By Bob Hicks
Mr. Scatter is getting old.
At least, judging by his junk mail, the world seems to think so.
Rest homes (or “active senior residences”), pharmaceutical companies, retirement financial planners, purveyors of musical nostalgia in the Pat Boone mold have got their hands, if not on Mr. Scatter’s obituary, then certainly on the records of his birth date and semi-antique Social Security number. This even though Mr. Scatter is not now nor has he ever been a card-carrying member of the AARP.
Today’s mail brought one of the less welcome of these geezerly come-ons, from an outfit called Neptune Cremation Service. “FREE Pre-Paid Cremation!” it shouted on the envelope, which Mr. Scatter refused to open. Frankly, the offer burned him up. On the other hand, something called the University of Western States also sent an offer, this one on the perkier side: “Teen Back Pain? 12-18 Years Old?” Back pain, yes. Teen, thank the lord, no. (The two teens in residence at Chez Scatter are often pains, but not in the back.)
Mr. Scatter has no immediate plans to go gentle into that good night, although he recognizes the eventual inevitability. He asks only that the eager entrepreneurs of the world hold their horses and stop trying to push him prematurely into the abyss. Today has been a chilly but gloriously sunny day, and Mr. Scatter fully intends to enjoy such pleasures to the hilt before the eternal rains settle in.
Maybe it’s the inspiration of recently reading Charles Deemer’s poetry collection In My Old Age, but Mr. Scatter has decided to versify his thoughts on biting the big one in rainy Oregon:
Ashes to ashes
dust to dust
turn to rust.
ILLUSTRATION: “Grave-digger,” Viktor Vasetsov, 1871. Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow/Wikimedia Commons.