OPERATION SPACE CAMP
FINAL SOLUTION TO THE 'SENIOR PROBLEM'
Originally written in 2000, now back by popular demand spurred by Christopher Buckley’s new book, Boomsday, which tells the story of when the Social Security crisis peaks and senior suicides are encouraged by government.
|By Frank Kaiser|
We have way too many seniors.
Just ask our government's economic planners. They see us as wrinkly things positioned in their PowerPoint presentations somewhere between leeches and slugs. We're skinflint consumers unwilling to contribute to the Gross National Product in any meaningful way Worse, we’re pushing the Social Security System to its limits by not croaking soon enough.
You hear how Social Security is "strained," in danger of collapsing in 30 years or so.
It's all our fault. We're living too long.
When the system was initiated back in the '30s, few lived beyond age 65. So the government, in all its beneficence, made that the age where the program kicked in.
Washington economists saw it as just another hidden tax.
But a funny thing happened on the way to now. Seniors got healthier. We lived longer. To 80, 90, even 100! Today there are 35 million of us above the age of 65.
It's driving those economists nuts.
First, they considered just "disappearing" us, one at a time. "Who'd notice?" asked a statistical manager at Commerce. "No one actually sees old farts."
The plan called for the constructive use of some of the two million Americans in prisons, shamelessly sponging off taxpayers. Much as they now walk along road shoulders picking up trash, convicts would walk along the edge of sidewalks mugging seniors, then tossing them into large trucks for disposal. It was a natural.
But before the project could become an "action item" on the President's agenda, a clerk discovered that seniors control 55 percent of the discretionary spending in our economy. We own 77 percent of the U.S. assets and 80 percent of all U.S. savings.
That changed everything!
Since a big part of the government's job is to strip its citizens of their property and money in any manner possible, big guns were called in. A strategy was needed.
Four months later, Operation Space Camp was born.
Funded by the $60-billion appropriated for the anti-missile missile program to protect us from an expected Tasmanian Aborigine missile and cannibalism attack, NASA secretly built a huge space station capable of holding millions of elders.
Run by private defense contractors and marketed by world-class ad agencies, seniors were sold on the idea of a Shangri-la in the sky, where less gravity slows aging, and where 80-year-old women can look 20 again, and where Viagra grows on tree.
Heavenly Sent Space Station
Visit the "Heavenly Space Station," they hawked. And all it cost was everything you owned.
The plan, which later was acclaimed by the Wall Street Journal as "The Idea of the Century," allowed Lockheed, Halliburton, Blackwater, and the others to operate unregulated. With no laws, no extradition or accountability, and no government control whatsoever, private industry did what it does best: maximize profit.
Remember the movie Soylent Green?
Of course you do. Who could forget the recycling of humans into food faster than you can say "Big Mac"?
If you thought that was efficient, you should see this operation work in a low-gravity environment. Lockheed now claims that they can produce enough to feed the entire world. Of course, it won't happen. With all those foul-smelling poor countries, where's the profit? But they could if they wanted to. Big business is wonderful that way.
Anyway, consider yourself warned.
Next time you see ads with sky-blue promises of new youth coupled with cheap appeals to your patriotism, hold on to your wallet and anchor yourself to the ground.
Remember, it's your time-honored duty to stick around and make the world around you miserable in the tradition of old coots everywhere.
Suddenly Trivia: Who starred in the now classic movie "Soylent Green"? a) Sydney Greenstreet, b) Maureen O'Hara, c) Charlton Heston.
Suddenly Trivia Answer: c) Charlton Heston. Remember Edward G. Robinson's death scene? It was the last film the great actor would make, and even today, it remains haunting.
Copyright © 2000 Frank Kaiser
Care to comment on this week's Suddenly Senior? Write to Frank at email@example.com
WHERE ARE YOU GOING THIS YEAR?
Today's China is the safest, friendliest, and most fascinating country you can visit this year. Frank and Carolyn just returned from what Frank calls their "Spoiled Rotten in China" tour.
Our love affair with China, seen through Carolyn’s sharp eyes. Great tips on how to fit in, photograph, and generally charm any country, anywhere.
My wife, Carolyn, and I are three miles up 15,000 feet falling, tumbling, soaring through space at 174 feet per second, 120 mph or "terminal velocity." Read why two old goats jumped from a perfectly good airplane.
If you ever want to get away from it all, and return to the friendlier world you knew as a kid, I suggest that you visit or retire to Florida's Madison County. Its comfort and ease is akin to that first deep breath you take as you step off a jet following a particularly harrowing flight.
All about how to reinvent yourself. Again. Maybe through a hot-air balloon flight. Retirement is about being what and who you want. Fresh starts without fear.
VACATION COMING UP? ACCORDING TO GOOGLE, SUDDENLY SENIOR’S TRAVEL PAGE IS AMONG THE MOST POPULAR AMONG US GEEZERS. SEE WHY HERE!
THIS WEEK'S BEST SENIOR CARTOON
THIS WEEK'S BEST 222 SENIOR SITES
HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND, EVERYONE!