Help! We’re officially wrinklies

Peter Warland on the announcement that in Canada old people now out-number the young.

“Irony is the opposite of wrinkly.” (My T-shirt)

“It is generally admitted that most grown-up people, however regrettably, will try to have a good time. ” Bertrand Russell

Peter Warland

On C.B.C. news, Jeannie Lee, she who, due no doubt to the magic of make-up, does not appear to be getting more wrinkly, announced that this year, in Canada, on Canada Day, old people now out-number the young. It seems that there are more people over sixty-five years old than there are youngsters under fourteen.

This fact reminded me of a trip to England some years ago when we remarked to our hostess that, although it was summer time and the children must be on ‘hols’, we had seen remarkably few of them. “Oh!” said the lady of the house, “There aren’t many youngsters left. We’re all old here in the U.K. We’re a nation of wrinklies.”

So! We Canadians too have become a nation of wrinklies. This happens when the oldies live for aeons and the younger ones realize that they don’t have to have huge families, the way their parents and grand-parents did in days of yore.

My beloved and I are probably part of the cause of this shortage of reproducing people. When we first arrived in the Kootenays we discovered that many of our new friends had large burgeoning families yet we stopped at two. After a boy and a girl, we decided that enough was enough; we purchased a dog.

However, this shortage of reproducing youngsters is going to cause our future government some more problems. What is it going to do about the accumulating hordes of non-working young children and the tsunamis of retired and therefore unemployable wrinklies?

I can see it now: child-care and nursery schools closing for lack of customers, teachers out of work for lack of students, sports teams shrinking for the shortage of up-and-coming enthusiasts. It will be just a wasteland of wrinklies, most of whom will be gone for over half the year playing at being snow-birds.

But possibly all sorts of geriatric operations will open up. As legal retirement homes and seniors care facilities over-flow, folk will start up illegal care homes for the drooling aged and empty schools will be used to house demented oldies.  I can just see my two poor kids (if they can retain their driving licences) driving me to one such place and dropping me off for the day until, at last, I shuffle off this mortal coil.

And so we will need immigrants, lots of them, and they shall be told to reproduce like mad and find jobs and pay unemployment insurance plus lots of taxes so that they too might be supported in their dotage. They too, in due time, will need dentures, hearing aids and glasses as well as frequent expensive trips to the local druggists where, besides medicines, they’ll stock up on such luxuries as moisturizers, oils of life and Kiel’s men’s Care. At the same time, I am sure, they will have been forbidden to bring their aged relatives either with them or even sneak them in later on. Enough is enough.

A few days ago I heard from an old (but much younger) friend who recently has graduated to wrinklihood. I am sure that he gets his C.P.P. and O.A.S. cheques delivered, even to Florida where he hides for six months each year with other pensioners, cowering from the vicissitudes of Vancouver Island winters. Who is going to keep the government coffers full for them? Not those who still are under fourteen years of age.

Of course, my own diminutive family is not helping the situation one iota. My two children are tottering rapidly towards retirement and subsequent dotage and their children haven’t reproduced yet (as far as I know or want to know) so we are going to be truly representative of a Canada already sated, not with seniors nor with retirees, but with wrinklies.

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