I do not like old people. My uneasiness is not born from hatred but from fear. I don’t trust their giant ears and ankles, the way their faces melt into their droopy necks, the way their hands don’t cast shadows like see-through fish. I feel confident revealing my terror in this venue because senior citizens remain, to my great relief, technologically inept and because the font here is far too small for them to read. In fact, I encourage you to forward this article to all the geriatrics you know. If they manage to peck out a response it will only be in regards to the darlingness of this fawn.
I am insulting your surrender to time in tiny words!
“But Soren,” you will cry, “how can you attack a harmless and loving demographic behind their backs, particularly a demographic to which you will one day belong.”
And I will reply, “Fool! Their palsy fingers are pulling your heart strings. They have you exactly where you want you! Also, aging is an impossibility for me thanks to a decomposing self-portrait I keep in my attic.” Senior citizens are not harmless. Granted, their capacity for violence is limited to the speed of their Hoverounds, but the elderly are responsible for some of the most illogical, startling and egregious crimes newspapers felt fit to print. What’s worse, these crimes are on the rise. So before you attack me for my insensitivity, I implore you to read up and save your strength, you are going need it.
#5. Kidnapping and Ransom
My uneasiness around the elderly is almost certainly born from cautionary tales I heard as a child about witches. The story of Hansel and Gretel in particular I blame for both a crippling fear of being kidnapped by old women, and a general distrust of Germans. In March of this year, my life-long fears combined into a super-terror when a group of German seniors between the ages of 61 and 80 kidnapped a financial advisor and locked him, half naked, in a lake house cellar.
Germany can make anything creepy.
They then took turns beating him and demanding a ransom of $1.4 million they felt they were owed for investments. It’s important to note here that these were two couples and a friend who did the kidnap and the torture which is encouraging for anyone who thinks married people and singles stop hanging out after a certain point.
Just like old times.
Amburn managed to escape by jumping over a garden wall but was promptly tackled by neighbors and returned to the house. The reason being, the husband and wife who owned the lake house insisted he was a burglar and they wanted him returned for punishment. The other members of the community were happy to oblige the nice old couple thus proving the duplicitous power seniors are capable of wielding. Amburn was finally rescued and treated for two broken ribs and the unrelenting stench of mothballs.
#4. Bank Heist and Robbery
In April of this year, three men were arrested for plotting to rob an armored car in Chicago. The men were between the ages of 69 and 73. Jerry “The Monk” Scalise and Arthur “The Genius” Rachel teamed up with Robert “Bobby” Pullia (who seemed to have been between awesome nicknames) to rob a La Grange bank and a house belonging to an old mob leader. The plan was fairly ambitious considering that most men their age weren’t plotting anything more complex than backgammon moves.
They staked out the timing of the truck deliveries, the habits of the guards and even the weight of the money bags to be sure they could carry them without cracking a hip. The perfect planning and organization behind the crime revealed two things: 1) Old people have a lot of free time 2) Studios should be falling all over themselves to make a movie about this. It gets better, Jerry Scalise already had a brief career on a film set as the technical consultant for the bank heist movie, Public Enemies a year ago.
#3. Setting a Woman on Fire
Misogyny, sexism, and domestic abuse have long been a problem in India, so it’s nice to finally see a progressive man who’s willing to let his mom do a job that was previously reserved only for males. Two years ago in Mumbai, Mangal Bharat Thorat had an argument with her daughter-in-law over a dowry before the 62-year-old Thorat beat the girl, poured kerosene over her and set her ablaze.
Now, my hyper-fear of the elderly means that from time to time I prepare for the hundreds of hypothetical situations in which they may try to kill me and/or devour my youth, but I can honestly say that I have no contingency plan for being set on fire by senior citizens. Several things would have to go wrong to afford a 62-year-old woman the time to not only to collect kerosene, but douse me in it, strike a match and throw it at me.
“Thanks for waiting, I can never remember where my husband puts the candles.”
This crime is also frightening because it’s so far removed from common sense. Aside from being a grossly inappropriate reaction to an argument with an in-law, it also seems to be the least likely way to get more money from the bride’s family. Thorat received life in prison for the crime which is a small consequence to a 62-year-old woman. I think the lesson we can all glean here is that senior citizens are particularly dangerous because they have nothing to lose.
#2. Petit Larceny and Tampering with Jell-O
While technically not a felony, this crime is so irrational and bizarre that it makes me just as anxious about the conniving and unpredictable nature of the elderly as anything else on this list. At some point last spring, an old couple in Long Island decided they were sick of paying for groceries, and in particular, Jell-O. Together they devised and launched an elaborate scheme to buy packages of pudding mix, remove the powder and replace it with sand. Then they returned the boxes to the stores and reaped the astronomical profits of around $1.40 a box. Most staggering of all, their intention was never to sell the pudding, they just wanted a lot of it for free. Everything worked smoothly until the stores restocked the old packages and costumers complained their Jell-O looked a lot like sandwich bags filled with sand.
“I remember it being creamier.”
Unfortunately for the Clements, logic hates pudding and sat this mission out. Had it been involved, the couple may have realized that the cost of the sandwich bags, the glue, the gas for each second trip to the grocery store, and the manpower of filling and resealing the packages tallied out to significantly more than $1.40 per box.
#1. Stealing Christmas
In prison, the hierarchy of abuse is dependent on the crime responsible for incarceration because even convicted felons have a sense of moral decency. At the bottom of that hierarchy you will find a toothless and bloody pile of pedophiles, and buried directly under them are remains of people who tried to steal Christmas from poor children. I assume, I’ve never actually seen a prison outside of Oz on HBO and they never did a Christmas episode.
"Baby, it’s cold outside.”
In April of 2009, Virginia Kelly was arrested for stealing toys from the Toys for Tots program and selling them for profit. She was 73. If you are unfamiliar with Toys for Tots program, it’s run by the U.S. Marine Corp and designed to help fill the holes in the hearts of impoverished children who otherwise wouldn’t have a Christmas. At the time of Kelly’s arrest, police recovered over 11,000 toys from her house and storage unit which equates to around 11,000 heart holes, thus making Kelly the worst thing to happen to children since ventricular septal defect. Go ahead, look it up. It's a great joke.