Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Monologue Mania Day# 342 by Janet S. Tiger The End Jan. 20, 2015

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Monologue Mania Day# 342 by Janet S. Tiger  The End  Jan. 20, 2015
                                          The End
                                                       (for The Senior Chanel)
                                            ©Janet S. Tiger all rights reserved 2015

              (Actor enters, holding the grim reaper's scythe, proudly)

Don't be afraid, Senior Channel watchers!  This is just a plastic scythe!  The real one reaps and we don't know what hits us!    But since I see it's bothering some of you.....

             (He puts the scythe down)

Sorry, they told me to bring any relevant props with me, and I thought this would be funny.  Oh well, as a friend always says, I should leave comedy to the professionals.

But I am a professional ...in my own way.  I am professionally......(says it with relish).... old.  Look at me!  I have lived many years.  Now, being professionally old  is not something I aimed for as a young man.  I wanted to be rich.  Famous, not so much, just rich.  To invent something that would change the world!  Like a plane that could fly to the moon, or, once I had children, a diaper changing machine.....

I did not get any of those wishes.....but the getting old part, well, I have that down pat.  And I am getting better at it every day - the only thing that is!

But I am here to discuss the end......and that is what it's all about, isn't it?  I read that there are now tea parties about death, where people can talk about dying, what it means to them.  As my grandfather used to say.....Who'd a thunk it?

Yet why are we talking about dying?  Just like the old expression, those who can't do, teach.....perhaps we talk ...because we ain't dead!

Demographically speaking, we are not all dying like we used to.....in fact, the fastest growing portion of the population is ...over 90.  By 2050, if we haven't blown ourselves up of course, there could be, in China alone almost half a million people over the age of 100.

Why am I talking about this you ask?  Because it is not the end of life I'm really interested in, but the end of ...death.  Before anyone jumps at me and argues that death will be around forever, I am not arguing that.  But it is the end of death..... as we know it. 

It started with vaccinations in the 1800s, then understanding the effect of sanitary issues - like washing your hands before you operate on someone!  Then the 20th century brings in anti-biotics - it is estimated that fully 90 per cent of all of us here - that's nine out of ten , folks - would not be alive except for these innovations.

So death is pushed back, so that's good, right?  Of course!  Ok, I hear some of you say you don't want to live forever.....I get it.  Nobody wants to reside in a long term vegetable patch, kept alive only by being turned and watered.  

But that's far from the only reality - no one talks about the issues this brings - what about a man convicted...for life, with no chance for parole.....for a crime done in his twenties.  When the law was written, he had twenty to forty years left, maybe fifty in jail, to consider what he had done, to lose his freedom for say 40, 50 years.

Now, he could be there 100 years!  Is that fair?  Not just for the man, as unjust punishment is something to consider, but what about society?  Can we afford to pay  $50,000 a year for this man for 100, or 200 years?  What about ...forever?

All right, I see you all shaking your heads, maybe you feel he deserves this, so let's consider another criminal group......the insurance companies, of which I know more than a little because of my brother-in-law, who sold me a policy when he first married my sister.

He tells me that the biggest winner in all this.....are insurance companies!  They bet we are going to stay alive......and they are usually right!  This earns them HUGE amounts of money.  


Yes, you are correct, I got this topic from him, because he told me when he started, actuarial tables ended at the age of 100.  Then they jumped to 125, now they are at 150 for some companies, and, here's the kicker...oops, wrong word,  there is a movement to have...open tables!  That means, no end to the table!  Which means the insurance companies are already figuring we will live....forever, if we want, and they, great lovely creatures, will earn even more!

          (Takes a deep breath)

I am not afraid of death anymore, I am too old to fight.  Death and me, we're good buddies.  Many of my close family and dear friends have gone away with death, so it can't be too bad when I go, I'll have lots of company.

            (Turns to leave, stops, looks back)

But if the end for me doesn't come for a long time, will you talk with me about this, please?   

           (He points up)

That's my email they put on the screen.  I don't plan to change it for at least one hundred years!

            (He takes the scythe and exits, maybe not the end for awhile)


and, from the government-

Historically, we are in an unprecedented situation. We either solve the inherent genetic defects of our nature or we get trapped in and over-whelmed by the consequences of half measures. And that is why biological ageing is the central problem which we face, today and in the future; and it is ageing which needs to be cured. This prospect has been seen by demographers since the 1950's but now should be obvious to everyone.
Janet S. Tiger    858-736-6315
Member Dramatists Guild since 1983
Swedenborg Hall 2006-8

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