Thursday, February 28, 2008
In the Bible, Methuselah was Enoch son's and Noah's grandfather, a spry old fellow still fathering children past the century mark, who died at the age of 969, in the year of the Great Flood. (Bible doesn't say whether he drowned or not.)
In California, Methuselah is the name of a Great Bristlecone Pine tree that is estimated to have germinated in 2832 BC, making it more than 4800 years old, and the oldest non-clonal organism on the planet. (Prometheus was older, but got cut down in 1964 -- apparently somebody wanted to know how old it was and the corer used to collect a plug of the rings broke, so they just toppled the sucker and cut it up. The world is full of assholes.)
And, a champagne bottle that is eight times the size of a normal bottle is also called a Methuselah. For those of you who are curious, the standard champagne bottle sizes, in liters and percentages or multiples of the standard bottle are:
Quarter 18.75 cl 1/4
Half-Bottle 37.5 cl 1/2
Bottle 75 cl 1
Magnum 1.5 l 2
Jeroboam 3 l 4
Rehoboam 4.5 l 6
Methuselah 6 l 8
Salmanazar 9 l 12
Balthazar 12 l 16
Nebuchadnezzar 15 l 20
Some of the names you'll recognize. (The Magnum was apparently named after Tom's Selleck's TV character on his Hawaiian TV series, Magnum P.I., who knew? And did you know that Selleck was the actor originally picked to play Indiana Jones in the movies? The TV producers wouldn't let him out of his contract, and so Harrison Ford got the job. Hard to imagine anybody else in that role.)
I'd love to go to a restaurant and order a Nebuchadnezzar of the best French, if you please.
All of which is to say that I suddenly realized when I looked over my book list that I had lost count of how many I had done. I had thought it was somewhere in the mid-fifties, but, as it turns out, I am working on my sixtieth novel. If I can do one a year from now on, I can keep up with my age.
And, as Sonny Bono used say, the beat goes on ...