February 12, 2014

Jerry's Ink


As part of the month-long celebration of my wife, The Beautiful Judy Licht's birthday, we went to see Beautiful, the story of Carole King, who is a genius singer/songwriter who wrote a zillion hit songs in the 60s and 70s.

Beautiful is a wonderful show. I highly recommend it. I loved the music and the cast but it was the age of the audience that depressed me.

There wasn't a single person in the audience who was under 65 years old.

Want proof of how old the audience was? At the intermission there was a line of at least 75 men, hopping up and down, waiting to get into the Men's Room. What a switch. There's usually a line going into the Ladies Room. This time the line of men, waiting for guys with prostates the size of basketballs to finish their business, told the whole story about age.

The bad news is the audience was ancient. The good news is they were in New York and hadn't retired to Florida.

My old (and best) partner Ron Travisano sent the piece below titled "Don't Retire" to me. I find it hilarious. If the person who wrote it steps forward I will be happy to give him or her credit. It's so funny because it's so true. 

"Don't Retire"

For those of you contemplating retirement, I would like to share my retirement experiences with you, which I hope will be helpful.
Fifteen years ago my wife and I moved into a retirement development on Florida's Southeast coast. The last time we saw our grandkids was on Grandchildren's Day when they were dragged down by their parents. We were living in the Delray/Boca/Boynton, Golf, Spa, Bath and Tennis Club on Lake Fake-a-hachee. (There are 3000 lakes in Florida, only three are real.)

Our new community has so many interesting things for us to do. 
Back by popular demand, the feisty, Hip Replacement Tappers Club will be tap dancing to the Flight of the Bumble Bee. It promises to be quite a production with lots of singing and dancing. This year I am not in the cast but will be standing by with the defibrillator volunteers.

Our biggest retirement concern was time management.

What were we going to do all day? Let me assure you, passing the time is not a problem. Your days will be eaten up by simple, daily activities. Just getting out of your car takes 15 minutes. Trying to find where you parked takes 20 minutes. It takes 1/2 hour on the checkout line in Wal-Mart and 1 hour to return the item the next day.

Then of course, there are the visits to the doctor and dentist's offices.

Let me take you through a typical day.

We get up at 5 AM; have a quick breakfast and join the early morning Walk and Talk Club.

There are about 30 of us and rain or shine we walk around the streets, all talking at once. Every development has some late risers who stay in bed until 6 AM. After a nimble walk avoiding irate drivers out to make us road kill, we go back home, shower and change for the next activity.

My wife goes directly to the pool for her under water Pilates class, followed by gasping for breath and CPR.
I put on my 'Ask me about my Grandchildren' T-shirt, my mid-calf shorts, my socks and sandals and go to the clubhouse lobby for a nice nap.

Before you know it, it's time for lunch.
We're usually back home by 2 PM to get ready for dinner. People start lining up for the early bird about 3 PM, but we get there by 3:45 because we are late eaters.

The dinners are very popular because of the large portions they serve. You can take home enough food for the next day's lunch and dinner, including extra bread, crackers, sweet-and-low packets and mints.

At 5:30 we're home ready to watch the 6 o'clock news. By 6:30 we're fast asleep. Then we get up and make 5 or 6 trips to the bathroom during the night and it's time to get up and start a new day all over again.

Doctor related activities will eat up most of your retirement time.

I enjoy reading old magazines in sub zero temperatures in the waiting room, so I don't mind. Calling for test results also helps the days fly by. It takes at least half an hour just getting through the doctor's phone menu. Then there is the hold time until you are connected to the
right party. Sometimes they forget you are holding, and the whole office goes to lunch.

Many of the receptionists are quite rude. They keep you standing at that dopey little, closed glass window, totally ignoring you. After 1/2 hour I ignore the 'Do not tap on the window' sign and tap on the window.

This always drives them nuts.

If you do, they put down their Egg McMuffin or their copy of the Enquirer, and fling open the window,
ready for a fight. I lie, explaining I tapped on the window accidentally because I have Parkinson's.

They claim they are required to keep the window closed because of the privacy law but l don't believe it. Are they afraid if I were to overhear Sol Lipshitz has hemorrhoids that I would blackmail him or sell the information to a foreign government? In Florida everyone has hemorrhoids!

Should one find they still have time on their hands, volunteering provides a rewarding opportunity to help the less fortunate.

Florida has the largest concentration of seniors under five feet and they need our help. I myself am a volunteer for 'The Vertically Challenged Over 80.' 

Food shopping is a problem for short seniors or 'bottom feeders' as we call them because they can't reach the items on the upper shelves. There are many foods they have never tasted. Whenever I see one of them struggling to reach a jar of gefilte fish, I rush over to lend a hand. After shopping, most seniors can't remember where they parked their cars. They wander the parking lot for hours looking for their car while their food defrosts.

Lastly, it's important to choose a development with an impressive name. Italian names are very popular in Florida. They convey. . . world traveler, uppity sophistication and wealth. Where would you rather live. . .? 

Murray's Condos or the Lakes of Venice? There is no difference. They are both owned by Murray who happens to be a cheap bastard!

The Italian names appeal to those name-dropping, phony snowbirds that are out to impress their friends up north. I once heard someone say, "We spend our summers in the Catskills, but we winter at Villa Borghese in Delray Beach."

I have been to Villa Borghese. There are 1200 Jews and two Italians! I hope this material has been of some help to you future retirees. If I can be of any further assistance, please look me up when you're in Florida. I live in The Leaning Condos of Pisa in Boynton Beach.

If you wish to comment on "Jerry's Ink" please send your message to jerry@dfjp.com.

  1. print email
    Retirement? What's That?
    February 12, 2014 | 02:25 AM

    Jerry ... First, if you're doing something (anything) that you really love, never retire! Because if you do, you'll soon die from boredom following your "beautiful" wife's (or any wife's) agenda.

    Next, remote living locations like Florida and Arizona are certain invitations to death, so avoid them. Nobody there is actually doing anything financially important except smuggling drugs.

    Last, and as the Jefferson Airplane's Grace Slick once sang, "You're only as pretty as you feel". And so, as our beloved Gerry Garcia also once sang, "Keep one truckin". Bill

    Bill Crandall
  2. print email
    growing old
    February 12, 2014 | 02:57 PM

    great stuff!!!

    mary giaquinto
  3. print email
    February 13, 2014 | 01:27 PM

    Dear Mr. Della Famina,

    You're two months behind. Pay up.


    Happy Birthday Judy!!!!!!


  4. print email
    February 16, 2014 | 09:53 PM

    Hi Jerry .... Working (?) on "Tales of the Miranda club " (real name withheld)... Will match Ron and then some!

    Happy birthday to judy. Best to you both.

    Snowbird joe bird of Rat's Mouth, otherwise known as Boca Raton,Florida.

    Joe Mintzer

    Joe Mintzer
  5. print email
    February 16, 2014 | 10:07 PM

    Hi jerry

    Ron is spot on. I am working (!) on "tales of the Miranda Club"
    (Real name withheld). Could match Ron .... and then some!

    Happy birthday to judy, best to you both.

    Snowbird joebird.

    Joe Mintzer
  6. print email
    February 27, 2014 | 10:30 PM

    That piece on retirement was either written by a Jewish guy with an Italian wife or an Italian guy with a Jewish wife,of whom I know many.

    Joe Mintzer?

    Evan Stark
  7. print email
    December 10, 2016 | 11:11 AM

    This is still hilarious and so on the mark!

    Betty Averna
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