Attention, all inmates!! The “Pilates for Lifers” class will now hold its annual leotard swap in Cell Block Three!
Not you, Bubba. Put down that Mensa application and wrap your little brain around this. Jane leaves Boston at 6:14 AM Pacific time and travels for nine hours on a train—an old Amtrak with itchy wool seats—speeding 85 mph against a 37 mph wind. At exactly 10:02 Hong Kong time, Ann buys a twelve-pack of Twinkies, sucks the filling out of four and gives the rest to David, who is taller than Jane but older than Ann.
Got that? Okay. So, who had the fling with the blind cabbie in Fresno?
Whew! That merry-go-round describes my research into the possibility of early retirement, with “early” being officially defined as a week prior to one’s 80th birthday. The math wasn’t working in my favor so I trashed my calculator and redid the figures on a new one from Toys R Us. Neon pink. With a musical number pad and Avatar decals. Golly, the numbers started lookin’ pretty good!
Armed to the gills with website printouts, I then skipped into the Social Security Office to seal the deal for real. But, holy McDiddlecakes! My bad. I suspected something was amiss when the clerk rolled her eyes at my math and called her supervisor. Their snickers soon morphed into howls, and by the time I fled the office, the entire staff was writhing on the floor.
Outside, I tried to gather my wits about me. Fat chance, for I don’t keep many on hand. Determined to keep my dignity, however, I egged the office windows and squealed out of the parking lot. That turned a few heads, heh-heh, ’cause I hadn’t driven there at all, but came on foot.
I legged it home, pondering the age-old question, what the hell is wit? And how could I get some? The dictionary lists “humor” as a second meaning, but the primary definition of wit is “intelligent thought.” Aw, man, that doesn’t help me at all! But, of course, you already know that if you’ve ever read the stuff I write.
Many Boomers must keep working because they (a) lost life savings when the markets tanked; or (2) forgot where they buried the coffee can of quarters. For some of us, however, the need to delay retirement is due to a lifetime of making stupid decisions and cavorting aimlessly through “transition” jobs. But, it’s not our fault. We were hatched without the Wit chromosome! So, to all those who have luxuriated in a wit-packed life and can retire early, we extend a hearty, nondenominational blessing: “Well, goooody gumdrops for yooooou!!”
But wait! As genetically wit-deprived citizens, we qualify for a little known federal opportunity. Yes, it’s The Witless Protection Program.
Instead of new identities, the program gives us long overdue respect for muddling through our lives in a blaze of pristine ignorance. If intelligent thought is simply not possible for everyone, then clearly our vacuous condition must be part of Nature’s plan. No more futile striving for success when we can just cover our tracks, literally! Yessir, we are awarded a lifetime supply of sneakers with the tread patterns of a lame turkey. Makes for lively nature walks during hunting season.
And who hasn’t coveted a handicapped parking permit?? Well, stupidity is a handicap! In the Witless Protection Program, we can park our butts anywhere because we have props. Who’s gonna ticket a pickup with a prosthetic leg in the gun rack? Or tow a car with an iron lung jutting through the sunroof??
Sometimes life gives us rainbows and smiles. At other times, it sends rain and cellulite. But, as the ward nurse used to say when she doled out our psych meds, “Swallow this.”
Oh yeah, she also said, “Nothing builds character like swimming upstream in full leather restraints.”