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Ritual AARP Eligibility Column

I hereby spare you the column that Local 479 of the International Brotherhood of Columnists, Pundits and Blowhards requires all members to write upon receiving, at the age of 49, the invitation in the mail from the AARP to sign up for the manifold benefits of being old in America.

They ain't getting any $12.50 membership fee from me and you ain't getting the defiant, self-pitying, queasily jocular column that we've all read far too many times.

By Marc Fisher |  March 14, 2008; 8:01 AM ET
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Marc: Thanks for sparing us the ritual "coming of late middle age story." However, I love the phrase "queasily jocular." Put capital letters on those words and it could be a Dickens character.

Posted by: Jack | March 14, 2008 9:42 AM

good. i just got my card too. wrote 'deceased' on the envelope and mailed it back.

Posted by: bob | March 14, 2008 9:57 AM

Or you could have written nothing about it at all...yet that wouldn't give you the smug satisfaction you seem to enjoy so much.

Posted by: SWDC | March 14, 2008 10:02 AM

Thanks. Now could you convince your colleagues not to rewrite the following stories?
*Black Friday sales
*Holiday retail season is better/worse than expected
*People are/are not travelling due to gas prices
*Superbowl commercials are better/worse than last year

Any others?

Posted by: 123Arlington | March 14, 2008 10:08 AM


You might as well. You will write more and I will disagree with most of it.

Posted by: Gary E. Masters | March 14, 2008 10:11 AM

The AARP card is Death's first knocking at your door.

Posted by: Glum | March 14, 2008 10:18 AM

Umm...what exactly was the point of wasting your time and ours on this? It's an article about not writing an article. Now that's journalism. Please spare us next time and keep you smug ego to yourself.

Posted by: Jim N | March 14, 2008 10:27 AM

No, it's a blog post about not writing an article. There's still a difference!

I too could care less about people older than me reaching nonsensical milestones.

Posted by: Lindemann | March 14, 2008 10:32 AM

My 49th BD is Sunday, so I guess I have something to [NOT] look forward to in the mail next week.

Honestly, people who read your column and blog need to lighten up! Happy Friday people!!

Posted by: Sunday... | March 14, 2008 10:34 AM

I canceled AARP a long time ago. Instead of protecting the "elderly" they rubber stamp flawed programs, such as the cokamamie drug plan, that few understand and many get no advantage of at all. Take me. I'm too healthy at 73. My monthly drug bill is about $30 which takes about 9 months to satisfy the yearly deductable. So I get no reduction in costs until the year is almost out. I pay about $29 a month for the plan, so if you do the math, you can see that this doubles my yearly drug costs. Thanks congress. You really helped. I' quit the plan, but suppose I get really sick? AARP let this happen with out a fight. Add to this their selling of over-priced Medicare "Gap" plans, and their inaction on fighting the high markup of drugs, first by the drug companies and then by the pharmacies. I quit! And some advise - boycott the drug stores and get your drugs at Costco or Sam's Club. They mark them up the least and you don't have to be a member.

Posted by: Jim P. | March 14, 2008 11:08 AM

wow, Jim N sounds like a ticking bomb. you've really done it, fisher. now he's riled up at your smug ego wasting his time and all that.

same for swdc. these are obviously busy people at the end of their ropes. I for one can only hope that they will not see my comments and search me out for corrective action. boy that would teach me a lesson. and man do i deserve it. what was i thinking. i cringe to think how i could so carelessly step in the way of their trains of thought. the little engines that could.

Posted by: bob | March 14, 2008 11:49 AM

... Hey, I got my membership invitation a few months ago -- and I'm still only 48!

Posted by: If it's any consolation... | March 14, 2008 12:14 PM

I've been getting invitations this past year and I'm 33. I wonder how much money and how many trees they waste sending mass mailings out to ineligible people?

Posted by: Rosslyn, VA | March 14, 2008 12:28 PM

Jim P said:

I' quit the plan, but suppose I get really sick?

Jim you fail to understand the concept of insurance. You are insuring yourself against the possibility that you get really sick. It is the same principle as homeowner's or auto insurance.

You can pay homeowners insurance for decades and never collect a cent. Does that mean the insurance was a waste?

Posted by: Bob Nichols | March 14, 2008 12:33 PM

Jim N, thanks for wasting one minute of my time reading your putrid rant. If you don't like Marc's column, don't read it. BTW, does your AARP card give you warm and fuzzies? Do you feel a brief moment of some sort of accomplishment when you whip out your card and save fifty cents at the snack bar of the old fart's convention?

Posted by: Youngin | March 14, 2008 4:57 PM

Marc gets paid for every blog post he writes.

Posted by: PQ | March 14, 2008 5:12 PM

I am 32 and I have been getting invitations to join for years. I have called to have them cancelled, but to no avail. Lately I have also been getting offers in the mail for special equipment to aid the elderly and disabled (e.g., electric scooters). Feel glad they waited until you were 49 to inundate you with their crap. I am convinced AARP exists not to lobby on behalf of old folks, but to sucker them into buying a bunch of crap they don't need.

Posted by: Flipperman | March 19, 2008 11:04 AM

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