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Cheap at half the price

Playing to the audience

I recently received a note from one of my many faithful readers (not you, the other one) plaintively asking when I was going to do another editorial. I certainly wouldn’t want to disappoint my loyal readership. Here then is another segment of the wit and wisdom of Richard Harter.


Good. Now that we have gotten that out of the way we can go on to the usual trash.

The senior discount scam

I am a senior, one of those fortunate people over 50 or 55 or 60 or 62 or 65 as the case may be. As such I am entitled to senior discounts. I go to the movies and I get to pay a cheaper rate than you to see the latest blockbuster. When you go to a national park you pay the full admission fee; when I go I flash my golden oldies card and waltz in for nothing. At many restaurants I can get the senior discount. And on and on and on.

This whole senior discount thing is a scam. After all, I was going to go the movie anyway. Why should my admission be less than that of Joe Blow who is on the juvenile side of 65? Mind you, I take the discount when I can get it. It would be unprincipled of me not to. Likewise I was going to eat the meal anyway.

The excuse for this nonsense, I suppose, is that there are a lot of old folks who have very limited means. Fine, I’m all for helping the poor (more precisely I’m for other people helping the poor). But if that’s the game then the discounts should go to poor people. There is no good reason why I should pay less than anyone else to go to a movie. I take that back; there is one reason. It’s a reward for being willing to admit that I’m over 65.

That’s a real consideration. In our society you can be under 30 or over 80 and not apologize for your age. In between you are part of the desperate struggle to pretend that you are younger than you are. It takes character to admit to your real age. If you look at it that way the senior discount is a reward for moral heroism.

That’s me, Richard Harter, moral hero.

Long time, no C

In my younger days before I attained the exalted state of seniority I programmed computers. It occurs to me that it has been a couple of years since I wrote a computer program. My favorite computer language for the last 20 years has been C. I find myself missing writing code. It is, you see, a case of long time, no C.

What will I do when I grow up?

Every once in a while I lament that I haven’t figured out what I will do when I grow up. You might think that at my age it is a little bit late to be worrying about that; however I am not one to rush things. The options I have been considering are becoming a dinosaur bum, drifting from dig to dig, and shooting for winning the Nobel prize in literature.

The popularity of the President

They say that our glorious leader’s approval ratings are in the mid 80’s. This is passing strange. Granted we have been flexing our military muscles to great effect. Nothing raises a president in the popular esteem like blowing up some bad guys – provided, of course, that there not be too many casualties on our side. He has that working for him.

But still … What happened to all those democrats who voted for Gore and were howling that the election was stolen? There are still a few folks around muttering about “His Fraudulency” but they are scarce. Bush’s syntax is as irregular as it ever was. His domestic agenda is a collection of antiquated, superficial maxims taken seriously. His approach to foreign affairs is rather like that of the cowboy resting his boots on the tea table in an English drawing room. He is doing a much better job than I expected (which tells you how low my expectations were) but Jeez, 85%?

This page was last updated March 15, 2002.
It was reformatted and moved May 15, 2006.

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