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An Apology to the Residents of My Illegal Retirement Home

Dear Former Customers and Survivors of the Chris Bucholz Retirement Experience,

The abrupt shutdown of my Conclusive Living Community has caused much reflection and soul-searching on my part, and after locating my soul, I was somewhat surprised to find out that it feels sorry about a few things.

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The weakling.

And although my lawyer and priest tell me I should under no circumstances admit any fault for the things I'm certainly at fault for (the priest thinks there's no forgiving what's happened; he's pretty rattled actually) I've decided to forge ahead, in grand Chris Bucholz tradition, heedless of the consequences. As per the ancient custom, I've broken up my apology into individual apologies.

I'm first sorry that I went into this so under-prepared. I have little personal experience with the elderly, my own grandparents having forsaken me from birth, claiming there was no forgiving what I would one day do. My main experience with the well-aged prior to this episode, then, was in the form of things I'd learned from video games, where the elderly are often an excellent source of healing spells. That none of you could cast even the mildest of buffs on me was, I admit, disappointing. I think that set the whole relationship off on the wrong foot.

I'm sorry for all the childish mocking after we got things off on the wrong foot.

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"You're a Muggle, you know that Dolores? Write it down. Write 'I AM A USELESS NO-MAGIC MUGGLE.'"

I am sorry about the condition of the rooms. Specifically, the condition that there weren't any. It turns out that a building with lots of individual rooms is really expensive, and that a building with just one really big room is much cheaper. Another interesting thing, it also turns out, is that warehouses suitable for active-minded seniors located in the city's fat-rendering district are the cheapest of all.

On that subject, I'm sorry the tour of the Chris Bucholz Retirement Experience that I took prospective clients (and their family members) on didn't match the quality of the actual, warehouse-based Chris Bucholz Retirement Experience. The tour you went on was at a very nice home called the Sunny Daylight Retirement Community, where I was employed from December 2013 through to December 2013. They're an excellent shop, full of rooms and doors and other equipment. Now that I no longer compete with them, I have no problem recommending them; they're very well run.

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Aside from their poorly enforced procedures for making employees return keys upon termination.

I'm sorry so many of you overheard me on the phone using confusing, modern language like "rubes" and "retirement shelter." Please understand that "retirement shelter" in this context is a very complicated technical term, related to computers in all likelihood, and was not me comparing you to animals. You were my customers, my friends, and most importantly, my customers. You were not animals.

I'm sorry about all the actual animals. That haunting and moist odor the city's fat-rendering district possesses (that we all know and love and will look back on fondly) was always going to attract a certain amount of scavengers, their numbers probably inflated in this case by the fact that the Chris Bucholz Retirement Experience was formerly a waste transfer station. That many of you adopted and fell in love with these furry little creatures warmed me greatly.

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The dark spots around the eyes and their relentless appetite for stealing garbage has earned the raccoon the label "Nature's Bandit,"
but I prefer to think it's because of the way they steal your heart.

I'm sorry not one of you ever said some hilarious old-timey swear like "dag-nabbit." Although, probably related to my lack of experience working with the actual elderly, I would have really liked to see that. "Why are there so many animals in my bed dag-nabbit?" would have been a fine example.

Without going into details, I'm sorry about why I was in that bed with so many animals.

I'm sorry about selling the animals that you loved to the fat-rendering plants.

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After the bed thing, I felt I didn't really have a choice.

I'm sorry so many of you are racist. This isn't really an apology, I know, I'm just sorry the world's this way.

I am sorry for the food. My understanding of what old people like to eat -- boar, acorns, and mead -- was again limited by my lack of understanding of the elderly, and in retrospect, perhaps a little more "medieval" than "senior-friendly." My later attempt to just serve old, expired food was admittedly a cost-saving measure, although I honestly thought it would go over well, given the fond memories your generation must have of living through the war and all.

I am sorry you thought the Chris Bucholz Retirement Experience staff (me) was stealing your money. That kind of baseless paranoia must be terrifying to live with.

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"Ohhh, are they stealing my money, ohhh are the raccoons about to breach the barricades, ohhhh I'm so confused."

I am sorry the Chris Bucholz Retirement Experience staff was borrowing your money, with the full intent of repaying it once certain "sure-fire" investment opportunities paid off. And they did pay off! The Chris Bucholz Holiday Timeshare Experience admittedly lost money, but by diverting incoming funds from the Chris Bucholz Investment Club and the Chris Bucholz HOOOONK, You've Won a Free Cruise Scheme, this meant every one of you was eventually paid back. Everyone wins!

I'm sorry for those of you who invested in the Chris Bucholz Investment Club and the Chris Bucholz HOOOONK, You've Won a Free Cruise Scheme. You definitely didn't win.

I'm sorry about the music that was ever-present in our home. I understand that you had different tastes in music, but you have to understand just how powerfully uncool those tastes make you look. Stepping off the pop culture treadmill like that is taking a large step towards death itself, and I want you to fight, dammit. Stay cool, old people.

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"Come on, Ms. Bertram. You know you need to get completely lit before Bingo."

On that topic, I'm sorry you thought the music I was playing was "just noise." That's so sad. For your information, you were primarily listening to dubstep, also a bit of progressive glitch tech, and one time a couple Shakira songs. None of those things are "just noise."

I'm sorry I did one time end up playing just noise. That was a looped MP3 of me running my pots and pans in the dryer. That was a test.

I'm sorry a previous apology claimed that playing that noise was a test. I was mainly just fucking with you.

I'm sorry about the activities. My observation, that your biggest pleasure of the day seemed to be remembering something and then talking about it, was, I maintain, spot on. And the central core of my activity night, a quiz game about trivial things that happened decades ago, was well designed. I'm just mainly sorry there was so much gambling involved.

I'm sorry you felt the need to regain your dignity in some small way. Cornering me in the food nook of our warehouse-themed sunset living community and throwing food at me until I started to cry was both rude and unnecessary. I was your friend and Retirement Baron, and for me to have to flee to safety, up that one step, was one of the saddest moments of my care-giving career.

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Also one of the most refund-negating moments of my care-giving career.

I'm sorry for all the childish mocking I shrieked at you after I climbed up that one step to safety.

I'm sorry I underestimated you. Your collective thousands of years of memories left you, yes, plenty of boring and frighteningly racist stories, but also plenty of gumption and know-how and even firsthand experience at how to depose tyrants. In this case, it probably didn't take much ingenuity to call the police on me, but still, well done to you for knowing how a non-rotary phone works.

I'm sorry for all the childish mocking when the police arrived. I needed to explain to them what was going on, and using the medium of name-calling was a far better defense for me than the actual facts.

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"OK, sir, that's enough about their smell. Now what were you doing in bed with all those raccoons again?"

I'm sorry about using so many of you as human shields during my flight from the law. In my defense, I originally intended to use only a couple of you, but you kept falling down.

I'm sorry for all the mocking of those of you who kept falling down. Mainly, I'm sorry that I had to stop each time to craft a new spill or trip related pun, thus greatly delaying my escape, and, indeed, greatly increasing my need for more human shields. That got out of control in a hurry.

Yours sorrily,




Chris Bucholz is a Cracked columnist and cannot be saved. Join him on Facebook or Twitter to watch his inevitable descent.

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