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International Day of Older Persons 2009

I’m sure you don’t need me to remind you that October 1, 2009, is the United Nations “International Day of Older Persons.”

I don’t know about you but, personally, I found last year’s celebrations to be damned lacking. I put on my best cardigan and sat outside with an American Flag and my birth certificate waiting for the parade to start but there was nothing. Not a single float, band or suffragette march to be seen. I felt like that moron Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin to show up.

I’ve written to Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General at the UN, to express my concerns:

international older persons day v sept 5 letter

60 Comments leave one →
  1. dougstocks permalink
    12:32 am

    Old Folks need a front porch and steady traffic in front of the house. Not much else is as effective as having a live one pigeon hole the youths and let ’em see what a 60 year old flabby tattoo looks like first hand. That will give ’em something to chew on while heading down to the body piercing parlor. With all the talk about body image and self esteem, ” The Generation Without Enough Holes In Their Head” need real old flesh to give them a reality check.

    • 11:34 am

      Thanks for visiting dougstocks,

      While I agree that young people need to consider how that spider web tattoo on their neck is going to look when they are 50, I’m not in a position to help them with that. Nor can I assist with any examples of how nose ring holes hold up when you are in your eighties.

      And even if I could act as a grim cautionary tale, I expect they’d be too stupid to heed the warning. Most young people seem to be of the view that they are somehow exempt from aging.

      Many thanks for the comment.

      All the best,


  2. 1:13 am

    i admire your moxie, but i question your tactics, don. who listens to anything the UN says these days? forget about writing to ban ki-moon, and write to hallmark cards instead. they have to be suffering with everyone sending out e-cards instead of paper ones, so they’ll love a new holiday! not just any holiday, but a holiday celebrated by people who don’t use computers (except for you and york, don). everything is about hype. the UN won’t hype int’l day of older people, but hallmark will have a commercial every 5 minutes to remind people not to forget old farts…i mean folks day, and you know how guilty hallmark commercials can make people. first the cards, then a white house speech about how wonderful old farts…i mean folks are, and the parades will follow.

    • 11:39 am

      Thank you Nonnie,

      You may be right but I still think that the damned UN has some obligation here – it’s their holiday after all. You don’t just put the wheels in motion and then head of to the security council and forget all about it.

      If they can arrange international peacekeeping efforts and impose world-wide embargos, how tough can it be for them to get up off their asses, blow up a few balloons, put out a bowl of cashews and hang a few streamers.

      Let them call damned Hallmark. I’ve been on the phone with them before (to complain about administrative assistant’s day) and they’re extremely unhelpful.

      Good to see you, Nonnie.



      • 2:55 am

        of course they’re unhelpful, don. the fact that they are the UN is part of the problem. you see, when they announce that something is UN sanctioned or UN organized, people think that it is says unsanctioned and unorganized. how can anyone take them seriously? i bet when you called, you reached the UN helpful department, and the person who answered thinks she works in the unhelpful department and was doing her job well. they need to change the name so they can have a better acronym. hallmark doesn’t have that problem.

  3. 2:07 am

    I respect your outrage, but have to take exception to the whole October thing. October is a wonderful month – I was born in it!

    I think your suggestion “Fear Your Elders Day” is good…and even better if posters were involved showing the elderly brandishing canes and walkers and such. I know I have a true fear of the old man who lives on the corner in my neighborhood. He’s a scary dude!

    • 11:47 am

      Many thanks thisistalon,

      Despite the fact that it is your birthday month, I stand by my assertion that October is a damned bleak 31 days and certainly unfit for a celebration of this magnitude. Nobody wants to wear long underwear to a parade.

      I like the idea of the posters – it’s about time people saw us as active, fiesty and well able to defend outselves. And with respect to your neighbour, he’s likely a nice enough old man – I suspect he’s had some bad experiences with damned young people and is just being a little guarded. Knit him a sweater – he may just come around.

      Many thanks for visiting,


  4. Lily Fossil permalink
    2:54 am

    Dear Donald,

    Here are my suggestions to help celebrate

    International Seniors’ Day

    Free Moet Champagne Breakfast with Fresh Fruits and Seafood

    Free manicure, pedicure and facial

    Free massage

    Free haircuts, styling and blow wave

    Free new outfit, including shoes and accessories

    Light Luncheon

    Free entertainment
    Afternoon Cocktail Party with real mixers

    Free service of car, and dry cleaning for the day.

    Free household cleaning while you are out for the day.

    Free movies and accommodation in Luxury Resort

    And that’s just for starters,

    your effervescent


    • 7:15 am

      Lily, I think the spring sunshine has got you, free just ONE of the above would be fine!

      • Lily Fossil permalink
        7:43 am

        Dear Mr Hambidge,

        I forgot the free lawn mowing.


    • 12:00 pm

      Many thanks Lily,

      I’ll send another note to old Banky suggesting that he place you in charge of the celebrations committee. It sounds to me like you could whip up a lovely event for us older folks.

      If it had been left to me, I’m afraid my suggestions would have been less festive and more directed toward sending a message to the young.

      I would have liked to start the day by allowing groups of old folks to apprehend young people, tie them up, rip out their nose rings and then shear their heads with an electric razor. I thought that might be fun.

      I hadn’t gotten too far beyond that (I had some ideas on uniforms and forced labor) but I suspect my ideas might not have been entirely appropriate to the spirit of the day. Your ideas are much better.

      Always a pleasure to have your company,


    • 2:10 pm

      Lily, I agree. If we are to have a holiday, let’s make it a real one.

      By the way, Don, how old do I need to be to qualify?

      • 4:56 pm

        Hello Pamela,

        I’m not sure on an age range but given that this came from the UN I’m sure the issue was debatedly vigorously in a number of languages and that many a shoe was pounded on a desk.

        I suspect that in the interest of “inclusivity” it’s likely for anyone over the age of 18. Personally, I’d like to see it be as exclusive as possible with a minimum age of 70.

        Some of those pups in their 60s are still rather suspect.

        All the best,


  5. 11:53 am

    diplomatic duff indeed

  6. 2:56 pm

    My apologies, Don.

    Sadly, I wasn’t even aware that this holiday was coming up. Which is understandable I guess, seeing as you’re the only reason I bothered caring about “older persons” in the first place.

    I have to tell you this breaks my heart a little.

    The thought of you sitting on a grassy knoll, a colorful crocheted afghan resting on your lap (lapghan if you will), in your best cardigan and holding your birth certificate? (which must have been heavy, since I’m assuming it was written on a slab of stone)

    Well, let’s just say it tears me up inside. Not to mention the part about the parade not showing up.

    It reminds me of when Jack Nicholson would go to the diner every morning like clockwork, expecting his regular waitress to come around and take his “God-damned order”. One morning she just never showed up, and he couldn’t even eat his breakfast.

    Not even a bite.

    Anyway Don, if there is anything you need me to do, just let me know. In fact, I even have the entire first season of Murder She Wrote on DVD if that would help. (inheritance).

    Number one fan of Fear Your Elders Day,

    • 5:12 pm

      Many thanks Bschooled,

      It was a sad day indeed and I greatly fear that this year will be another repeat. Still, with the support of young people like you perhaps the UN will finally wake the Hell up, undo this gross injustice and get me a damned parade. I’d like some lemonade too.

      And thank you for the very generous offer of the Murder she Wrote espisodes but I never bought into the DVD boondoggle (or it’s precurser, the VHS). I try not to buy any technology that doesn’t have a 50 year proven track record. These fly-by-night fancy pants “technological advances” have no staying power.

      All the best,


    • 6:42 pm

      My sentiments exactly, B. I couldn’t have said it any better.

      • 3:03 am

        Actually Y&B, you probably could have said it better.

        I tend to be be a little “wordy” at times…

  7. 3:31 pm

    Dragging old people out to a parade and other festivities in the heat of mid-summer could be very dangerous. You may want to re-think that whole October thing.

    • 7:15 pm

      Many thanks XUP,

      Good point but this is the UN we’re talking about. They’re supposed to be smart. I’m sure they can figure something out. (Don’t they control the damned weather anyway?)

      They can hold it in a mall or just ante up for some ice cold lemonade and those little battery powered fans. Either way, a little heat is a hell of a lot better than freezing rain.

      All the best,


  8. 3:46 pm

    I think it’s just good and proper that there’s a day dedicated to the elderly.

    Particularly seeing as it’s “Young People Day” every damn day, year round, broken into more detailed days like “Let’s do drugs-day”, “Let’s steal cars-day”, “Let’s bug old people-day”, and many more. Of course, since young people have the organizational skills of a rabid pack of meth-addicted chimpanzees, they invariably get the dates mixed up, so that you never know just what the nuisance of the day is with any particular teenager.

    Fight back. Institute “Enforced Lawn Evacuation Day”, “Delinquent Caning Day”, “Cardigan Recognition Day”, “Just Generally Crabby Towards Anyone With Piercings Day” and I’m sure the good folks ’round here can come up with heaps more.

    Yours truly,

    – “Crabby old fart caught in a damned young(ish) mans’ body” TJ

    • 7:26 pm

      Jesus TJ,

      That may be the finest comment I’ve seen in a good long time. You’ve connected a number of dots for me, lad, and I truly appreciate it. This whole organized chaos of “Young People’s Day” had never really come into focus for me before.

      “….since young people have the organizational skills of a rabid pack of meth-addicted chimpanzees, they invariably get the dates mixed up, so that you never know just what the nuisance of the day is with any particular teenager.”

      While I think Lily is on the right track with her event planning, your larger world view is exactly the kind of thinking those UN folks need to get their heads around.

      Well done, TJ. I thoroughly enjoyed that. Damned good work.

      All the best,


      • 10:20 pm

        Many thanks for those kind words, Mr. Mills. I did in fact not quite think it through as I wrote it(it being merely one of my common, and frequently rather inane, attempts at wit), but in hindsight I think I actually struck something with that one.

        I’m honestly thrilled to hear that I could bring some insight into the understanding of the soci(opathic)al dynamics of our enemies (not in any way to be confused with the more hip definitions of “understanding” or worse, “tolerance”).

        All the best,


  9. 3:56 pm

    The whole concept of “International Day of Older Persons” lacks focus. For one, it begs the question, “Older than what? Dirt?” and “Older than Who?” Conceivably this International Day could become railroaded by a bunch of brats that are just a few years older than their siblings, and turn it into a travesty of what it should be. Personally, I think “Fear Your Elders Day” is more to the point. Mrs. Scofield, the lady who lived down the road for us, could become the poster woman for your movement. Everybody knew that if you went to visit her (and there were great reasons to want to stop by, she made the BEST cookies in the known universe), it behooved you to stop at her gate and wait to be recognized. Anyone who advanced past that gate without having received her permission was likely to find themselves dancing and running as fast as possible back through it amidst a hail of bullets from her 30.06 rifle. She was a damned good shot too, you knew that you were alive and running because she chose to pepper the ground in front of your feet with shot, not because she missed you.

    • 11:38 pm

      Many, many thanks Healingmagichands.

      I greatly appreciate the critical eye you’ve cast on this event and have every confidence that you are right about the possibility of this event being railroaded by unscrupulous youngsters out looking for cheap thrills and free balloons. You’re damned right it lacks focus. It also lacks meaning, value and any kind of profile. But, hopefully we can change all that.

      And as for Mrs. Scofield, she’d sure get my vote as poster woman. Hell, they should put her on a float and make her Queen of the whole damned parade.

      Lovely comment. Thanks very much for visiting.

  10. jammer5 permalink
    4:23 pm

    I can’t say I agree enough. All TV channels should be ordered to show reruns of Dr. Kildare, Ed Sullivan and the adventures of Ozzie and Harriot as well on our day. And if they advertise damn prune juice on em, I’m throwing shoes.

    • 11:39 pm

      Thanks Jammer,

      Sounds like a decent line up of programming to me. Haven’t seen Dr. Kildare in years and it’s long overdue.

      Good of you to stop in.


      • Lily Fossil permalink
        12:24 am

        hmmm….Dr Kildare !

        • Lily Fossil permalink
          12:33 am

          actually Donald, this pic of Dr Kildare looks like it could be you in a previous life !

          (silly Lily)

    • 2:34 am

      Marcus Welby. Now there was a man!

  11. 6:11 pm

    Great letter, but I think the letter went to the wrong person. I would have written letters to Nancy Pelosi (she’s almost your age), Oprah Winfrey (she always gets things done) and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (he doesn’t tolerate crap from others.)

    • 11:41 pm

      Thanks Ahmnodt,

      Well I copied two of them on the outgoing letter (Oprah doesn’t accept my mail anymore) so we’ll see if that adds any weight (that may have been the type of language that caused Oprah to stop accepting my mail).

      All the best,


  12. 7:08 pm

    I was going to call you bad names and berate you but then you mentioned the name of the angelic Angela Landsbury.

    Now, instead, I am having a party in my pants. Thanks Don, I appreciate it.

    • 11:42 pm

      Many thanks Mr. Tannerleah,

      I had you pegged for an old fart ages ago. Glad the mention of Angela raised your spirits.



  13. YellowRoses610 permalink
    7:34 pm

    Hello Mister Mills, I don’t have much to say on this one…

  14. Friar permalink
    10:12 pm


    Wow…that letter seems to be written on an honest-to-goodness old-fashioned bona-fide typewriter.

    I almost forgot those things existed. (Yet one more thing today’s idiot kids would have no clue how to use.)

    PS. Wonder why Angela never teamed up with Matlock? I think those two would have made a handsome couple.

    • 11:44 pm

      Many thanks Friar,

      I love my old typewriter but don’t use it too much anymore. It’s getting tough to find a new ribbon for it so I only pull it out on the special occasions. It’s the closest thing you’ll see to a handwritten note these days.

      And as for Angela and Matlock – I think you’re right. A damned handsome couple indeed. Hope all is well in the not-so-distant North, lad.

      Best regards,


  15. paper doll permalink
    5:08 am

    Don, perhaps you already covered this, but I was thinking today how young people don’t wear actual shoes…I’m not speaking of their sneaker wearing. It would be fine if they wore them! No, I mean they all seem to wear flip flops and slippers instead of shoes …what’s up with that?

    • 10:56 pm

      Many thanks paper doll. I haven’t covered that particular atrocity and it is an excellent suggestion. I will add it to my considerable laundry list of complaints regarding young people.

      If you have other ideas, please feel free to share.

      Best regards,


  16. 9:42 am

    To: Local Law Enforcement
    RE: Int’l Old Folks Day

    The following set of regulations will be temporarily in effect during the above-referenced holiday. These will be enforceable and punishable during this 24-hour period only.

    1. All lawns to be free of kids.
    2. Maximum speed limit of 20 mph (residential)/ 35 mph (freeway)
    3. No music from beyond the year 1945 to be broadcast.
    4. Murder, She Wrote reruns on all major networks. (Note: you may be able to just run one episode on loop. They’re all pretty much the same.)
    5. All vehicles travelling more than 2 miles must have one blinker on at all times. Vehicles travelling more than 15 miles with the hazard lights on will receive a special commendation from the Sheriff’s Department.
    6. 8:00 pm national curfew.

    Thank you for your cooperation. And watch your damn mouth.

    • 10:58 pm

      Many thanks CLT,

      Damnvgood suggestions. I’d like to see them enforced year round.

      All the best,


    • 2:20 am

      No music after 1945?

      But Perry Como and Dean Martin did some of their best stuff in the 50’s.

    • downcastmysoul permalink
      3:20 am

      I swear, ALL old people must drive around with the blinker on (click click click) whilst going 15 mph and all you can see is the tiny edge of a head in the driver’s seat. Getting caught behind old folks is hell on a two lane road. zzzzzz Don, you don’t drive like that do you?

  17. Lynn permalink
    7:04 pm

    thank you for another masterpiece don! i enjoyed it! quite honestly i’d like to see you get your way with regard to a day to salute and appreciate older persons but i have to draw the line on the dancing bears….i only want to see dancing bears at a grateful dead show and i want them colorful to entertain me! otherwise, i think you’ve got a goodpoint.

    • 11:03 pm

      Many thanks Lynn,

      Always a pleasure to have you stop in and I appreciate your support for elder appreciation.

      I didn’t realize those grateful dead lads performed with dancing bears. I may have misjudged those boys. If they have lemonade and popcorn too I’d be pretty much sold.

      Best regards,


  18. 8:45 pm

    Donald, I was going to get you a card to celebrate but besides birthday cards they don’t have Congratulations on Being Old cards at Hallmark.

    • 11:09 pm

      Thanks for the thought Bearman but would it kill you to make your own damned card? It’s the thought that counts. Besides that Hallmark is a racket. Its gotten so that we’re even too damned lazy to come up with our own corny sentiments nowadays – we need some hack behind a desk to do it for us.

      Nice to see you back.


  19. 11:21 pm

    Don, let me suggest you something! September 1st was my birthday, but I had no time to party and I don’t have that much of friends to go out and celebrate. I’m fine with that, though. I come from a family with no tradition for parties and stuff, so for me, it’s not a big deal. Here is my suggestion: Let’s celebrate both my birthday and “Fear Your Elders day” on September 15th. How about that? We can do some crazy stuff like throw some Molotov cocktail at the UN building! Ok, not that crazy! You come up with the plans and I’ll drive!

    Um abraço, meu amigão!


  20. 11:38 pm

    Damn it Ivan, count me in!

    September 15th it is. I’d be proud to share “Fear your Elders Day” with “Ivan’s Birthday” and hold a joint celebration. A brilliant idea.

    I will work out the plans in details but this is what I have so far:

    1) We start off the day with a damned good breakfast, put some whiskey in our coffee, drive over the UN and moon the Hell out of them. They may be able to ignore my letters but lets see those diplomats ignore my wrinkled ass.

    2) After that, I’ll want a nap.

    I’ll keep working on the itinerary, Ivan, but since we’ll be in New York I’d suggest that we catch the Rockettes, see the sights, get a damned decent steak and paint the town six shades of red. The first round is on me.

    More to follow, Ivan.

    All the best,


    p.s. aniversário tardivo feliz meu amigo

    I’ll keep working on this

    • 1:24 am

      Awesome! I still have that $3000 from the dogfight bet! The steak is on me! Is Liza Minelli still performing live?

      It’ll be party time buddy!

  21. David permalink
    12:32 am

    I really like your suggestion of “Respect the Old Day, Damn it”. Nothing gets attention like a well placed swear word.

    You may perhaps want to get even more radical and consider “Praise the Geezers Day”.

    But I must differ with you on the selection of October 1st. Here where I live in the nation’s capitol, October is perfectly lovely on most days unlike your suggested July where it is hot as hell and suffocatingly humid to boot.

    I’m not quite 60 but I’m looking forward a couple of decades so I can enjoy the glory of Geezer Days.


  22. 5:17 pm

    Hi Don,

    Definitely agree with you – more needs to be done to celebrate International Day of Older Persons’ – have a look at all the events being planned through HelpAge International’s Age Demands Action campaign. We’ve got marches, sports days, meetings with presidents and over 40 countries are involved worldwide. pretty impressive I think you’ll agree!


  23. Srishti permalink
    8:24 am

    I completely agree with you Don, the International Day for the older persons is definately an undeserved name for prestigious day for the older persons which they deserve….something which attracts and steals the attention of the present day youth must be the name of this day..but do you feel at all that the youth are going to participate in this day just because of its name??? Well, I do not agrre at this and differ from your views…..You need to think of something else to get your desired wish fulfilled….All The Best!

  24. 8:37 am

    pleasure reading this, sir.
    greetings from india.

  25. wanda permalink
    9:33 pm

    October is a wonderful month – down here anyway. “Spring is sprung” and all the oldies are out celebrating IDOP, not just a day, but a week of it. Everywhere in EnZed we are on to it

    • 1:42 am

      Many thanks Wanda,

      Enjoy the day and the week! Glad to hear that the oldies are out painting the damn town red. Have at ‘er.

      All the best,


    • 2:09 am

      Any place that starts Spring in October is seriously wrong.

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