5 reasons I think I may be an old fogey

I may have crossed over into the realm of being an old fogey. Why? Because I find myself asking, “What is the world coming to?” with increasing frequency. I remember our parents’ generation saying that about rock and roll, long hair on guys and women burning their bras. Now I’m saying it about things like this:

Turkey flies on plane as emotional support animal

This really got my goat: A woman told Delta Airlines that she needed her pet turkey for emotional support on a recent flight, and the airline had to let the turkey fly.

In 1986, Congress passed the Air Carrier Access Act, which allows service animals to fly with their owners on planes. In fact, airlines face fines up to $150,000 if they refuse requests for legitimate support animals. The turkey’s owner provided documentation from a mental health professional that the bird was, indeed, a support animal, so the airline let the bird on board—and even gave it its own seat.

Now dogs as emotional support animals I get. There’s even scientific evidence that sustained eye contact between a dog and its owner causes oxytocin—the “love hormone”—to spike in both, eliciting caring behavior.

But a turkey? Come on. I might eat some turkey for the tryptophan-induced sleepiness it’s rumored to produce, to help me relax on the plane. But travel with a full-grown live one? I’d be stressed that the thing would pee or poop inflight (which the rules forbid). And since no free-range turkeys are allowed on board, how do you keep the bird in its seat?

Call me an old fart, but I just don’t get it.

Born-again virgins

This is a thing; it’s also called secondary virginity. Apparently, there are both women and men who, after having premarital sex with any number of partners, commit to not doing the deed again until they tie the knot with their intended. This abstinence, usually undertaken for religious or moral reasons, is believed to renew their purity for their “real” one-and-only. They are, spiritually speaking, re-virginized. Well, all-righty then.

In some cultures, however, reacquiring virgin status can be a matter of life and death. If there aren’t bloodstained bed sheets after the wedding night, it can lead to divorce or even honor killings. So some sexually active women are undergoing hymen-replacement surgery before they hook up with their husbands to save face—and possibly their lives.

(Shaking my head.)

Firefighters help extricate woman from chastity belt

A 60-year-old woman in Padua, Italy showed up at her local fire station to ask the crew if they could help her with a lock she couldn’t open because she’d misplaced the key. The firefighters initially thought she’d locked herself out of her house, but then she lifted her sweater to reveal an iron chastity belt around her waist.

At first, the firefighters were concerned that she’d been forced to wear the device by a control freak partner, but it turns out that the woman had donned the chastity belt herself in an attempt to refrain from having sexual relationships. Maybe she, too, was trying to re-virginize? Hey, at that age, vaginal atrophy might do the trick.

Anyway, the helpful firefighters broke the lock, setting the woman and her lady garden free. Can you believe it?

Three-dimensional fetus dolls

Channel Mum, a popular online parenting community in the UK, is predicting that three-dimensional printed fetuses will be the number-one trend to sweep the parenting world in 2016. Yeah, really.

Some entrepreneurial types are using 3D printing technology to create dolls and casts based on fetal ultrasound images you provide. In fact, there are several online retailers who make the rubbery likenesses in a range of sizes and skin tones. You can even have an anatomically correct doll to wordlessly show those closest to you the gender of your bun in the oven. The full-size dolls sell for $250 to $550, depending on size.

Imagine being told you’re going to be a grandparent by being handed a rubbery faux fetus nestled in a gift box. You can’t stick it on the fridge with a magnet, so do you set it out on the coffee table? Bring it to cocktail parties to show your friends? Dress it up?

Words fail me.

A football just for us gals

Also from the UK, more entrepreneurial genius: A company supposedly launched a football (what Americans know as a soccer ball) just for women, ostensibly to encourage women to take up the sport.

Called the Ladyball, it’s lighter than a regular ball and described as “specially designed for a lady’s game—soft-touch for a woman’s grip, eazi-play for a woman’s ability and fashion-driven for a woman’s style.” Best of all, it’s pink!

The product was launched on Twitter with images of well-endowed, twenty-something models wearing hot pants and high heels—what ladies wear to play football, apparently—clutching their Ladyball. And it was endorsed by a former Dublin footballer who claims it will “combat” women’s fear of team sports because “it’s designed to enhance a woman’s abilities and make it easier for women to play.”

It turns out, however, that this was a giant spoof intended to generate interest in women’s soccer–good thing, because I couldn’t help but think we’d come a long way further than this, baby.

The other situations, however, prompted this haiku:

So are the inmates
running the asylum now—
or is it just me?

But you gotta laugh, right? Because in an upside-down world, laughter can help keep you right-side up.

What do you think? Are there situations or people that have you wondering what the world is coming to? Please share…









Roxanne Jones

About Roxanne Jones

By day, Roxanne Jones is an award-winning freelance copywriter specializing in health and medicine. She launched Boomer Haiku, a humorous blog about life as a baby boomer, in 2015, and a Boomer Haiku greeting card line in 2016 (available at 6 Maine stores; visit www.boomerhaiku.com/shop/ to learn more). Born and raised in Brunswick, she left Maine after high school (Class of 1971) and, after living in Massachusetts and California, came screaming back to her home state in 2006. She enjoys chardonnay, laughing at the foibles and frustrations of getting older, and contemplates plastic surgery to get rid of the wattle on her neck.