Monday, March 11, 2013

They're Old And They Don't Care

I return from our annual sojurn to my parent's place in Florida and the tours of the retirement communities with a new motto for those of Medicare age: "They're old and they don't care".

In some ways, this way of living is cute and fun.  Take for instance, watching a 90-something, little old lady dance the night away--okay, the early evening away--rocking out to every song played by a 50's and 60's cover band.  She's having fun, she's staying active, and she don't give a rat's behind if you think it looks goofy.

Sometimes that attitude can be annoying.  Like when one of them butts ahead of you in line at the gift shop.  Or when you've been waiting for five minutes at the counter in the bakery and when the worker asks "Who's next?" the older woman who walked in ten seconds ago just start yelling out her order.  Or when you're playing as a single on a very nice golf course and the two foursomes of younger guys on their buddies trip have let you play through but the foursome of oldsters who can barely walk from their carts to the greens REFUSE TO LET YOU PLAY THROUGH, EVEN THOUGH THERE ARE FOUR HOLES OPEN AHEAD OF THEM--and you keep rolling your drives right up behind them on every hole for TEN HOLES!!  And on a couple of holes you actually reach the back tee boxes before they get off the ladies!!!

And then there are times being oblivious to the rest of world is downright dangerous.  Like the retirement community residents who insist on driving in the very center of two lane roads--even when on-coming traffic is forced to veer into front yards to avoid collisions.  Or when they blow right through stops signs at intersections at five miles an hour in their personalized golf carts--forcing you to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting them with your rental car.  Or when the old fart in the supermarket literally forced my wife to run for her life when he started backing out of his parking spot without looking and continued to back out with her just inches from the back bumper yelling at him to stop and look (plus countless profanities).  Or when the old guy nearly ran over a shopper leaving the same store a few minutes later in the marked crosswalk.

(All of these experiences reminded me of one of my favorite episodes of "South Park" Gray Dawn where the residents of South Park try to take away the drivers licenses of all the old people following a rash of fatal crashes related to old drivers and the AARP sends in their army to place the city under seige).

After witnessing all of these incidents, my wife would always ask: "Why did they do that?"  and my reply would always be the same: "Because they are old and they don't care".  Ironically, it's the same answer I've been giving for years when asked about why there has been such opposition to plans to fix the solvency issues facing Medicare and Social Security.

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