One of the advantages of working a day job that is slightly less captivating than the study of the shape of gum stains on the sidewalk is that it gives one countless hours of opportunity to think, especially while doing mundane tasks such as removing 1,778 images from 889 sheet protectors.
For example, one can think about wanting to take a nap, lunch, sex, what’s the name of that song playing on the radio, is that smell Windex or a terrible cologne, sex, my foot itches, I must remember to pick up mustard, sex, pigeons have it so easy, what’s the lifespan of a pigeon, sex, is this pain in my chest a heart attack or indigestion, am I going to drop dead here at my desk with my foot itching, sex, is it going to rain today, did I bring my umbrella?
My colleagues, in particular my sidekick, Greg, are also adept at voicing random thoughts aloud. Recently, Greg pondered the question of how long does it take for us to completely replace every cell in our bodies. He was unsure if it was seven or ten years. One of the things I was sure of is that my most recent batches of cells whether they are seven or ten years old are not quite as robust as earlier versions. Once home, while guzzling a bottle of Magic Hat Wacko beer to lubricate my thought process –
I went online and Google searched, “How long does it take to renew every cell in the human body?”
According to Ask a Naturalist.com:
“Recent research has confirmed that different tissues in the body replace cells at different rates, and some tissues never replace cells. So the statement that we replace every cell in the body every seven years or every ten years is wrong.”
Apparently, the number of brain cells you enter the world with are all you get. When they die and they will, that’s it, you regress into an even bigger dolt. They’re not replaced and their loss probably helps explain why I keep blanking on getting mustard, even though I recently looked directly at the mustard shelf while in the store, but then went to the meat department and picked up a steak, something I had not intended to purchase. What is even more annoying is returning home, then recalling I still need mustard, going back to the store and momentarily suffering a brain freeze about why I have made this second trip. Fortunately, the voice inside my head screamed:
Voice Inside My Head (screaming): You need mustard you moron!
Ask a Naturalist.com also claims that fat cells are replaced at a rate of 10% per year in adults. I find this rather ironic since those are the cells I most wish would go away and never return. They also seem to be the ones that are quickest to multiply, especially in the vicinity of the abdomen and hips while parked at one’s desk pulling hundreds of images out of sheet protectors as the mind wanders.
Heart cells are also replaced at a reduced rate as a person ages, so basically over time, we go completely downhill, but there are always people out there that probably should be dead, but continue to carry on quite nicely like one of my favorite musicians, Keith Richards. That I find encouraging. Pigeons on the other hand live on average 3-5 years in the wild, but up to 35 years in captivity. Maybe they don’t have it that easy after all.