An about turn on the good old days

The reverse life cycle was in-vented by comedian George Carlin. The late George Carlin. The premise is that life is unfair (we all know that). And life is tough, right? 


So why does it have to end with death? Is death supposed to be some kind of bonus?


It would be better if we started out dead, then moved into an old folks’ home where we could eat canned peaches for a couple of years and talk incessantly about the good old days that haven’t even happened yet. 


Then after we get kicked out of the home for being too young, we get a job, or several jobs, and cop a gold watch after 30 or 40 years. 


Eventually, when we’re actually young enough to enjoy retirement, we do drugs, have keg parties and ride around town with nothing to do and lots of time to not do it in.


After a few years of this, we become a kid. The prime directive of a kid is to mess around and not have any responsibilities beyond making sure we don’t set the cat on fire. 


After kid comes baby, and that means being waited on hand and foot. 


Only drawback — it’s back to the canned peaches — and worse. Then we get to float around in a warm dark place for nine months listening to the beat of a jungle drum a.k.a. heartbeat. 


After that, it’s lights out — a pretty good payoff for all that time spent working for a living way back when.


Some might spot a connection between our last days on earth and our early days of babyhood. The main difference is the address. 


As babies, we live at 234 Main Street or 189 Pinehouse Road. When we are geezers, our keepers like to put us in quaint sounding places that include words like “downs,” as in “Royal Oak Downs,” and “view,” as in “Shady View.” 


Unfortunately, the view of those canned peaches is seldom shady and more often overly fluorescent.


Not having personally experienced Shady View or Royal Oak Downs, I am loathe to condemn them outright, but since most of my life experience revolves around television, it’s clear that Livia Soprano (remember The Sopranos?) was deeply suspicious of her particular Shady View. 


And deeply suspicious of her son Tony for putting her there. So much so that she tried to get Junior Soprano to facilitate Tony’s sleeping with the fishes. 


And Livia’s Shady View (actually Green Grove) was the priciest retirement home in New Jersey. 


At any rate, I don’t think Royal Oak Grove Shady Downs type places like their guests carting in 75-pound subwoofers, which I am afraid I would have to stipulate as an entitlement. 


And two cats, of course.

Michael Gillgannon is the former news editor of The Western Producer and managing editor of Western People. Contact: [email protected]