seems that I have actually been in the presence of history's first immortal human.
With a packed room in attendance, Sumner Redstone was being interviewed by no-less-a- personage than the world's foremost celebrity host, Larry King. Regardless of the question posed by his interviewer, himself no stranger to longevity, Redstone consistently circled back to the topic of his own immortality. "I have no intention of ever retiring, or of dying," he said. "I'm 'The Curious Case of Mr. Redstone.'"
Since nobody swore me to secrecy, here it is: Sumner Redstone's diet tips for anyone who intends, as he clearly does, to live forever.
"I eat all the antioxidants I can get until 12 every day. That includes Goji berries, Green Machine smoothie and tomato juice. I usually skip lunch because I am so full from my breakfast. For dinner I eat fish every night without fail. And to top it off, I drink a shot of vodka every night."
"Why?" you may ask, as did Larry.
"Because it's a wonderful antioxidant" he said, "but they don't want to tell you because they are afraid you will abuse it."
Who knew vodka was so good for your health? He also mentioned that his great physique is due to a 90-minute daily workout. "I work out everyday no matter what, I am very disciplined," he bragged.
The conversation was classic Larry King light banter, sharpened slightly by moments of his trademark gentle sarcasm, and punctuated by manifestations of Redstone's profoundly delusional state. When Larry king asked him how old he was, he announced that he was 65. Larry gently persisted. "Come on tell the truth, I am 75 so you can't be 65." Redstone, who is known to be 85, maintained with a straight face that he was 65, to which Larry responded, "Then you don't look that great for your age!"
Like the great interviewer he is, Larry knows when he has a guest who will hang himself over and over, so he kept paying out rope, leading him on with mock innocence "So if I was to do your eulogy, what should I say? Should I simply say: He lied? "
"The people who fear dying are people who are going to die. I'm not going to die. I'm going to live forever," said Redstone." I feel as if I was 20," he said, "in every way, even sexually." I would like to add a personal note here, and just say that I instinctively have some serious doubts about that little piece of braggadocio.
Though Redstone seemed completely serious, there were moments when he may have been indulging in facetious self-mockery. Larry asked him about his relationship with his employees, and his answer is hard to interpret. "I treat everyone like family." Given the state of his family affairs, this might be more admission than self congratulation. In any case, his employees should get used to him, since he is apparently going to be in charge forever. I know what you are thinking: In many religions, that is the definition of God.
During the Q & A part of the discussion, almost every time a woman would ask a question, he would first ask whether or not she was married, and if she was, he would just use it to confirm his stated theory that all the attractive women are married. Perhaps Redstone is one of those people who have used their intellect to create clever mechanisms for believing whatever they want to, and blinding themselves to inconvenient facts pointing to the contrary.
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