“We revere our senior citizens,” said House Majority Leader Hamlin Slough to a gathering of older people on the Capitol steps. “I myself have two parents.”
His private views are less charitable.
“As any good rancher knows, sometimes you need to weed out the critters who’ve outlived their usefulness,” he tells confidants.
“Those self-centered baby boomers are sucking the Treasury dry. We should be spending the taxpayers’ money on better schools, health care for families, programs to help new businesses. Instead, most of it goes for old people, because that’s where the votes are.
“A lot of my younger constituents are ready to revolt.
“It angers them to see elderly couples hog the highways with expensive RV’s the size of buses when young people can’t even afford proper dental care.
“The generational divide is expanding, the debt is increasing, and greedy geezers are the biggest cause. America’s health care costs are expected to continue soaring as more baby boomers become senior citizens ”
Urged on by Slough and others in Congress, the government has adopted a number of creative measures to slash this outgo of funds.
Dueling among people over 65 has been legalized.
Once people begin collecting Social Security they no longer are required to wear seat belts. Those over 80 are forbidden to do so.
Blood feuds in senior-only communities are being covertly encouraged. Cut-rate government tattoo parlors in senior centers open the way for deadly gang fights. The elderly pick their gang of choice from among such options as “Gray Rebels,” “Ornery Old Farts,” “Wrinkled wrath” and “Aging Avengers.”
On some streets, residents don’t dare wear lime-colored clothing. Two blocks over, orange is forbidden.
On another front, classes for senior citizens on genealogy and ballroom dancing are out. Sword fighting and poison-dart collecting are among the new offerings.
The elderly are being urged to take up solo rock climbing without ropes, relying on their bare hands and a bag of chalk dust.
Fund-raisers for community groups have a new look. No more bingo. Participants pay to participate in “Russian roulette marathons.” The survivor wins a stainless-steel walker.
Online book sellers are rejiggering their algorithms so that seniors are encouraged to buy books such as “Bull-Fighting for Fun and Profit.”
Cruise lines are quickly changing routes for their older passengers. “Exciting war zones” is already a favorite.
A senior-citizen tour company is offering “Active Volcanos on a Shoestring” and “Famous Rope Bridges in the Himalayas.” Another company reports its “Auto Racing in the Alps” is very popular.
On the culinary front, community college classes for adults are pushing such courses as “Twenty tasty dishes using lard” and “Additives are addicting.”
Hobby groups have sprung up encouraging older members to try rattlesnakes as lap-pets, tarantula racing and cobra collecting.
At assisted living facilities across the nation changes are in the works. Many of the residents in years past enjoyed visits by special cats and dogs who would keep them company and provide the close bonds many of the elderly crave. These programs are being expanded to include visits from grizzly bears, mountain lions and wolverines.
The reaction among the younger generations is mixed.
“I don’t like to see Mom and Dad put in such danger,” said Fideua Paella. “The grandkids and I will be sad if something happens to them.”
“Good riddance,” says Pownall Thomas. “I love my parents and grandparents but they’re stealing from people starting out in their careers. It’s just not right.”