We hope you will enjoy this vintage Sy Rosen “Funny Side of Life” column from 2005
I’m turning into one of those curmudgeons who grumbles at cell phones, vegans, Feng Shui, and people who use the term “multi-task.”
I think what’s happening is that as I’m getting older. I’m not being taken as seriously as I used to, and it puts me into this generally irritated state.
Waitresses call me “hon” or “dear” and flirt with me because they know I’m completely harmless. And arrogant younger guys at work start rolling their eyes even before I finish pitching my idea.
Luckily, I’ve recently joined a secret society of seniors who release their tensions by striking out against the prejudices and condescension that come with getting older. Our goal: To scare the heck out of the younger generation. We play into their stereotypes so that they become terrified of what they think will happen to them when they get older.
The first thing that the secret society of seniors did was start the dreaded “shrinking” rumor. Now we all attend special classes to learn how to slump. That way, we look like we’re losing about an inch and a half a year.
And we don’t stop at slumping. We take our cars to a special auto body shop where they lower our front seats so it looks like we can barely see over the dashboard. Men
and women in their thirties and forties are petrified that this will eventually be their fate.
Next comes our wardrobe and we try to shop at Ed’s Loud Clothing Store. Our perfect outfit is a striped shirt and plaid pants set off by a white belt and shoes, and accessorized by oversized eyeglasses and a small cap. If we hear a younger guy whisper to his wife in a terrified voice, “Shoot me when I start looking like that,” we consider it a job well done.
We also have guest lecturers who give us special rambling lessons. Our goal is to speak breathlessly for six straight minutes on any topic while throwing in a few sporadic medical ailments and lamenting the fact that we can no longer eat corn. This, of course, advances the stereotype that we’re lonely and just waiting to pounce on some unsuspecting person and talk to them for hours. We have built secret underwater tanks across the country that we use to increase our lung capacity.
We also grumble that there’s been no good music since Glenn Miller and no real movie stars since Clark Gable and Gary Cooper. We pretend that the only political issue we’re interested in is social security, that movies and TV have gotten too dirty to watch, and our main topics of conversation are golf, bocci ball, and bowel movements.
Once a week we get together and meet (I’d like to tell you where, but I’ve been sworn to secrecy). Over chips and salsa and corn we talk about world events. We then dance current music and argue about who is the best hip-hop artist. Then it’s on to the serious business of discussing new ways to scare the young – right now we’re working on the hip replacement rumor.