Throwback Thursday: John D’Agata

Issue 41: 2005

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Excerpt from “On Why the Fact Needs Fun: An argument in opposition to nonfiction’s police”

by John D’Agata

 

1.

According to the World Bank’s Global Health Watch, the average American citizen will live for seventy-six-and-a-half years.  But according to the National Projections Program of the United States Census Bureau, Americans are too diverse for any lifespan average.

In order to more accurately estimate the lifespan of an African American female, for instance, it is therefore suggested by the Projections Program that two years and five months be subtracted from the seventy-six-and-a-half years.  One should subtract three years from the average for an Alaskan Native female.  And for native males of Alaska, subtract ten years.  American-Samoan females should subtract two years, while American-Samoan males should subtract six years.  Chinese-American females can add nine years and Chinese-American males can add three years.  European-American females can add three each, but European-American males must subtract four each.  Add five if you are a Filipino-American female.  Two if you are a Filipino-American male.  If you are a native female resident of America’s protectorate of Guam, you should subtract one year and three months from the national projected average.  Subtract four years if you are male.  If you’re a native Hawaiian female, subtract one year.  If you’re a native Hawaiian male, subtract five years.  A Japanese-American female may add eight years.  Japanese-American males can add three years.  If you’re a Korean-American female, add six years.  Korean-American male, add two years.  If you’re a Mexican-American male, subtract six years.  Native American females can add five years.  Native American males must subtract four each.  Females from Puerto Rico may add three years and two months, while males from Puerto Rico must subtract eight years.  Thai-American females can all add nine, and Thai-American males may all add three.  The females on each of the Virgin Islands may add five years, but all the Islands’ males must subtract nine each.

 

2.

However, according to Centurian Magazine’s monthly column entitled “Living to One Hundred,” An individual’s body size must also be accounted for when estimating his or her projected life span. Males, for example, who are five feet two inches tall and weigh between one hundred twelve and one hundred twenty pounds can be said to have what is called a relatively small frame, while males who are five feet two inches tall and weigh between one hundred twenty-one and one hundred twenty-nine pounds can be said to have a medium frame, and those males who are five feet two inches tall and weigh between one hundred thirty and one hundred forty-one pounds are said to have a large frame.  Similarly, if a male is five feet three inches tall and weighs between one hundred fifteen and one hundred twenty-three pounds, he is small.  If he is five feet three inches and weighs between one hundred twenty-four and one hundred thirty-three pounds, he’s medium.  If he’s five feet three inches and weighs between one hundred thirty-four and one hundred forty-four, he’s large.

[…]

 

3.

Or, place your thumb and forefinger around one of your wrists and measure the gap between them:  if the gap between your thumb and forefinger is wider than a quarter inch, you’re large; if your fingers meet or almost meet, you’re medium; if your fingers overlap, small.  Then based on your projected lifespan according to your race, subtract ten years if you are large and male.  Subtract seven years if you are large and female.  Add one year is you are small and male, and two years if you are female.  If, however, you are medium in either of the genders, do absolutely nothing to your projected lifespan.

 

 

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