We are taking advantage of getting old

Some negative people think that getting old is something to be feared but there are advantages when you pass the 75-year mark.

It’s like a period of “no fault” because no matter how much you screw up all you need to say is “I’m old!” Which is a good thing because as you get older you are inclined to do more foolish things — like buying a 30-year term insurance policy because it is renewable, sending letters without stamps so when they come back you feel like you’re getting mail, demanding a 25-year warranty for the new blender, or buying a 10-year lease on a spot in the cemetery.

When you check out DVDs at the library, if you are over 75 they want them back tomorrow. Otherwise you get seven days.

Another thing: old people like to talk. You quickly learn that compulsive talkers have nothing to say but they keep saying it anyway. Some of them have had no new experiences in the last 20 years so they talk about their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. It’s like a breeding contest.

Some recollect their past with vanity plates for their cars. Vanity plates used to be $100 but they cut the price so even people who aren’t vain can afford one.

One of the most common problems for the elderly is the legs. At some point, you must buy a walker to help you stay upright. If you sit down you need a plan to get up. 911 is tired of calls from old people who made no plans and can’t get up. It is important for them to always carry a five-gallon pail.

After the walker they graduate to a motorized wheelchair, most of which can go 30 miles an hour. Under these circumstances, old people knowing their days are numbered, will get one of these and tear through the building as though the devil was hot on their tail – which he may be. For sure, he doesn’t want to be in front.

Now reasonable people have already deprived these folks of the keys to their cars because they are a threat to the community at large. Then, without driver’s training or a license, they get to run up and down the halls at a high speed, jeopardizing everyone in the residence hall.

One elderly type was expounding on the benefits of bringing as many immigrants into the country as possible. He wants to pay off the $31,000,000,000,000 national debt and his share goes down with every immigrant that comes into the country. He doesn’t want to leave the world with a debt he helped create. If he fails in his mission, he plans to leave an IOU for the U.S. Treasury.

He is mystified by the way obituaries are written these days. If he didn’t personally know the departed, he would not recognize the deceased from all of the virtues enumerated in his obituary. Being a well-read man in Scripture, he has been haunted by the 35 references to a Judgment Day in the New Testament.

But then he reads in the obituaries how the departed are now in heaven ahead of him and the Judgment Day has not even been scheduled. So how did the departed beat out the court of justice and get to the head of the line without going to court? On earth, we would think that the departed bribed St. Peter but that can’t happen in the supremest of courts.

On the other hand, if they weren’t given a green card for heaven, where could they be? In a detention center on some faraway planet? That is too hard to comprehend so it is more convenient to say they are temporary immigrants in heaven.

Lloyd Omdahl is a former lieutenant governor of North Dakota and former political science professor at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks.


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