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with Rod Moser, PA, PhD

Stories from behind the examining room door, as told by Rod Moser, PA, a primary care physician assistant with more than 35 years of clinical experience.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Senior Discounts

I was offered my first “senior discount” about 12 years ago at a Taco Bell in Michigan. I only had about three dollars in my pocket, so I ordered carefully. When my bill came to considerably less than the three dollars that I had expected to spend, I called this discrepancy to the attention of the teenager behind the counter. I felt he probably added it up incorrectly.

“I gave you the Senior Discount. You people deserve it!”

Seeing how I was only about 46 years old at the time, I wanted to tell him exactly what HE deserved, but I graciously accepted the unsolicited discount and pocketed my unexpected change. Was this a bit dishonest? A little, but I considered the discount compensation for the insult.

Carl’s Jr. always gives me a senior discount at the drive-up window (after they see me, of course).

“I am going out on a limb and offering you a Senior discount. Is that okay?”

“Sure. Me and Mother hear really appreciate your kindness, Sonny. Could you chop up that hamburger for us. We left our teeth at home?”

Thinking someone is a senior when he is not is equivalent to asking a woman when her baby is due only to discover that she is just fat. Or, maybe not…since making this mistake is not going to earn you any monetary rewards. Soon-to-be seniors can be a sensitive group.

Life has not been easy on me, so I am starting to look more geezer-like with my white hair, Santa beard (and matching Santa tummy), a bit of an arthritic walk, and a look of wisdom that only comes with advancing age (I added this last one). I am 58 years old now and will soon be attending my 40th High School Reunion. This will be my first reunion so you can sure that I will be Blogging about it come August. I can remotely understand how someone, an idiot perhaps, might mistakenly think I am a senior citizen.

The local movie theater offers a senior discount, but does really post their definition of a senior. Is it 60? 62? 65? Is it when you “feel” or look like a senior? Without posting the age parameters, a senior in high school could really ask for a discount. My wife is over 62, a legal senior in some circles. At 58, I am not a senior by any legal definition. So, I asked them. It was 65.

“Wonderful. Two Seniors, please.”

I really felt justified lying at a movie theater because they charge so damn much for popcorn ($8 now) and a large Diet Pepsi ($7.50). Who in the Hell gave them the right to charge this much? It is not bad enough to pay high movie prices; they now want to charge you $6 for a pint of bottle water! The two dollar discount wouldn’t even make a dent at the snack bar, so we have other strategies.

With our senior tickets in hand, and my wife lugging a heavy purse full of sodas and some freshly-popped popcorn from home, we went on our merry way. They can bite me. I am still ticked at the theater manager for not allowing my grandson to use the restroom five minutes before the doors were officially opened. After vocalizing that I would give him permission to pee in their bushes if they didn’t let him in, they very reluctantly gave the okay. I suspect they were afraid of those bulging veins on my forehead.

“He’s a little boy, for God’s Sake. Let him pee. He is not going to run amok and terrorize your establishment. He is not going to get in line for popcorn (That’s for damn sure!). He just has to pee and he’s too little to hold it.”

I made sure that the other people in line heard what was going on in case I needed them to rush the door and starting kickin’ some butt. Maybe they had to pee, too.

I don’t care about my social status in the community, or how much money I make in my life, I am refusing, on principle, NEVER to buy movie popcorn or soda again. If we are rushed and forget our own snacks, I would rather drink the lukewarm water fountain water and eat candy off of the floor. I am a man of the revolutionary ‘60s. We don’t take this crap. If they hadn’t let my grandson use the restroom, we would have BOTH peed in those bushes, hoping to be arrested. Attica! Attica! Civil disobedience, no matter how minor or seemingly insignificant, just feels good to stand up for the decent thing to do. The cast-in-stone rules of society should be flexible enough to allow a three year old to pee. I should really join the Grey Panthers; perhaps change my name to Rod X.

Seniors (real seniors) can qualify for some other good discounts. My senior friend in Arkansas says that seniors get a 10% discount a WalMart, even if you are not a greeter. He gets discounts on his utilities, his taxes, and dozens of other things. As an AARP member (through my elderly wife, of course), I will whip out our card at hotels to get the discount. Why not? Hotels are another place that charges way too much. Seeing how they made my list of the Ten Dirtiest Places a few years ago, maybe they should be cleaning up their acts.

Very soon, we heavily-taxed, working, pre-senior Baby Boomers will decide to finally hang it up and retire. Once that fixed income hits you, seniors all over this country will seek out those discounts wherever they may be, and they won’t be doing it shyly. We will clip coupons out of the newspaper for oil changes and two-for-price-of-one tacos. In a few more short years, I will no longer will I be an intermittent senior…a secret senior…a pseudo-senior. I will soon be a REAL senior, entitled to all honors and privileges, including peeing the bushes if they refuse to let me use the rest room.

Respectfully written,
Rod X

Posted by: Rod Moser, PA, PhD at 9:58 am

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