Once upon a time making it to your centenary actually meant something, well, meaningful. In days gone by people quite genuinely respected their elders. Mainly because it was really quite the achievement to rack up so many years without succumbing to disease, malnutrition or the axe wielding homicidal maniacs who so often roamed our country lanes and public highways. Nowadays there are so very many people making it all the way to a hundred that they’re practically piling up on the streets.
No longer is it a simple matter of a telegram from the Queen, once you’ve made it to the big one double o you have to start earning your keep once and for all. Or to put it a slightly less delicate way, they’ve long outlived their usefulness to society so someone somewhere had to devise a vaguely fair way of deciding who would or wouldn’t make the cut. Cut not being anything even slightly resembling an allusion to how those who failed were dispatched.
The ageing population is absolutely beginning to cause a rather genuine crisis. We’re running out of food, oxygen and liberty or whatever. Resources for we free youngsters are in increasingly short supply and we’re not having it any more. This is the perfectly reasonable excuse for a group of teenagers who decided to start lashing pensioners to railway tracks. It definitely wasn’t a hate crime.
I’m sure the prevailing logic was something along the lines of that if the seniors were savvy enough to get them out of this relatively dire situation then they had more than earned the right to live another day. If not, then when has a body on the line ever ruined a commuter’s day? Plus the advantage of youthful vigour is that you really ought to be able to outrun an elderly centenarian. Even if they happen to own a motorised scooter.