“Old” used to refer to people who were past eighty years of age. “Look at that old man,” we’d say when spying Mr. Milazzo walking his filthy dog in McKinley Park. Or, “did you see that old woman coming back from Communion? Her slip fell down.” You KNEW these people were past eighty.
No more. Regardless of all the Viagra and the supplements and the creams, old officially kicks in at age 50 when you receive the first incriminating invitation from AARP: “No wthat all your organs are disintegrating, join us and we’ll send you a card entitling you to discounts at buffets all over Florida.”
Another very telling sign of OLD is the appearance of the First Street Catalog in the mailbox. “First Street– for Boomers and Beyond” offers up a range of items which promise to make your life less decrepit. After all, now that you’re fifty, you can expect everything to start breaking down.
Look at this thing. It’s called an Amplified Phone. All those strange buttons guarantee that you’ll now be able to suffer through calls and not miss a syllable of the scintillating conversation coming from the earpiece. “Did you hear about Madge’s warts? They’ve gone… she just woke up one morning and they were GONE! Yes, she checked under her pillow…” Good idea, but putting so many controls in the hands of anyone over fifty is asking for trouble; the wrong combination of buttons could send nuclear warheads speeding toward Russia, and then where would everybody get his vodka?
Here’s an Atomic Wall Clock, accurate to within a hair’s breadth of time. This wall clock calibrates itself to the world’s most accurate clock every night by receiving WWVB radio transmissions. These transmissions contain time information from the U.S. atomic clock source near Boulder, Colorado. Thank God! We wouldn’t want to be anything but first in line at the drugstore when it opens, or late for the Senior Stretch and Retch up at the YMCA.
The LED Screwdriver helps you screw things into other things without causing undue slippage and damage to yourself or others. Frankly, I don’t know any senior citizens who get involved in this sort of thing; they call someone in. Isn’t that what other people are for? This tool is versatile, I must admit. You can do anything from screwing bolts back into the Verrazano Bridge to replacing screws in your eyeglasses.
This is the Keys U See giant keyboard. It gives the impression that the keys are larger, but that’s an illusion; the type is actually larger. I must admit that I would appreciate something like this, because I can no longer tell the difference between the three enclosure styles: parentheses, brackets, and those squiggly brackety things. Errors along those lines do not make for proper scholarship!
Ladies and gentlemen, please be seated! Here is a safer Toilet Seat for the large framed – and anyone wanting roomy comfort and added seat height! I think people spend too much time in the bathroom as it is; why should it be made more comfortable? The whole point is you go in, you go, and then out. Why linger? You could be in the living room staring at your atomic clock! And what if you’re afraid of heights and unable to come down once perched? You could be sitting there for days before anyone missed you.
Here is a collection of every National Geographic ever printed, stored handily on CDs– now you can finally get the paper originals out of the garage! Gentlemen– relive those tense little adolescent episodes behind the garage when you gazed longingly at tribal lassies wearing nothing even so modest as a coconut bra … ladies, thrill to the advertisements for cumbersome appliances (in Aqua and Pink) which were guaranteed to make your life easier but actually only succeeded in forcing you to spend more time with your dishwasher and less time with your children! There’s nothing like having the past 100 years come rushing back at you like a speeding train going backward…
The Sonic Boom Analog Alarm with Bed Shaker– seriously– insures that you’ll never miss an early appointment at the chiropodist. Its insistent, screeching alarm and vibrating temblors will have you out of your bed in a jiffy. That, or you’ll think it’s Pearl Harbor all over again.
Ha ha ha ha ha ! Here’s the famous Jitterbug phone, which now comes in three colors. Its shoehorn-like design guarantees that it will never slip from your hand while calling your– Hey, wait a minute. I own a Jitterbug– in red! (So I don’t lose it.) And it’s got giant numbers that you can actually SEE. And nobody can text you on it unless you sign up for a special plan. And I also own the Zzz Animal, an artificial, sleeping Golden Retriever companion puppy that breathes thanks to two D-batteries… and a special machine that transfers all my precious music from cassette tapes to discs… and San Antonio comfort shoes (and sneakers!) that actually fit… and a little blue plastic box that has seven little sections holding my daily tablets… and a special desk lamp that’s easy on the eyes…