That ElderPlan Commerical: Frame-by-Frame
“Want to stay healthy, save your money, and keep living the life you love?” the announcer riddles with a closed-teeth, smiling voice. The scintillatingly-named ElderPlan obviously asked an agency to make the train ride to Olde Towne look more fun. And here’s what they came up with—a life that, certainly, ANYONE would want to live… and love!
0:03 - Closed-eyed street bands! Why not get the gang together for a little jam session? Less needlepoint, more Nickelback! All you need is a black couple, a white couple, and a microphone. (No need to plug it in!) In fact, you seemingly don’t even need to plan words or a melody—more like a Soviet-style chant—and no need for any pesky rhymes! Just let it flow like a fiber-rich bowel movement:
“You’ve got to… / Go where you wanna go! / Do what you wanna do! / With who ever…/ You wanna do it with.”
Yes, that’s a classic ABCDE-rhyme scheme. But at this age, who gives a crap!
0;06 - Fruit stand fun! Old people’s favorite past-time is harassing the local Asian fruit stand lady. (“This is our country, Tokyo Rose!”) Toss around those avocados! Cackle and hug your friends as you chide Work-a-day Wendy, slaving away at the ol’ fruit stand, contributing to the “sosh-security” you’re going to blow on Transition(R) lenses and grandkid gifts. Bemused and frustrated with the constant assault, Fruit Stand Lady shakes her head; partly because she knows she had it coming—I mean, Mini-Watermelons: $3.00 each?!?!?—-and partly because she knows they will eventually reutrn to buy the roughage they so badly need to grease the pipes.
0:10 - Compete against children! Nothing makes you feel more in change of your life than a quick pick-up game with a child literally half your height! No need to bend your knees or even make the ball go in. Simply struggle to dribble (the ball, that is) and remind the young snap of a time when you saw old, hollowed-out peach baskets nailed to ply-board, when socks were as high as the hoops themselves! That’s how the game was meant to be played!
0:13 - Dance with thumbs! What to do when your musical stylings come home to roost, and even you are forced to give a physical manifestation of your rhythmic excitement? Thumbs! That’s a dance move, right? Sure! Sideways! Up-and-down! Out of time with the music! There’s no wrong way to do it! It’s like a Lindy Hop for your hands!
0:14 - Tug boats! No, not riding them, silly! Seeing them! Pointing at them! Showing them to others with failing eyesight or dementia! Watching the latest nautical technology cutting through the cold, harsh waves of
age the East River. And all the time, Old Glory triumphantly waving on the back! (“Take that, Charlie! That fruit stand should be ours!”)
0:16 - Bike rides! But, you know what’s more fun? Safely dismounting from your bike to watch tug boats!
0:22 - Pet parrots! Not owning a pet parrot, but touching them occasionally! Be the envy of all your friends without degenerating retinas by borrowing—nay, stealing—a tropical bird and stroking its iridescent plumage. Impress your wife or late-life-lover-of-last-resort by placing a parrot on your arm and fingering its colorful feathers with a grimace that says, “I’m terrified of birds, but if I keep still… it… won’t… attack me…”
0:24 - Xtina-style freestyle! You’ve kept quiet in the church choir, but now bust it out! Take this jam sesh to the next level with an Ella-style-scat! “Gooo where you wanna…” And wait for that call back, “Doo-ooo what you wanna!” But take note of Sunglasses McGee back there, who missed his opportunity to sing—there’s no time to waste!
0:34 - Thumbs! They’re still in fashion, seconds later! It’s timeless! Throw around those meat hooks like you’re fighting your way through the line at the local Rotary Club pancake breakfast!
0:37 - Convertible fun! Don’t let galcoma get in the way of your dreams! Pile into a convertible and throw your hands in the air—even the “driver”! You’re too cool for driving—yeah, that’s the ticket! Remember how it feels… the roar of the engine! The wind through your hair! The driver’s license in your wallet! Freedom! Stationary, parked-car recollections of freedom!
0:39 - Clapping! Nothing showcases your motor skills like successfully joining your hands in loose synchronicity to the music! Sure, Sunglasses McGee seems to have lost enthusiasm and energy at this point in the commercial, but he can still apathetically clap!
0:41 - Races! Your friends will be waiting for you (clapping!) at the finish line of (we all assume) a 0.6K Walk-a-thon. Cheer her up as she hits her wall—fainting, stumbling into the arms of her friends for support as she gropes towards the light.
0:44 - Open-mouthed clapping. Clap! Enjoy life! That’s right! Sure you’ve stopped singing new words by now. It’s more like a repetitive transe that’s confusing you. Gooo where you wanna go… They’ve worked themselves into a stupor. Do what you wanna do… All this excitement, working them up! Where am I? Gasping for air! Gooowhatchwanna… And as the EMT places the oxygen mask over their ashen faces and asks who the president is! D’whatchwa… You’re living the life! Gowanana… You’re free! Free!