AARP Magazine is for a Happening Bunch of People

Apparently, 85 is the new 25. That being the case, AARP readers love seeing a pretty face on the cover, Halle Berry appears in the current issue. If you’re star struck, you’re going to turn to the last page of the magazine which shows stars who have suddenly gotten old–but don’t look old. And usually, there’s a story about somebody older than I am who’s climbing Mt. Everest or ziplining across the Grand Canyon.

I turn to the last page after finding out where Berry found her groove and learn that Carole King is 80 and that at 90, composer John Williams will be scoring “Indiana Jones 5” set for release in 2023. Meanwhile, Garth Brooks is 60. How the hell did that happen?

The magazine is excited about Dolly Parton and her novel, the cover headline being “Dolly Parton Novelist? We love it.” And there on page 13 is a gushing interview (with photo) about how Dolly (76) and James Patterson (74) ended up collaborating on a novel.

Patterson is quoted as saying, “I’ve always admired Dolly, and I had this germ of an idea for a novel. I contacted her and she said, ‘Well, come on down and let’s talk.'”

I had to kick myself (figuratively speaking) that I didn’t call her first. We probably wouldn’t have called our book Run, Rose, Run. Maybe something like, Rose, My Pickup Done Left Me. So far, I’ve seen one blogger/reviewer who hated it.  But I’ll probably read it anyway when the price comes down a bit.

AARP’s “pitch” in general seems to be, “you might be old and sick, but you’re not washed up yet.” I don’t know whether that’s fake news or wishful thinking.

Either way, it’s good to know.


Don’t take any wooden nickles

“Each year, millions of elderly Americans fall victim to some type of financial fraud or confidence scheme, including romance, lottery, and sweepstakes scams, to name a few. Criminals will gain their targets’ trust and may communicate with them directly via computer, phone, and the mail; or indirectly through the TV and radio. Once successful, scammers are likely to keep a scheme going because of the prospect of significant financial gain.” – FBI

Wooden nickel - WikipediaWhen I was a kid, “old people” (like my grandpa) always told me not to take any wooden nickles. When I was in grade school, I thought that was a joke. As I got older, I figured out that “wooden nickles” generally referred to one kind of scam or another even though such coins had in the old days been issued as company tokens or script.

Every issue of AARP Magazine and also its Bulletin details the latest scams against the elderly. There are always several thousand known scams being tracked daily. One favorite is the Grandparent Scam in which a young-sounding person calls and says, “Grandpa, guess who this is?” Grandpa says, “I know, I know, it’s Bobby.”

Now the scammer has an “in” without doing any research. A real name. Most common is borrowing money, say, for getting a parent a gift which, naturally, keeps the elderly person from telling their real grandson’s parents about the loan.

Another scam–one that’s been tried on me without results–is to co-opt a friend’s e-mail and use it to send a message saying that they are traveling in a foreign country where they’ve run into a financial snag. One clue there for the elderly (or other) person getting such a request for money is: does the purported friend sound like the purported friend? Usually not.

If you’re concerned that you, or you elderly parents could become targets, there are plenty of places to look for potential anger areas, such as AARP’s “Top Scams Targeting Older Americans in 2021.” The FBI notes that “Seniors are often targeted because they tend to be trusting and polite. They also usually have financial savings, own a home, and have good credit—all of which make them attractive to scammers.”

In the so-called old days, which probably happened before any of us were born, elders were purportedly revered for their wisdom and the longevity. Apparently not today. Taking their money is somewhat like a hunter shooting ducks in the water–there’s no honor in it. No shame, either, I guess.

Frankly, I’m surprised nobody has called me up yet and asked if I’m aware of the shortage of coins that’s occurred nationwide during the pandemic. When I say, “yes,” then they’ll tell me that the U. S. Mint is issuing wooden nickles to tide us over until regular coins are available again. Thanks to my grandfathe, I’m not falling for that. The sad thing is, some people will.

I’d rather have people call me up for my wisdom, but that’s just not happening.


Malcolm R. Campbell

Publisher: Thomas-Jacob Publishing


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Sunday Shatterings -Stormy, Stevie, CNN, Tropical Fish, &c.

You will be happy to know that I’m running out of relevant titles for posts that rhyme with natterings and clatterings and will soon think up better titles.

I’m wondering today when you lost your innocence. (That’s a rhetorical question.) I don’t necessarily mean in the backseat of a car at a drive-in theater while a Godzilla movie was playing on a screen that was barely visible through the fogged up windows. I’m talking about larger issues.

  • Wikipedia art work.

    Since today is Mother’s Day, perhaps it’s fair to say that my world was shattered when I learned that my mother didn’t know everything. She came up to me one time when I was home for a visit from college and said, “Malcolm, I don’t know why you decided to start smoking.” The world moved. How could she not know? I thought she would know before I knew.

  • Many years earlier, I was reading one of those books most of us hide under the mattress and discovered that people had sex pretty much the same way the tropical fish in my aquariums had sex. Okay, well, it doesn’t usually happen while swimming, but otherwise. . . (I’d been told that God simply sent people a baby when he thought they were ready.)
  • On any given day, many newsworthy events happen. My faith in the news media is shattered when–instead of reporting that news–they’re showing panels of talking, and biased “experts” who are telling us what some news event from weeks ago actually means. Frankly (for example), I don’t care about Stormy Daniels and don’t know why she’s getting so much air time. Okay, of course I know why: ratings.
  • Since I ran out of fresh reading material, I picked up a romance novel that has been on our shelves for 32 years. I don’t know where it came from, but I’d never read it. It’s called Through a Glass Darkly. Everyone in the book is obsessed with sex. How boring is that?!
  • Every issue of AARP Magazine ends with the pictures of five or six well known people who are still attractive, busy and successful in spite of being old. Gosh, Stevie Nicks is 70 and Mich Albom and Michelle Pfeiffer are 60. How do these things happen?
  • In other news, I made a pot roast this week that came out okay, my wife and I mowed the yard, and I am getting near the ending of Lena, the third novel in my Florida Folk Magic Series. CNN didn’t cover any of this because they were still talking about Stormy Daniels.