Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Message to AARP: I Don’t Need You

This year, I celebrated one of those dreaded birthdays with a “zero” in it. Turning over a new decade is kinda like walking down a hallway in an office building and then rounding a corner. Everything is familiar, but suddenly different at the same time.

What do I get for my half-century of life on this planet? I am deluged with offers to join that most dreaded of all liberal organizations, the aarp.

They don’t like to be called their former name, the “American Association of Retired Persons”. They discovered a few years ago that they could get more members if they target “old” people, rather than “retired” people. Of course, they define “old” as anybody over 50. (We younger old people tend to hang around longer — less attrition, you know.)

So the aarp (Don’t you just love that acronym?) wants me to join, eh? Well, they can save their money. I have long known that aarp (It just flows from the tongue, doesn’t it?) is an ultra-liberal organization, much more interested in selling their services to finance their left-wing causes than they are in actually providing value to their membership.

In their marketing literature, the aarp (Aaaaaarp! They should fire the marketing department that came up with that name!) lists 22 specific “benefits” that I would receive by joining. I won’t bore you with all 22. Here are the highlights; the most comical benefits from aarp (Sounds like a cat with a fur ball, doesn’t it?) and the reasons why such benefits are totally irrelevant in my life.

A subscription to the bi-monthly magazine, AARP The Magazine. This thing used to be called Modern Maturity. They took a magazine that sounded like it belonged in a nursing home and changed the name to a combination throat-clearing sound and a redundant noun. I think I’ll write a book and name it the “Auugggghh Book”. It would make as much sense.

A subscription to the AARP Bulletin to “keep informed on current legislation and issues that affect you most.” Like cradle-to-grave government health care and other failed socialist programs.

Access to the aarp web site. What, is there something there that I can’t get anywhere else on the Internet for free? Have they never heard of WebMD? Or Google?

Savings on hotels, motels, resorts, airfares, cruises... The list goes on. A combination of Expedia and PriceLine is all I need.

Know that aarp is standing up for your rights like fighting predatory home loan lending. Oh, they’re protecting stupid people from making stupid investments.

Low-interest credit card. I haven’t paid a dime of interest to a credit card company in years. When you come out with a NO-interest card, I may be interested.

aarp endorsed auto and homeowners insurance. Just because an insurance company paid aarp to endorse them doesn’t make them a better deal.

Pharmacy services with convenient delivery to your mailbox. I haven’t taken a prescription drug in ten years. When I do, Walgreen's is just down the street.

Rewarding volunteer opportunities. What? I need to pay  to join an organization to volunteer?

aarp safe-driving course. Now they’re insulting my perfect driving record!

Reduced cost health insurance. They actually think it’d be a good idea for me to buy health insurance from a company whose primary customers are old people who consume 85% of all health care expenses in this country. That makes about as much sense as buying dental insurance from the nhl Player’s Association.

Sorry, aarp. You have nothing for me. You can save a bunch of money by not marketing to me.

Try me again in another 25 or 30 years, when I’m really old. I won’t listen to you then, either. But I could probably use another good laugh by then.

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