The Right Age To Die

First Published 4-6-09

So my brother and I decided to take my grandpa out to dinner tonight to one of his favorite restaraunts, and our table was seated adjacent to a table with two old couples occupying it. Because it was an occasion, I did not immediately act vulgar to make them leave as I often do. As dinner that night progressed, I was increasingly regretful that I did not. Painfully trying to keep to ourselves, our conversations were frequently cut into by the annoying bleeting of this group of senior citizens, mainly one of the wives. Normally, such things happen and can be brushed aside, but all this old bitch seemed to want to scream about is grocery shopping and church. For over an hour we sat there, with her drawlings beginning on an active comparison of the attendance figures of various worship services she had attended in the Valley, and slowly derailing in the direction of how great Sprouts was and that Fry’s couldn’t compete. It takes a real skill to be able to take something so mundane and talk about it for an hour, the kind of skills only accumulated over a long long period of being a born loser.

This got me thinking… At what point have you lived out your life? When does the law of diminishing returns begin to take hold? At what age do you just become a waste of oxygen? When you stop contributing you become a burden, this becomes especially relevant when you are boring a WWII Navy Veteran, a hardened Marine, and the world’s sexiest man sitting only 10 feet away into contemplating suicide. “But wait”, you might ask, “Are you by association implying that your very own grandfather, who you so thoughtfully took out to dinner, is a waste of space? If he is so, why bother in treating him at all?” The answer is simple: no, because my grandpa is like the real life inspiration for the Bear Jew. You should hear some of his awesome war stories. To drive home the point of what I’m trying to say, I will demonstrate through story how the older you get, the more boring you get.

Mick and Larry are lifelong friends. They grew up and grew old together, and have been inseparable since birth. We will examine the kind of adventures Mick and Larry have at various ages, starting at the age of five, when they first met.

Mick is playing in the mud at daycare. Larry waddles up to him and they begin to play in the mud together. They notice the striking resemblance that mud bears to human feces and begin to throw mud at each other. It is the start of something stronger then friendship.

Age 10: Mick And Larry are in Elementary School together, and have grown close in the five years since they met. During PE one day, they play dodge ball. Larry chucks a ball at Mick. “Oh no you don’t!” Mick proclaims as he ducks out of the way. The ball meant for Mick sails through the air and knocks poor Evan, the class nerd in the face. As his glasses fall from his head and shatter, fresh blood spouts from his nose and he begins to cry. Mick and Larry both enjoy the sight of the resident loser crying as he bleeds all over his gym shirt.

Age 14: Mick and Larry are enjoying summer vacation between 8th and 9th grade. Around the end of last year, the two boys discovered the recreational side of marijuana. Having just picked up a nickel bag, they light up and enjoy. Mick it taking very large hits and Larry, between coughing bouts, tells him to save some for him and to grab some snacks.

Age 18: Mick and Larry are seniors in High School. Mick has become quite the accomplished stoner, and Larry has a tendency to get excessively drunk and fuck anything he can. Well into the night, Larry’s kegger is in full swing…

Age 23: Both now legal age, Mick and Larry frequent the city’s nightlife on an endless quest for drunken hookups. Driving home drunk is the least of their worries when the condom Mick wears one night breaks and get a hapless club-goer pregnant. Mick and the girl decide to keep the baby and start a family while Larry, frustrated with school and the job market, joins the Army and goes to war. In the following years, Larry will kill dozens of terrorists and sneak whiskey in on his night patrols. Four years later, Larry’s enlistment is over…

Age 27: Mick changes his name back to Michael to present himself properly for his office job and family. Larry, suffering from PTSD, can barely hold an entry level job, and on a good weekend, he can afford a hooker AND a bottle of booze at the same time. Despite this, they still remain close friends.

Age 36: Larry, after attending numerous AA meetings, has become a Born-Again Christian and has married a woman he met in church as Michael finalizes his divorce and loses custody of his daughter. His job performance is slipping, but at least he is still contributing to society while weathering out the storm of a mid-life crisis.

Age 51: Michael has been able to find love again, but only after finding Jesus. He attends church regularly with Larry, and despite being laid off of his job in the growing recession, still volunteers for the church whenever possible, while his second wife is the primary breadwinner as a secretary at a dentist’s office. Larry is enjoying his life as a school teacher where he has had the privilege of having all seven of his children in his classes.

By the age of 68, both men have retired and sit around their houses doing nothing, as their children have all grown up and moved out. As a biweekly tradition, the two men and their wives go out dinner, where they will ANNOY THE FUCK OUT OF PEOPLE BY TALKING ABOUT BORING SHIT LIKE THEIR LAST PHYSICAL AND GROCERY SHOPPING.

Now the question I pose is this: At what point in that life story did you start to think these dudes were starting to get lame? Whatever point in the story it was was probably the age you should die at. I have just proven that your life’s shittiness level is directly proportionate to how old you are. The older you get, the less you have to look forward to, and the less you have to live for. I once heard some old fuck say that life is better when you get older because you start to see the true value in the little things. I say it is more a matter of perspective. If you are too old and feeble to do cool shit like base jumping or fucking, you have to settle for the next best thing, until you get too old to do that too. It is a downward spiral of getting older and more useless that I wish to have no part of.

And really, who hasn’t had a bad experience dealing with some ignorant old person in public? Either they can’t hear, can’t walk, can’t see, can’t piss, or all four, and somehow they have to make it everyone else’s problem. I don’t give a fuck if you slipped going down the stairs to the mall food court, you should have taken the ramp, and no, I won’t read that price tag for you. Stop driving fifteen miles under the speed limit, as a matter of fact, stop driving at all, before you end up killing someone young enough to still enjoy their life. Quit burdening younger people with all of your stupid bullshit, they have shit to do. That way, you can refuse to ever learn how to use a computer all you want and it won’t be anyone else’s fucking problem.

Eventually, you will get to the point where you are sitting around not doing shit and wasting everyone’s time and precious oxygen. I propose that when your life is no longer worth living, you acknowledge that and do something about it (ie. die) instead of withering away in shame in a nursing home that your shit-eating children have stuck you in because they have better things to do then help your trim your ear hair. If not for yourself, do it for the people around you, that way you won’t inadvertently piss off some guy at a public place enough to cause him to write about how stupid you are. I’d rather die by driving a sports car through someone’s house, drunker than shit, trying to get road head than piss away my last years in a retirement home with a small white dog and box of Depends for company. Life should be like Logan’s Run, where all the old people get euthanized. Better do it sooner rather than later, because before you know it, you’ll be too old to wipe your own ass, let alone correctly plan out your death, unless you just intentionally don’t press your Life Alert button when you’ve fallen and can’t get up.