Negotiated longevity

Peter Leith is 90 and describes himself as ‘half-deaf and half-blind’, but he is a fierce advocate and critic and, no doubt, holds his own against the best debaters. How long he wins out in his negotiations with the heaven and hell remains to be seen.


You might be interested in a deal I have struck with the managements of both hell and their counterparts in heaven, should I, by some administrative error, be sent there.

Every year, I establish ‘in-principle agreements’ with the managements of both hell and heaven.

I persuade both of them – I am quite a good negotiator – to agree to let me “live to see, just one more year of family birthdays”. I have four children and eight grandchildren with birthdays spreading from January to November.

Each November I plead, successfully so far, for “one more Christmas with the family”, which sees me through until the next January family birthday.

It seems to be working as I am now almost 90-and-a-half and I still have, in reserve, the emotional appeal to be allowed to live to see the birth of my first (second or third) great grandchild and, even then, I will still have, up my sleeve, the boy/girl options.

As this strategy still seems to be working, please, if you decide to try something similar, do not mention my name. My 2020 agreements are in place but I don’t want to jeopardise 2021.

Do you have a story or an observation for Peter? Send it to [email protected] and put ‘Sunday’ in the subject line.

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Written by Peter Leith


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