Old people are cool. They have to be cool, because aging is not for wimps, especially for those who are determined to overcome the effects of time. That requires intelligence, guts, determination and nerve.
Have you ever seen that Twilight Zone episode about the elderly man in a retirement home who gets some of his fellow inmates to go out one night with him and play Kick the Can? The game turns all of them into children again, and the one old geezer who refused to join the game is left behind, the message being that he screwed up his chance, so nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah!
This is one of my favorite episodes, because it reinforces my theory: in order to stay young, don’t act your age.
To test this idea, I have formulated a questionnaire to be filled out and submitted by everyone over the age of 60 who happens to read this. Here it is.
(1) It is 7:00 AM on a Saturday. What are you doing?
a. Gracious me! The morning is half over. Time flies when you’re busy.
b. Just getting up
d. Sleeping with my spouse
e. Sleeping contentedly after a night of incredible sex
f. Just getting home
(2) You are at Coney Island. What do you do?
a. I don’t go to amusement parks. Too many kids.
b. Walk around and complain that all the games are rigged
c. Ride the bumper cars
d. Ride the Ferris wheel and rock the car when it stops on top
e. Stand on the ground and watch the Cyclone
f. Ride the Cyclone. If you get a heart attack and die, you’ll die happy.
(3) What are your plans for the future?
a. I have a future at my age?
b. To get a nice funeral and be buried in the right place
c. To join the Bridge Club at the Senior Center and whup some ass
d. To learn how to use an iPhone
e. To join the Red Hat Society
f. To write a novel that will win a Pulitzer and the Nobel Prize
(4) You have arthritic knees, a sore back and cataracts. What do you do?
a. Rub Ben Gay on yourself, put on some ugly flannel pajamas, grumble about getting old, wrap yourself in a shawl and watch reality shows on TV
b. Walk slowly and complain
c. Walk slowly and act like a silent martyr
d. Laugh at the pain, take some painkiller, put on your eyeglasses and walk to the corner store for groceries
e. Laugh at the pain, take some painkiller, put on your eyeglasses and jog in the park
f. Laugh at the pain, take some painkiller, put on your eyeglasses and take a Dirty Dancing class
(5) It’s two weeks before Christmas, and you haven’t sent out your Christmas cards yet. What do you do?
a. Sit down with your list, hand write every card and every envelope, seal them, put postage stamps on them, put them in a box and bring them to the Post Office
b. Cut your list down to friends, family and the staff at the Senior Center, hand write every card and every envelope, seal them, put postage stamps on them, and bring them to the Post Office
c. Have Walgreens make up some special Christmas postcards with your picture and name on them, so that the only things you have to hand write are the addresses
d. Have Walgreens make up some special Christmas postcards with your picture and name on them, and have a mailing service do the addressing and mailing for you.
e. Cut your list down to 10 people you actually care about, design your own homemade cards on your computer, print them out yourself, address them, stamp them and mail them
f. Send e-cards to everyone on your email address list and forget about everyone else
Each “a” answer earns you a big, fat zero. A “b” answer earns one point; a “c” earns two points; a “d” earns three points; an “e” earns four points and an “f” earns five points.
0-5: You’re a hopeless old fogey.
6-10: You’re still an old fogey, but not as bad
11-15: You’re not completely hopeless
16-20: Congratulations. You’re getting there.
21-25: You are swimming in the Fountain of Youth!