The problem with life is that it’s unsatisfactorily vague in terms of duration. You could die in utero (not the Nirvana album) or you could hang on by your grimy fingernails, clawing at the linoleum until the ripe old age of a hundred and eleventy. That’s quite a range. Sure, we could bell curve it…. but really statistics are for other people, we’re all planning on being the exception.
(Annoyingly) none of us know how long we’ve got left… exactly. It would make planning this whole ‘life experience’ thing such a more manageable process. I would like to posit a solution. Instead of retiring at sixty five, I think we should instead all just… kill ourselves.
I know, this idea may seem a little fringe, at first, but allow me a brief moment to convince you of its merit.
Sixty five is a pretty good innings. And things from that point onwards are just hankering to go downhill anyway…. By this stage you’ve racked up a metric fuck tonne of carcinogens, all of whom are getting rowdy in your soft tissue and are just itching for the opportunity to go all Fukushima. You’ve got dementia waiting in the wings. It was supposed to be waiting for you in the passage… but you know. And that grinding noise in your knee…. that’s the anatomical equivalent of waking up at 3am because you thought you heard breaking glass. (unlikely to be a good thing)
How would your life change if you knew that on your sixty fifth birthday you had to take a self inflicted dirt nap? Chances are you wouldn’t be wasting your life in some job that you hate. You sure as hell wouldn’t be saving for retirement…
As soon as we put a deadline (pun only loosely intended) into play we suddenly become A LOT more motivated to get busy living. We appreciate that we don’t have much time left and get busy doing all those things we’ve always wanted to do. (theoretically)
Let’s take things a bit further though. By killing yourself at sixty five you’re actually being incredibly altruistic. Some might even argue this is the ultimate form of altruism. (and lets be honest, likely to be the only truly charitable thing you will ever do for humanity) After all, old people are pretty insufferable. Driving slowly, and wobbling unsteadily from left to right through the supermarket aisle. Always telling you about how things were better, back in the day.
Think about it! We could single handedly end Bingo nights, lawn bowls and retirement villages. Health insurance would become affordable and universal. Its those old fucks with their blackened lungs and cirrhotic livers that are the ones making it expensive for the rest of us.
If you’ve only got until sixty five are you really going to work up until your last day? Hell no. Youth unemployment solved, thank you very much. Also the world is going to become a lot more egalitarian. With that sixty fifth birthday as your cut off date, you’re going to make damn sure you spend every last penny. No more inter-generational wealth. Plus with all those old people kicking off we can finally churn some of those properties closer to work. I think we can all appreciate less time spent commuting. (assuming anyone will actually want to bother with a mortgage anymore)
Obviously all those people hovering around or nearing D-Day will be somewhat reticent to get on the cart… so to speak. I think we need to engage with our elderly and convince them that this is, in fact, the right thing to do.
Sure we’ll miss your musty smell and your long winded stories. But (always) look on the bright side (of death), you died with your boots on. As opposed to alone in some sterile palliative care facility. That’s gotta count for something right? And think of all the good your cold dead corpse will do.
Seriously. Move along. You’re holding back the species.