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Outlast. Outlive.

16 November 2012

So, thanks to Dead At Your Age, I know that I have now lived longer than Zebulon Pike.

That sentence probably requires some explanation. First — Dead At Your Age is a site that sends me emails, letting me know when I’ve outlived someone of fame or cultural significance. It unnerves my wife, but I’m fascinated every time I get one of those “Who have you outlived today?” emails. I’m 34 years and 111 days old, which is just as old as Zebulon Pike when he was killed by British shrapnel.

Zebulon Pike is a name I heard all the time when I lived in Colorado Springs in the 80s, possibly because you could see this from pretty much anywhere you were standing:


That’s Pikes Peak. Zebulon Pike and I have both been there, but it’s named after him just because he discovered it in 1806. I rode up it in a car and in a cable car, but you don’t hear me bragging. Zebulon Pike discovered it when he was 27, but I was on the summit by the time I was 6. I think we know who the real hero is here. (It’s Pike.)


Also, he knew how to rock a high collar.

When I get one of these emails, I have a brief moment of inadequacy — I mean, this guy discovered a mountain at 27. I worked for a radio station when I was 27. And not well, I might add. Pike discovered the shit out of Pike’s Peak, then went on to become a brigadier general. I am not a brigadier general.

But in the words of Homer Simpson: “If he’s so smart, how come he’s dead?”

Zebulon Pike didn’t have a chance to have a story after 34 years, 111 days. I do, and there’s something uplifting in that.

Well, unless Pike rises from the dead. Then Zombie Pike will have more time than me.

So do a Friday Experiment, folks. Go to Dead At Your Age and figure out who you outlived today. Post in the comments, if you like.

And have a great weekend, because you’re already one up on that guy tomorrow.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. 16 November 2012 0609

    “You are 29 years and 170 days old today.

    You’ve outlived Ross Alexander by almost two weeks. He was a stage and film actor who played a leading role in Errol Flynn vehicle “Captain Blood” (1935). He died of suicide by gunshot on January 2, 1937, 47 years before you were born.”

    How fascinatingly morbid.

    • 16 November 2012 0627

      Isn’t it? And funfact: Ross Alexander and I have the same birthday.

  2. 16 November 2012 1318

    For me:

    You’ve outlived Arnold Lewis Raphel by three days. He was an US diplomat who dealt with the TWA Flight 847 hijacking and the Teheran hostage crisis. He died in an airplane accident on August 17, 1988, when you were 21 years old

    I also find that it is kinda freaky that I’m now the same age as parents on TV shows I watched as a “kid” (I’m around the same age as Cliff Huxtible on The Cosby Show).

    • 16 November 2012 1332

      Isn’t it odd that he dealt with a hijacking and died in a plane accident?

      I’m older now than some of the characters I saw on TV as a kid, too… but I haven’t been cancelled. I win again!

  3. 16 November 2012 1330

    I’m also a bit bummed that I’m passed 2 ^ 16 days old (I’m at 16,594). But my wife is only 1 month away.

    • 16 November 2012 1333

      But we all beat the hell out of Zebulon Pike, at least. Just look at him up there, with his smug face and fancy coat…

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