Marked For Extermination By the AARP

The Con

The AARP is after me.

No I haven’t received my card in the mail defining me once and for all as an American that has reached the era of retirement.   My issue starts a couple of days ago when I watched one of their commercials who’s conceit was about a guy who kept his 1970’s ride for years.

That car in question is a blue AMC Gremlin with a white racing stripe.  The very same car the Oakland County Child Killer used when he abducted, molested and murdered 2 boys and 2 girls during a 13-month period in 1976-77; the last of which was a playmate of mine.  It is an automobile and period that still haunts my thoughts and is the basis for my unpublished novel The Year of the Babysitter.

The ad came on while I was taking a siesta on my couch, bouncing in and out of consciousness while Wilbon and Kornheiser argued on PTI.  For the next 45 minutes, my dreams were littered with images of screaming people telling me not to get into the Gremlin and then off into oblivion I was driven.    To make matters worse, I’m still having the same nightmares and they keeping me to just under 4 hours of sleep nightly.

And I’m not the only one.  Several of my high school buddies are having the same reaction.  Personally, I find it horrifyingly sadistic.  Why would AARP put something on the box that would engender such a response in a segment of the population that will, in the course of 5-10 short years be possible members of their association? 

AARP gets it’s members discounts on various travel packages, healthcare and the like.  In this bartender’s opinion, I believe they are deliberately trying to kill off as many of those in the 40-50 range so as to keep those benefits up for their current membership, which has grown exponentially with the arrival of the later Baby Boomers in the fold.

But credit where credit is due: playing on the childhood terrors of a segment of the population by using the Gremlin as a symbol existential fear, smacks of wit.  A sick, sadistic, twisted wit, but wit nonetheless.

Kudos to the AARP Marketing Department.  I’ll remember that while I am plotting my revenge this sleepless 4:37 am.




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