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0506 ANM: Retirement at 55?

Baxter Black Published on 20 September 2006

I received notice that a friend of mine was having a retirement party. He was only 55. I was abashed! Why, he’s in his prime. He’s too young to retire. He should suffer more anxiety, exhaustion and life-draining challenges; what’s the matter with him? Retiring at 55 is like:

•Climbing to base camp on Mt. Everest
•Decorating the Christmas tree to within 2 feet of the top
•Having one shoe shined
•Buttoning your shirt just halfway down
•Pulling your pants just halfway up
•Quitting in the seventh inning
•Rotating just two tires
•Not cleaning your plate
•Eating the artichoke and leaving the heart
•A face-lift on just one side
•Clippin’ the toenails of just one foot
•Plucking just one eyebrow
•Washing just one side of your car
•Eating the á la mode and leaving the pie
•Installing an elevator that doesn’t go to the top
•Buying the engagement ring and not getting married
•Buying a cow but no cowboy hat
•Not finishing the marathon, the hot fudge sundae, the Tom Clancy book, the drive to Miles City, Marfa or Big Stone Gap, the letter to your mother, your daughter or to the editor

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Retire at 55? Even Ken Lay, Teddy Kennedy, Tom DeLay, Al Capone and, well me, didn’t retire at 55. On the other hand, it’s possible the world would have been better off! ANM

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