Living Dead Disease

Have you seen the commercial on TV? A guy asks, “Will your money last as long as your retirement?” It’s not always on TV, of course. It comes and goes, somewhat like my confidence in my money’s longevity. The company saturates the airwaves with it when the stock market is going down. Don’t show it when it’s going up.

Why am I not confident? There are so many ways my finances can go south, the really big one being, SOME PEOPLE DON’T QUITE DIE!  What if I get living dead disease, scientific name zombie-itis? It has already spread from the movie screen to the TV screen to Washington, D.C. We’ve got the Night of the Living Dead, The Walking Dead, and as we wait for our politicians to effectively do something about America’s problems, The Elected Living Dead.

Here are some of the things I don’t understand about living dead disease. Can the living dead still draw their pensions? How about social security? Play the stock market? Get a part-time job greeting customers at Walmart?  Sarah Palin claims that under Obama, L.D.’s (living deads) got Medicare, but I’ve never seen one on a Hoveround. How about senior discounts? Seems to me that some victims of living dead disease are too young to qualify, but you have to look fast. Their faces keep sliding off.

“Will your money last as long as your retirement?” One big drain on retirement funds is travel. It’s expected.  “See the USA in your Chevrolet, America is asking you to call.” If you’re old enough to have seen Dinah Shore sing this song, you have an obligation to travel. But my money for sure won’t outlast my retirement if I travel as much as the living dead. They’re like turnips, they turn up everywhere. And how do they get there? They deadhead, I suppose, in semis. (Vehicles that are semi alive, semi dead.)

Less costly for retirees than travel is volunteering, which is also expected. I serve as a counselor at the Funny How Time Slips Away Senior Citizen Center. Like me, many seniors there are deathly afraid of contracting living dead disease. They often have questions about how they should interact with L.D.’s on the street or in a hallway.

I tell them to always give the living dead a hug. I mean, why do zombies, whatever else you call them, stagger around with their arms out like they need a hug if they don’t need one? Some people are afraid L.D.’s will try to eat their brains. I tell them that’s just an old, mindless wives tale. Nowadays you get zombie-itis like you get other infections by simply going into the hospital for a minor surgical procedure.

Several people at the Senior Center are also anxious about Justin Bieber, who, they think, does not belong here.  They want him sent back to Canada before Trump builds a wall to keep the rest of the Canucks out. It upsets them that Canadians like Bieber sneak into America and take jobs from American singers, actors, broadcasters, and actuaries. They fear that if there’s a wall, he’ll be grandfathered in.

I can usually bring them out of their depression when I point out that Justin Bieber rhymes with “Just a Weiner”. Then we sing the old jingle, “Oh, I wish I was an Oscar Mayer Bieber, that is what I’d truly like to be, cause if I were an Oscar Mayer Bieber, everyone would take a bite of me.” (Some of them add, “Bite me, Justin!” but it’s not part of the jingle.)

Others I counsel have concerns about how they look – wrinkled, jowly, saggy, the whole list of hard-body antonyms.  I tell them to look in the mirror and say, “Hey, I still look a lot better than a living dead head shot!” And then I make them take the pledge. “I will not spend the rest of my 401-k on that face-lift procedure advertised every five minutes on TV. Otherwise, I’ll have to sign up for the next  dumpster-diving senior picnic outing.”

One fellow said to me the other day, “It’s funny how we escaped Mad Cow disease only to have to worry about living dead disease.” He’s right. It is funny how time slips away.

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