A generation looks back on a lifetime well spent

Crooked Pines Rest Home, year 2081:

“Hard to believe we’ve made it this far, Hector.”

“You can say that again, Cooper.”

“Yep. Ninety five years. More’n most people get, I suppose.”

“Yep. More’n most.”

“Yep. It’s not easy growin’ old. Last week I put my suppository in my ear and you’ll never guess where I stuck my battery-powered hearing aid. I kept wondering what that weird buzzing sound was coming from my rear end every time I sat down.”

“Doc says I might be able to sit down in a year or two if I keep rubbing that prescription lotion on my piles.”

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“Yep. Growin’ old ain’t easy. But I’ll tell you, at least in these hard times, I can take comfort in being able to look back on a life well lived. Yes indeed, here in the autumn of my life I can truly say I’m a man who was never afraid to follow my dreams.”

“You reckon?”

“I surely do. Fer instance, you remember back in the winter of 2005 when they came out with that new iPod? Hooo, boy, the features on that puppy. Had an LED display that would flash in the rhythm of the back beat and a digital hookup that would let you alphabetize yer songs by the first letter in the bass player’s mother’s maiden name, if you were so inclined.”

“A marvelous thing.”

“It surely was. Mind ya, I had to drop seven of my college credits to be able to afford it. People said I was being frivolous. Said ‘Cooper, you done already bought yourself five iPods this year, what do you want another one for?'”

“Tryin’ to take the wind outta yer sails, huh?”

“They surely were. And then remember back in the summer of 2007 when they came out with the full first two seasons of ‘The Apprentice’ on DVD with 687 minutes of added commentary by the original participants plus a whole episode worth of unedited footage, too hot for tv? Whoa mama! I was glued to the set. That was back when I was going out with Tanya Dupree, this cute little number from my college dormitories. I’m tellin’ you, she was one hot chickadee. Too bad she just couldn’t stop talkin’. Yep. Kept callin’ me up in the middle of my program, tellin’ me all this stuff I’d heard before like ‘I love you,’ and ‘You mean so much to me.'”

“Women are all the same.”

“They surely are. Kids, too. I remember my young-unz was always onto me about how I should stop playing video games and go take them to the park or read ’em bedtime stories or help ’em with their homework or some other fool thing. Just made it impossible for a grown man to concentrate on the latest installment of the’Resident Evil’ series. I tell ya’, if Sony hadn’t come out with direct cranial wireless hookup, I might never have got those high scores I did.”

“Boy oh boy. ‘Resident Evil.’ That game surely had some great graphics.”

“It surely did. On a cool morning like this one, as I’m gumming my applesauce, I look back at my life and think of those sterling, high-resolution digital effects and it makes my pacemaker skip a beat. Yes, I’ve had a fine life. Played some great games, watched some amazing television, always had first-class ringtones on my cell phone and full-color wallpaper on my computer desktop.”

“Yep. Say, what ever happened to those kids of yours?”

“The youngunz? Oh, they moved out when Tanya divorced me for being too remote. Said I was wasting my life in a digital cocoon or somethin’ like that.”

“Tsk. Women.”

“You’re tellin’ me. You know, come to think about it, I seem to recall my kids all got blowed up in that 60-year-long war back there in the Middle East.”

“Hoo, yeah, I do recall somethin’ about that war. Didn’t it start with some people blowin’ up some buildings or somethin’?”


“The bombings of August 22nd or somethin’ like that?”

“Somethin’ like that. Tell you the truth, I never got too involved in all that political stuff. Never made much difference to my generation. We always had something better to do. After all, you only have so much time. Yes-siree, life’s just too short, Horace.”

“You can say that again.”

“Yep. Life’s just too damn short.”