Opinion: The early bird catches the chicken fingers special

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As I reported when I turned 50, AARP slipped my membership kit under my front door at the stroke of midnight. I hadn’t thought much about getting old until I bent over to pick up the brochure from the floor and couldn’t get my spine to straighten back up.

Those AARP folks know how to make their point, printing the brochure in tiny type. Research shows that the farther you have to hold the paper from your eyes to read it, the more likely you are to join their organization.

I turn 75 in March. I remember at my 30th birthday party someone gave me a wooden cane with a horn on it. Yes, that was very funny at the time. Ha ha. I wish I hadn’t thrown it away. It would come in very handy now.

I went into a gift store the other day to look for birthday cards specifically for people of my vintage. I have several friends from college and high school who will be turning 75 in 2022. Sadly, there were more turning 70 five years ago, if you get my drift.

I found no cards for 75th birthdays. I guess 75 doesn’t mean you are about to pass a milestone — a kidney stone, maybe, but that’s about it. Now, if you are having a 75th wedding anniversary, you have it made. You’re golden. Literally.

The closest the writers at Hallmark have come to recognizing this landmark age are cards that say, “Happy Birthday, Grandpa.” I’d be overjoyed to get a card like that someday. I have to talk to my son about making this happen. I can’t do it alone.

And while I’m griping like a surly old man, here’s another thing that bugs me: No one has officially decided when seniority begins. They raise or lower the bar all the time, and quite frankly, I’m in no position to grab onto moving bars. Businesses used to offer discounts for those 65 and over, then it was 60. Then 55, and 50. Instead of lowering the age of eligibility, they should institute a super-senior discount for folks over 75. I’d get in line for that — once I find another cane with a horn.

By the way, please don’t give me that malarkey, “You’re only as old as you feel.” If that were true, MCL’s early bird special would apply at any age, as long as you’ll eat dinner at 3:15 in the afternoon.

To our loyal customers: Please jot down how young you feel, and we will adjust the dinner price accordingly for our special.

  • Feel like 50? $7.95
  • Feel like 60? $6.95
  • Feel like 70? $5.95
  • Feel like a teenager: $24.95

As for me, I feel like a kid again. I’ll take the chicken fingers for $2.95.


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