Sunday, June 17, 2012

No Country for Old Hippies

Carpe diem, carpe diem
Carpe diem, carpe diem
Well it’s an old cliche
Yes, it’s an old cliche
But you better make your love today
Death is a’coming in - from 'Carpe Diem', Tuli Kupferberg (The Fugs) 1965

I did a double take. I was crossing 42nd Street, having just emerged from the Second Avenue bus and a daydream.

The daydream was about the reaction to my last week's post, Rated Oh! for Old People. People had emailed me, berating me for writing about being old.

Yes they were right, I mused. Think young.
And then I saw it. A huge poster. You can see it here  above left. A poster proclaiming loudly and boldly, "Get Old".

Had I entered the Twilight Zone? Twilight years, more likely. Walking west down 42nd I saw even more posters telling us New Yorkers to "Get Old".

Some of the posters had little word-bites, meant to be encouraging. Such as, "Live longer. Live Better". And "Live long enough to see them make the same mistakes".

On and on they went, poster upon poster. Encouraging us to teach our children, to think "I told you so", but all with the same tag line, "Get Old".

"Who was putting these out?" I wondered. And then I saw in small print at the bottom of the posters. "Pfizer". I googled "Pfizer Get Old" when I got home, only to discover that Pfizer has applied for a TRADEMARK on  "Get Old". Milking the baby boomer generation for all they can get!
So much for getting the getting-old idea out of my head!

Which reminds me - I thought of another worst thing about getting old. People calling me "dear". Or even worse, "sweetie". When did this horrible thing start happening? Is is purely an American thing? Lots of people use these "terms of endearament" when addressing me.  People I know. People I've never met before.  Friends. Bank tellers. Waiters.

I have decided to counter-attack. Anyone calling me "dear" or "sweetie" gets it straight back. Let's see how THEY like it!

And so to Sunday. Father's Day here in America. I decided to go back to my favorite brunch restaurant. I was dreading it, fearing I'd see the waiter who had thought I was dead (Rated Oh! for Old People). But I decided to be brave ad venture out.  Then, oh no, I got another getting-old reminder. Second Avenue was full of old men. It should be Grandfather's Day. Old hippie men. They were everywhere. Long gray hair. Jeans. Generation X-ers in tow.
From my table at Zebu's - Father's Day 2012
All that was missing was the beads. Was that marijuana that I could smell above the pollution of the Second Avenue subway construction?

At the restaurant I took a table near the door, all the better to observe my generation on the sidewalk opposite.

The waiter-who-thought-I-was dead wasn't there. He must only work on Saturdays. And the new one, being VERY young, around ten, didn't call me anything.

Things were looking up! I started reading my new book. "Cain" by José Saramago. I love Saramago's writing. Sentences that span pages. Hardly any paragraphs. "Cain" is Genesis for atheists. It's excellent. So good I had to put it down to savor what I'd read so far.

Over my cappuccino I reflected on life. On Adam and Eve and getting old. On the wonderful Fugs. Carpe Diem. My generation.

Oops. What was I thinking? The words from "My Generation" by The Who came  blasting  their way into  my new-found short-lived moment of tranqulity.

People try to put us d-down (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
Just because we get around (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
Things they do look awful c-c-cold (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
I hope I die before I get old


My generation.

How little did we know!

4 comments:

Boggy said...

Sometimes I think I'm getting inside your head, and most of the time I know I'm not. Are you feeling old?
60 is definitely NOT old. But, keeping in good physical condition can be a real boor. Boring but necessary.
I too am pi*sed when young people probably in their forties and fifties call me 'dear.' They get it right back in their face. Another restaurant peeve I have; "Are you guys still working on this?" I'm not 'guys', I'm sir, my wife is ma'am.
Hmmmm, maybe I'm getting old and grumpy after all.

Lesley said...

Hello again, Kate. Lesley. We'll stick to proper names from now on I think.

Here's our response to the Pfizer Ads "Get Old" Posters. It's a song.
Van heard it and said "Oh well you've got to tell Kate about this!"
so here we are. And there we are.

Much Love, ~Lesley

"Pfizer Makes You Old; They Said So" by BEATLESEX
http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=11722391

Lesley said...

PS... that song link isn't becoming a link all by itself like it's supposed to.
You can however simply click my name, and that'll take you
to the BEATLESEX Site where the song is. ; )

~L

Anonymous said...

Pfizer wants people to "Get Old" so they can take more drugs thus more profit for Pfizer.

Pfizer is becoming an endangered company due to many of it's brands going generics. This campaign is most likely a way to Suck in people to get them to ask their Dr. to prescribe their Brands.

No Thank You, Pfizer. I can "Get Old" without YOU.

By the way, this company tends to Pfire reps who are 10 years or so away from retirement.

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