by Jim Harris
What does the word “retirement” mean to you? For those of us of a certain age, retirement means entering into a world of forced obsolescence and lingering insecurity. Being old definitely lets the air out of your ego.
Census data show that nearly 60 million baby boomers have recently or will soon turn 65 and become eligible for Social Security and Medicare at the rate of 14,478 per day. To put that it in baby boomer terms, that’s almost one Woodstock Music Festival per month for the next 20 years. That’s a lotta hippies.
The modernized, high-tech Social Security Administration has launched a “Retire Online” media campaign using 1960s’ icons like “Lieutenant Sulu” from Star Trek to promote their online registration service.
I’m warning all of my contemporaries right now, do not fall for the hype. Do NOT register, do NOT retire, don’t grow old, and don’t trust anyone under 45. Why? Because they’re planning to send all of us into outer space — permanently. And it won’t be anything like Star Trek; more like Star Dreck. (By the way, did you know that the economy is still so bad that the entire Star Trek crew is now flying on Southwest Airlines? It’s so bad that Fox News just hired a brunette anchorwoman just to save on bleach.)
At a recent press conference, a reporter asked “Info-Bob,” the White House spokes-robot (a new feature in the media-savvy Obama administration) how the government could have failed to see this “aging of America” crisis coming.
“We did not see it coming,” said Info-Bob, “because we were too busy dealing with the national debt and global warming and several actual wars. Oh wait, we weren’t prepared to cope with those issues either. Oh well. What was your question again?”
The simple fact is that the government simply can’t afford to have millions of old people just hanging around on Earth collecting entitlement money. We seniors are going to have to come up with some solutions on our own if we want to avoid starvation. One suggestion I’d like to make is for the U.S. Postal Service to have elderly Jehovah’s Witnesses deliver the mail. Why not? The Jehovah’s Witnesses are going door-to-door anyway. They might as well bring your mail with them.
Also, Martha Stewart can start a new magazine called “Martha Stewart Living — From Hand to Mouth.” The magazine might have been able to save the life of the elderly man in Conshohocken who was found dead last month with 12 nails in his head. It turns out he had been trying to put together a table from Ikea.
Or how about if we agree to keep working, but without pay? Seems like a logical solution. There are plenty of occupations that don’t require physical or mental acuity: toll collectors, TV news anchors and, of course, all jobs in government. Or maybe security guards. Just give every senior citizen a gun and a comfortable chair underneath a sign that says “Not responsible for accidental shootings,” and watch the crime rate drop.
What’s the worst thing that could happen? You shoot an innocent person and go to jail? For most seniors, jail would be a step UP on the lifestyle ladder. Pennsylvania spends an average of $35,697 per year on each prisoner. Now THAT’S social security.
Or maybe, since there are 60 million of us boomers, we could just march into Canada and take over. Their entire population there is only 35 million, plus they have plenty of room AND a great prescription drug plan. Just think, we could create a new country with no fine print, no rap music, no Charlie Sheen and no minimum speed limit. Awesome!
A friend of mine from overseas once told me, “No one wants to grow old in America.” What she meant was that while young folks from other countries often want to emigrate here, their elders, who are well-respected in their own societies, do not. This is no country for old men. It’s so bad that Donald Trump is demanding to see every old person’s birth certificate.
Once again, we baby boomers stand alone, apart from the establishment, faced with the possibility of having to fend for ourselves. Suffice it to say, we will not go gentle into that good night. Hell no. And by the way, before death, do you get a two-minute warning?