We have an aging population. 44% of us are baby boomers already in retirement or closing in on it. Against a backdrop of accelerating expenses, many of us have to keep up with a second career. This is where the cards are stacked against us. We’re saddled with diminishing physical abilities and the demands of an ever-changing electronic world leaving us in the dust. So with such limited capabilities and pretty much no resume’, I’m weighing my options.
It’s with the utmost confidence that I intend to apply for a stint on Wheel of Fortune. How long can Vanna White hog that spotlight? True, I’m not drop-dead gorgeous, but isn’t that discrimination? I do have good posture, the flexibility to walk and touch a lit-up square at the same time, and I know all the letters. Especially the vowels. If someone wants to buy a vowel, you’ll never hear me say “What’s a vowel?”
Television offers a lot of opportunities. I could handle the bailiff’s job on Judge Judy. The qualifications don’t seem that hard. He takes a document from the plaintiff and walks it over to Judy. With masterful dexterity, he then sometimes takes a piece of paper from the defendant and walks it over to Judy. In between he does the crossword puzzle. How do I get into that union?
I totally have the background to be a toll booth collector. Oh, once in a while I’ll mix up a quarter and a nickel, but nobody’s perfect. And I excel in subtraction. Even majored in it in the third grade. My arms are long enough to reach a car window and I can appear excessively joyful or grouchy depending on how my day is going.
You know those guys that check your membership card at Costco? I could do that. There’ll be no sneaking past me with a Sam’s Club card. I’m sure they have a rigorous training program that prepares you for the person that refuses to identify their membership. What if they misplaced it? Left it in another pocketbook. Had it stolen? Do I call a manager? Dial 911? Make a citizen’s arrest? Tackle them? This is a job that’s a bit more complicated.
The super-hero characters in Time Square seem to make out all right but you’ve got to be pushy and aggressive. (Actually you’ve got to be a nut-job.) That’s not me. But maybe a cartoon character in Disney World. That’s a great job for someone who likes to pose for pictures and doesn’t mind scaring babies.
A dog walker could be another possibility but then again, it’s too demanding. The mutt might get aggressive or worse yet, aroused. He might want to stop at every tree. You need a plastic bag and a scoop. But a cat-sitter; that’s another story. People go on vacation; they need someone to tend to kitty. Someone who can open a can of cat food, lie on a couch for hours, and empty the litter box without gagging.
I’m tinkering with the idea of becoming a shaman (an intermediary between the human and the spirit world). I believe in stuff: ghosts, zombies, fortune cookies. How hard can it be to go into a trance? I sometimes do that at a red light.
Showmanship never crops up on a resume’ but it’s an important ingredient of some vocations. It’s essential for a carnival barker or a circus ringmaster, but with the big-tops all extinct and the sideshows politically incorrect, where does one market such a specialty? How ‘bout senior centers and Tuesday night activity rooms in churches and firehouses in every town and city? Bingo night! I imagine I could run out my emeritus years as a bingo caller. In a voice not only loud and clear but with such enthusiasm that the word “Bingo” would spring from my lips like someone hit the Tri-State Megabucks. A little banter with the audience doesn’t hurt either.
These are just a few of the occupations that come to mind for the ambitious retiree. Feel free to write in and help a brother boomer out. If all else fails, you can always just make stuff up and become a columnist.’
Originally published in the Asbury Park Press on Oct 12, 2018