When I become elderly, I’m going to be one of the top elderly people around. That’s because I’ve carefully plotted out which hobbies and behaviors I’m going to adopt, what clothes I’m going to wear, and even what crazy unintelligible things I’m going to mutter. When most people become elderly, they don’t have any kind of game plan. They’ve spent decades preparing for retirement financially, but they’re incapable of assuming a proper elderly disposition. I’m going to avoid this trap by adhering to a very specific chronology:
Age 66: It’s time to start bird watching. If I so much as think I hear a tweet, I’m going to drop what I’m doing and find the corresponding bird, and then I’m going to stand around watching him until dark. I’ll even have a little notebook to keep track of the birds I’ve seen, a list which is going to become gradually more improbable as I descend into senility. I will claim to have spotted extremely rare birds, then birds which are extinct, then fictional species from my favorite movies, then some dinosaurs, and then finally varieties of birds which exist only in my imagination.
Age 70: On my 70th birthday, I’m going to take up bridge in a big way. It’s a complex game, but what the other elderly people around me won’t realize is that I’ll have been secretly reading up on bridge since I was like 40. I’m going to waltz over to the card table and me and my partner are going to absolutely demolish everyone while employing an insane amount of trash talk.
Age 78: You won’t believe how ornate my cane is going to be. It’ll be bejeweled, obviously, and shaped like a dragon’s head at the handle. But where my cane will really stand out will be its rosewood body, which is going to be carved with amazing battle scenes and secret messages and other cryptic flourishes. There’s also going to be a switchblade that flips out from the bottom which I’ll use to stab my detractors.
Age 82: Now it’s time to begin openly cheating at bridge. Actually, I’m going to begin cheating at everything, including board games, bocce ball, dominos, and even jigsaw puzzles. The best elderly people have elements of connivery in their personalties, because to the elderly, everything is a matter of life and death. Young people don’t understand that society’s unspoken rules don’t apply to elderly people, and neither do traffic ordinances or public intoxication laws.
Age 87: I will officially make the switch from giving out candy on Halloween to giving out handfuls of pennies. Some elderly people make the mistake of giving out pennies when they’re 84 or 85, but I think that’s a bit early. At 87, it’s impossible for others to question this sort of bizarre, erratic behavior.
Age 93: As my mobility becomes limited, I’m going to begin collecting postage stamps—massive shitloads of stamps, probably the biggest collection of all time. What’s ironic is that although the stamp is a symbol of communication, I’m going to have begun secluding myself in the attic of my house (which will be filled to the ceiling with garbage). The binoculars from my bird watching days are now going to be used to spy on my neighbors, who will have begun circulating mythical legends about my personal history—legends I’ve been secretly disseminating over the years. Gradually I will become a pariah, spoken of only in hushed tones, feared by children and adults alike—gradually I will become one of the greatest elderly people of all time.