Most of us are frightened of old people, of what they represent, of what they remind us. Illness. Decay. Death. Dinner at 4 p.m. We’re so blinded by our fear and by the negative stigmas associated with old age, we fail to see the unique and compelling benefits of achieving octogenarian status.
I’m not talking about discounted movie tickets or other little AARP perks. I’m talking about the less obvious though far more alluring boons that are available to only those with 80 or more birthdays behind them.
So while it’s kind of cool to currently be able to move without a cane or a cart and to urinate whenever I want to without a break in the flow, I don’t think such things can really compare to the truly splendid gifts that await me four decades down the road.
1. No accountability for forgetfulness. When I’m 80, friends and family members will no longer get upset with me for failing to remember birthdays and anniversaries or to respond to voicemail or bar mitzvah invitations. There’ll be no more accusations that I’m a self-centered prick who never listens and who’s destroying his memory with alcohol and drugs. Instead, I’ll be surrounded by people who’ll pity me for my naturally aging brain and who’ll go out of their way to help me remember to keep my freezer stocked with vodka.
2. Fewer expectations to be rational. These days whenever I take my pants off at a party and begin freestyle rapping, or whenever I bite myself after the Yankees fail with runners in scoring position, people glare at me with derision and disgust. Once I hit 80, such behavior will not only be tolerated, but often commended — especially the rapping.
3. Higher chance of dying during sex. Who doesn’t want to go out on top — or even on bottom? Dying during sex is the stuff of legend, but it isn’t likely to happen to you in your prime unless you suffer from a chronic heart condition or forget your safety word. However, once 80 rolls around, there’s roughly a 95% chance you’ll perish while having intercourse of any kind, even missionary style while listening to A Prairie Home Companion.
4. Ease of obtaining medical marijuana. Fortunately I come from a long line of people who develop glaucoma, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s in their twilight years. The chances of me suffering from one or more of said maladies is very high — which is exactly what I will be after my doctor sets me up with a medical marijuana card to help treat such conditions. Just in case I’m unlucky enough to remain in perfect health well into retirement and beyond, I’ve already started practicing how to mimic the symptoms needed to score some prime prescription moocah.
5. Little fear or risk of getting my ass kicked. The number of idiots in the world who deserve to be slugged has always frustrated me — almost as much as my fear of having my face rearranged were I to ever act on my impulse to initiate said slugging. But once I’m 80, not only will my face already be ruined, who’s going to hit an old guy? My wrinkled skin and atrophied muscles will give me the freedom to confront and verbally eviscerate miscreants in full public view. I can already feel the strong sense of satisfaction and (partially) hear the cheering crowds as I use my cane to pummel racists, homophobes, bullies, people who text while driving, Hummer owners, and waiters who refuse to seat me for dinner before 5 pm.