Modern era offers a host of newfangled benefits for seniors, sort of

I just turned 65. Cynical seniors say things aren't as good as they used to be. I don't agree. Things are just different, and you have to learn to appreciate our new bounty.

It used to be a rented movie was just a movie. Now there's the movie and the warning from the FBI. I'm flattered the FBI chooses to lavish attention on me. It's my own private warning right in my home. Imagine the FBI doing that for me and I haven't been polite enough to break a federal law in return. What an ingrate I am. I'll have to do something. I have a raincoat - is flashing a federal offense?

When I used to go to a movie theater, I'd get previews of coming attractions. Now I get flashy commercials for Coca-Cola, fast paced with scantily clad or tightly clad sexy women. There's no extra charge, though the commercials may run 15 minutes. And the sound is so loud, I can't make out what the compulsive talkers are saying, and what a boon that is.

And how about those little free labels on fruit? They don't charge extra for them, and some are pretty. I've never said thanks to the distributors. I take everything for granted. I have to scratch them off with my fingernail, and sometimes a bit of fruit stays under my nail and the fruit is damaged, but that's a small nuisance. And who figured out how to grow fruit with labels? Nobody's crazy enough to stand there and stick a label on every piece of fruit.

When I used to buy a shirt, it was a solid or a pattern, and it was boring. Now I don't pay extra for the company name that's sewn above my breast pocket. Once I tried to remove the name, destroyed the shirt and had to buy another. That showed me how ungrateful I was. Now I leave the names and try to get them to match. They're on the shoes, too, and I'm happy to do free advertising for a multimillion-dollar corporation that's paying Third World slaves 13 cents an hour.

How about those trucks beeping real loud when they back up? I don't feel as vulnerable in bed or in the shower, because I'll hear the beep long before the truck crashes through my wall. And I don't set my alarm anymore because there's always one beeping at 7 a.m.

And those ever-popular leaf blowers! They can blow everything off your lawn onto your neighbor's lawn or the street. I once lived near an airport and got used to the wonderful sounds. Then I moved and hated the quiet until everybody on my block got a leaf blower, and now I'm so happy; it's like living on an airport runway.

And them credit cards. When I was a kid, we carried money. Can you imagine that? When someone said, "That'll be 13 dollars and 96 cents," you had to figure how many pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, dollar bills, fives and 10s to give him. Boy, that was hard. And you had to figure what he should give you back, so he couldn't cheat you. With a credit card, you pay what you want, and the rate of interest is only 20 percent. What a great deal! You don't have to think at all, and I don't know if anyone can or wants to anymore.

And then there's drugs, the legal ones. My doctor gave me a prescription for a minor ailment. The druggist worked it up and said, "May I have your charge card?" I said, "How much is it?" He said $124 and I had a heart attack. The minor ailment disappeared on its own, and I'll be out of intensive care next week.[[In-content Ad]]