I am the honorable flamingo. What you read here might make you smile, make you think, or make you wonder. This is the world as I see it, from the view of a pink, long legged, slightly awkward bird.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

New Idea For A Valuable Resource

I was driving down the highway the other day when from out of nowhere, the car beside me, which I was in the process of passing, began to change lanes. I had to slam on my brakes in order to avoid being run off the road by this nut. The person then proceeded to go about 55 miles per hour in the middle lane on a 65 mile per hour highway. I switched to the next lane over and passed the car, glancing over as I went by, hoping for the chance to give the driver a good glare as I drove by. As I gazed into the window, I realized that all I could see was curly white hair and a set of glasses. This geriatric could barely see over the dashboard, so it was no surprise to me that she nearly sideswiped me while she was driving.

That incident got me to wondering if there was anything that we could do about the sudden increase in the elderly population. As people are living longer, people like these are becoming more and more of a problem. Luckily, I have come up with a solution: the barter system. We used to trade chickens and other items to get what we want, why not do the same with old people. There are plenty of countries that could use the increased life expectancy that our old people could provide. Greater life expectancy makes a country look better and more developed, so I have compiled a list of the top 5 countries that I think could really use this system. Note that these countries all happen to be in Africa, where life expectancy as a whole is at the lowest.

5.) Rwanda (Life Expectancy=39.34 years) - This country is a prime candidate for old people trade, and unless you count the the wars, the insurgency, and the intolerance to dissent then it is also a great place to live. The only reason this country is ranked this low is that it is already the most densely populated country in Africa.

4.) Zimbabwe (Life Expectancy=37.38 years) - Here is a country where your biggest worry is bacterial diarrhea...or the oppresive nature of Prime Minister Mugabe and his regime, I'm not sure which is worse. In either case, this country could certainly use the moral boost that can only come from raising your life expectancy with premium United States old people.

3.) Swaziland (Life Expectancy=40.44 years) - Swaziland's claim to fame? They boast the highest rate of HIV in the world, at 38.8%, but that won't deter our old people, as we can only hope that they will not be having sex any time soon.

2.) Republic of Angola (Life Expectancy=38.31 years) - This country is bound to quickly become a favorite of the traded elderly. With its tropical climate it is a lot like Florida...except for all the rebuilding in the aftermath of a 27 year civil war.

1.) Zambia (Life Expectancy=37.24 years) - Coming in at number 1, Zambia has the lowest life expectancy in the world, and are the ones that would benefit most from this wonderful program. The biggest fear here would have to be typhoid fever from inadequate water treatment, but what do our elderly people have to worry about, they are already well above the average age.

I have spent minutes thinking of this new program, and I feel it is the best way to deal with our drastically increasing elderly population. It's a win-win situation, our country saves millions of dollars on medicare, social security, and arm rests on public toilets, and developing countries get to boast about their skyrocketing life expectancies. I am awaiting a call from Washington.


MFK said...

HA! We should pass a law to keep people over 80 off the road (unless they can pass a series of obstacle-course-like tests, and of course, a hearing, eye, and "what year is it/who is the president" test.

Especially in Jersey, where I can appreciate that we have some crummy drivers here!

jnetsworld said...

This barter system is an interesting approach toward creating balance... but i think the African heat, water and bugs will kill our elderly within the first week... if not sooner..

What about creating an island :)???

I love how you write anyway!

The Flamingo said...

Thank you for the nice comments, I too have always been a proponent of at least a small amount of testing for elderly drivers. As people get older they tend not to want to give up their car keys of their own accord, most likely because it means giving up some of their freedom.