After wrestling with trying to find a larger-than-life identity that fits, I think I’ve finally found one. Pathfinder. I’m going to organize a Geezer Brigade. Gonna put up posters:
Join the Geezer Brigade!
Escape poverty and boredom by joining others in a jungle getaway! Live at the base of an active volcano, relax on a pristine beach devoid of college students, hide from reality by spending pennies instead of the thousands you would have spent back home.
Face it, you squandered your salad years pursuing art, chasing women, and generally goofing off. Now you realize that not only did you fail to accrue a retirement account, but it’s too late to build one. So what are you going to do—remain in the States, live in a rooming house, and cook your meals on a hot plate, or head South of the Border and retire like a king?
It’s a no-brainer! Come on down! Affordable and exciting Central and South America await you!
I’ll be the head geezer, Daniel Boone for aging Baby Boomers, leading and showing them the way to the lush fields and pristine beaches of Central America south of Mexico. I exclude Mexico because thanks to NAFTA, Mexico is now too darn expensive. Retired optometrists, dentists, and accountants will follow my lead and buy land in a desperately poor nation, wielding their 401K retirement accounts like machetes to clear building sites.
Idealistic Socialists in this country once dared to imagine a future without private property. In fact, one of their mottoes was “Property is Theft.” I, who scan the real estate listings in third world countries, am haunted by how it must feel to watch retiree Boomers from America practically steal the most scenic land on which to build million dollar mansions.
Yet I want my little corner of paradise as well, and am prepared to buy one if I can. I can do this because I was born in the U.S. Even our devalued dollars will allow me to throw my weight around and purchase a house that most ordinary third world citizens couldn’t. Is that fair? No. But I’m going to do my best to make it happen. Of course, I will be a gracious guest in their country, taking the time to learn the language and customs, so I can avoid the excessive crudities practiced by my boorish, much richer, fellow Boomers. That crass retired Dentist from Duluth with his gated home and shiny SUV will fill our native neighbors with contempt, an emotion they can spare me, because I’m “culturally sensitive.”
It’s all sort of silly and sad, yet very real. This economic disparity between first and third world isn’t going to disappear anytime soon. If I had euros to spend I could probably buy a thousand-acre hacienda, but since I’ll only have dollars, I’ll have to settle for a modest, older home on an acre or two. How much land or house does an aging geezer need, anyway? What matters most is making new friends while escaping the tyranny of life in this monetarily rich yet socially impoverished culture. Here, amid affluence, we know that all hardships in our daily lives arise from greed and desire. Those who live in real poverty must often feel real anger, hatred, and envy. Sure hope they don’t take it out on us Boomer Retirees.
Otherwise, when the Socialist Banana Republic President first nationalizes our property and then lines us up along a bullet-pocked adobe wall in order to face a firing squad composed of our new neighbors, my Geezer Brigade will have turned into the modern equivalent of the Children’s Crusade. For those who’ve forgotten, that was the medieval mass hallucination that resulted in thousands of runaway European children being sold into slavery by opportunistic Turks.