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So Many Seniors, So Few Restrooms

September 27, 2002|JIM SHEA | HARTFORD COURANT

Life expectancy just hit a new high--76.9 years. This may seem like good news. It's not.

It is actually rather disturbing news, because it means the baby boomers now boogalooing toward golden oldie-hood are going to be hanging out even longer once they get there. And this geriatric logjam is going to alter the culture in truly alarming ways:

Cars: The average vehicle will be larger than anything on the road today. It will have a top speed of 35 mph for interstate driving, power everything and a heater capable of producing subtropical temperatures.

Communication: It will be much noisier, and not only because of the number of people talking to themselves. Hearing aids will still make better dog whistles than listening devices, so shouting, usually over a blaring television, will be how people converse.

Restrooms: There will be many, many more restrooms. In fact, the need for restrooms will be so great that restrooms will contain restrooms to accommodate people waiting to use the restroom.

Home design: To cut down on middle-of-the-night traffic, bedrooms will be located in bathrooms.

Meals: They will be served promptly at 4 o'clock--in the morning and afternoon.

Food: It will be fast, soft and bodily functional.

Dating: Such considerations as looks, personality, wealth and fame will remain important, but the most coveted quality in a potential paramour will be the ability to drive at night.

Fashion: Think jeans and leather jackets with matching white shoes and belts. Spandex will still be in, only to wear it in public, you will have to pass tests. Also, wearing a cap backward past a certain age will be a felony.

Parties: They will begin early and go on until the break of dark.

Naps: Naps will be known by a new name--happy hour.

Television: Medical shows will be huge, particularly ones in which celebrities talk about their recent surgeries.

Telemarketers: No-call lists will remain in force, only now telemarketers will be the ones seeking to be left alone by relentless seniors with time on their hands and getting even in their hearts.

Music: We will not rock as much as we will shake, rattle and be rolled. Dylan, Aerosmith and the Stones will still be touring, of course, and for the first time, Keith Richards will look no worse than anyone else.

Sex: It will not be extinct, but its frequency might best be summed up in the following joke:

"Want to go upstairs and have sex?"

"Sorry, but I can't do both."

*

Jim Shea is a columnist for the Courant, a Tribune company.

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