Some of us can't wait until retirement so we can park our asses on futuristic hyperchairs all day, yell at kids who are jet scooting on our hoverlawns and quietly wait for death or the end of the world (whichever comes first). But there are some senior citizens who aren't quite ready to give up just yet. These old people not only have more ambition than most of us despite being well past their prime, but they're also doing jobs most of us wouldn't even begin to consider.
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#7. An 80-Year-Old International Jewel Thief
Let's say you work security in a jewelry store and the proprietor lets you know that a very expensive diamond ring is missing. The only customer who looked at it was a tiny old woman who merely wanted to try it on. It may interest you to know that you've just fallen victim to one of the most prolific international jewel thieves in the world.
And that's why you should always tear gas the elderly whenever you encounter them.
The jewel thief in question is Doris Payne, and she is currently serving a five-year prison sentence for the theft of an $8,900 diamond ring. But larceny is nothing new for Doris; she's been doing it almost every month for the past 50 years.
Payne's method was very slick. She would dress as a fancy, well-off woman and head to the jewelry store. Using her charm and good looks to confuse the clerk, Payne would ask to try on many different pieces, often causing them to forget how many items they had taken out. In the confusion, she would shift the rings from hand to hand and then finally declare that she'd "think about" the purchase and leave, becoming a few thousand dollars richer in the process. The clerks wouldn't discover that they were a ring short until after Payne had left the store.
Wheeling out just ahead of an incredibly slow-moving explosion.
Payne traveled the world, stealing from shops in Paris, Greece, England and Japan. Sometimes she got caught, but most times, she didn't. In fact, she once MacGyvered a diamond from its ring setting when she was in custody and sewed the diamond into her girdle, which prevented authorities from finding the stolen merchandise. She was eventually profiled, and a major search for the jewel thief went into effect.
Wanted: Al Capone, Grandma ...
Still stealing as recently as 2010, Payne has stated that it's not even about the money anymore, but about seeing just how much she can get away with. We're not the only ones to realize just how noteworthy this story is, either: Her life will be the subject of the upcoming film Who Is Doris Payne? starring Halle Berry.
(The one on the left.)
Really, Hollywood? Who Is Doris Payne? Not No Payne, No Gain? OK. Your loss.
#6. Frank Evans, the 69-Year-Old Matador
Of all the animals a person could choose to fight, bulls are, of course, one of the most dangerous. They usually weigh about a ton, have two extremely sharp stabbing weapons on their heads and are built like brick shithouses. If you're going to go one-on-one with one of these monsters, you'd better make sure you're spry and agile, and have balls of steel.
And a rectum of mithril.
With the precise timing needed to be a bullfighter, it's no surprise that the average age of a matador is around 25 to 30. Enter Frank Evans, who's slightly older than that. To be precise, he's 69.
"Yer grandmama was tougher than you! I know this to be a fact!"
If we're going to discuss just how badass some old folks can be, we really need to break down Frank Evans' life. In a time when the title of "matador" was awarded only to fighters from Spanish-speaking countries, Evans decided he would go for it anyway, despite being very, very British. This would work out in his favor, as he earned his title and became known as El Ingles, the first top-level British bullfighter in the world. He was eventually ranked number 63 out of some 10,000 bullfighters worldwide.
His methods include self-deprecation and fatal doses of sarcasm.
Frank did consider retiring a few times. He had a minor setback when he was forced by his doctors to leave the ring for knee replacement surgery. During that time, doctors also realized his heart was in big trouble. After quadruple bypass surgery and a titanium knee replacement, Frank did what anyone recovering from serious surgery would do: He started fighting bulls again.
"I used the leather from the bulls to make my face."
Now, as he nears age 70, Frank says he still plans to be a bullfighter -- a sport that has injured and killed men less than half his age. When asked why he continues to do what he does, Evans says, "There's a 98-year-old man who runs marathons. If he can do that, I can fight a bull."
Frank is of course talking about ...
#5. Fauja "The Turbaned Tornado" Singh
It sucks to get old. Your back begins hurting and your knees have a tendency to give out on you. It's hard to keep up with the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Menial, everyday tasks become harder and harder to do, until you actually need a device to assist you in the simple chore of walking.
And the not-so-simple chore of pants selection.
Which makes it all the more natural that Fauja Singh, when he was a mere lad of 81, decided that his ninth decade on earth would be an absolutely bitching time to take up a career as a world-record-setting marathon runner. With Matlock's cancellation looming, it was really the only logical choice.
Nicknamed "The Turbaned Tornado," Singh has spent his later years not on the porch with a pair of slippers and a walker, but in a pair of sneakers, running marathons all over the world.
We guess his beard kind of looks like a tornado.
Singh was born in India in 1911. If your math skills aren't up to snuff, that makes him just a shade over 100 years old. The Tornado is the near record holder for the oldest marathon runner in the world. We say "near" because Guinness can't grant him the record spot without a birth certificate -- something that unfortunately didn't exist in India in 1911. He was born before birth certificates, and he's run more marathons than you. That's just wild speculation, but hell ... prove us wrong.
People speculate that he's actually a 25-year-old woman in a charity costume that got slightly out of hand.
The Guinness snub is not enough to keep Singh out of his running shoes. He currently runs every day with his elderly gang of joggers called Sikhs in the City.
"I'm Carrie!" "I'm the sex-obsessed one!" "I'm gonna poop myself if we don't stop!" "I'm the red-haired one!"
After completing his first marathon at age 89, Singh devoted his life to the sport. He has since run in eight marathons and even plans to run in the Torch Relay at the 2012 Olympic Summer Games.
So what's your excuse for not jogging today?
#4. Hershel McGriff -- NASCAR Driver at 84
When you think of NASCAR, you automatically think of fast cars, fast drivers and Danica Patrick in a bikini soaping up her stock car.
This is a legitimate sport that deserves our attention and respect.
You don't tend to think at all of senior citizens. Since the track is reserved for those who want to go really, really fast, NASCAR racing requires a careful combination of speed and safety. So in a time when the fastest speed many seniors drive is however quick their Rascal scooters can go, NASCAR racer Hershel McGriff cuts a different image.
"I don't know if it's possible to outrun death, but someone's gotta try, dammit!"
The average age of your typical NASCAR winner is about 33. McGriff is 84. Having kicked off his racing career in 1945, during the pioneer days of stock car racing, he's raced on and off in the nearly 70 years since. And what have you accomplished today, again?
McGriff raced for NASCAR in 1954 and finished the year off with four wins under his belt. In 1967, after more than 10 years off, McGriff returned to the track. At 40 years old, he decided to show the younger crowd how it was done by finishing in first place after starting in the 41st position.
He hasn't quite mastered the smash-through-the-side-window-feet-first trick yet.
And he wasn't done yet. In 1989, McGriff snagged the record of oldest driver to win a NASCAR race at the ripe old age of 61. In 2002, he was the oldest NASCAR driver on record ... a feat that was only broken seven years later, when McGriff got back behind the wheel at age 81 and finished at a very respectable 13th, shattering his previous record when most people his age are shattering their hips.
And guess what? As of this past summer, McGriff is still freaking racing. At 84 years old, he's surpassed every old driver you've been stuck behind on your way to work, and still places in the top 15 in his races. With no plans to quit anytime in the near future, he's secured his place as the old guy who makes your driving look slow.
Eat my Metamucil, d-bags.