Bam! You’re ‘Old’.

My older brother turned 50 yesterday, which came as quite a surprise.  He began life just two and a half years before I did, so, somewhere along the way he has acquired some peculiar aging malady.

We’re not going to talk about it; it’s better with these things.

A month before hitting the half century mark, a packet from the AARP landed in his mailbox with a thud, as they say.  That’s the lobbying group that pits old people against young people in Washington and in state capitols.  At 50, they already are recruiting you in the war against your children.

When I joked about my brother’s untimely invitation to join the retirement association with one of my sisters – she’s about to hit 52 – she said what everyone says about the AARP, “That may be funny, but they have great discounts.”

That, in a nutshell, is how they get you.  With “great discounts.”

It starts with $5 off at Denny’s and ends with you being wheeled in, drooling, to a Congressional subcommittee hearing by a slick-haired lobbyist: “How can you say ‘no’ to this poor slavering coot, congressman?”

And how can you say no to AARP membership? For only $16 a year – and your reliable votes – you can get discounts on just about anything – vacations, prescription drugs, insurance, books, groceries, car rentals, health club memberships – much of it at the expense of young people who pay an offsetting  premium. Join Today!

I read a report a few years back about North Korean senior citizens starving themselves to death en masse during the last major famine in that country so that their children and grandchildren could eat — and live.  I think about that every time I hear about protests over modest Medicare cuts or of the trillions in debt we are piling on our younger generations.

The AARP is a fine organization.  I shouldn’t pick on it.  I’m sure it provides wonderful services – and discounts – to its members.  But I don’t think I’ll join it when my number comes up.

I have plenty of time to decide though. Plenty.

Bill O’Reilly is a Mount Kisco resident who writes the blog The BlackberryAlarmClock.com

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