I Have A Rival In The Aging BusinessCommentary • ISSUE 33•03 • Jan 28, 1998 By T. Herman Zweibel, Publisher Emeritus (photo circa 1911) Recently it was brought to my attention that the 121-year-old French-woman finally went to her reward. Good! If there's anything I cannot stand, it's challengers to my claim as the world's oldest living human. I hope her withered husk is being used as kindling for the raging bonfires of Hell! But just to be certain that I truly am the world's oldest man, I recently summoned my vizier, who knows and sees all. "Tell me, learned sage," I entreated him, "is there anyone who exceeds me in age, yet still draws breath?" "Verily," he said, "there is indeed. The one they call Li Ming, who lives in a remote mountain village in central China. He is gentle and kind, and his wisdom shines like 100 suns. He once turned a raging tiger into a graceful heron, and he bests you in age by a score of years." A Chinee-man? My blood boiled. I promptly called for my man-servant Standish and asked him if the assassin was still on the pay-roll. Standish said yes. "Procure him," I commanded, "and charge him with the task of finding and doing away with this wretch. He may use poison, dynamite, anything, just as long as the Chinee is taken out." Soon after, the assassin visited my bed-chamber. He requested $50,000 to do the job, half up-front. I had Standish open the wall-safe behind the portrait of the Kaiser. Money was no object! I am beginning to suspect, however, I was too hasty in my plans to dispense of my aged rival: Not long after the assassin's steamer arrived in Canton, a small black lacquered box arrived at the estate. In it were the liquefied remains of my assassin and a note reading, "Beware The Society Of 800 Avenging Fists." What had I gotten myself into? The Swiss Guard surrounding my estate are on high alert to-night, and I've had Standish push the armoire against my door. But I fear it may not be enough. It's obvious that the old Chinee has the forces of black-magic and hoo-doo on his side. Please, Mr. Li Ming Chinee-man, spare me! I will offer you gold, silks, spices, anything, just please, do not have your assassins cut me to ribbons with their sharp knives!