News reports from Azerbaijan claim to have discovered the country’s oldest living resident: 126 year-old Kableyinovruzali Aslanova*. If true, it would also make her the world’s oldest person. [Sorry for the hotlink, but it's the only known photograph.]
Not so fast, says the official record-holder, 114 year-old Gertrude Baines of Los Angeles. Ms. Baines recently learned of the honor after nurses awoke her from a day-long nap to tell her that 115-year-old Maria de Jesus of Portugal was dead. (By the way, who wants to be awoken from a nap to be congratulated on someone’s death?)
But here’s where the problems begin.
Apparently, the Gerontology Research Group, a group that cares deeply about these things, has verified only 90 supercentenarians in the world (people 110 years or older).
Eternal Remont's own team of crack researchers (err, the intern) has confirmed that Kableyinovruzali Aslanova is definitely not on this list. In fact, our beloved region can not boast a single supercentenarian. The closest we can find is 110 year-old Theresia Staffler-Breitenberger, born in the Austria-Hungary Empire on November 15, 1898.
However, if the Azeri reports are true, then 126 year-old Kableyinovruzali Aslanova would make 114 year-old Gertrude Baines look like a relative youngster, since she was born after invention of the fountain pen, the machine gun, and Coca Cola.
Nevertheless, a closer look at Gerontology Research Group’s data shows a clear bias in favor of countries which are known for obsessive, nit-picky record keeping, and do not have a history of revolutions, civil unrest, fur hats, comet strikes, and Gulags. Not that it matters, Kableyinovruzali is taking a nap anyway.
*Gulus Kalbeynovruzali gizi Aslanova, her full name, thanks to readers.