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Craigslist: When Setting Your Elders Adrift On An Ice Floe Just Won't Do

September 4, 2009

Once upon a time, we as a country valued ingenuity and resourcefulness.  In fact, rumor has it that our country was founded on those very qualities.  Some people are skeptical, but I have proof that the great ideals that America runs on — Dunkin’ Donuts excluded — are alive and well.

Michael Amatrudo, a 51 year old resident of Connecticut, made the news recently for borrowing a trick from the success of the “Cash For Clunkers” program by attempting to sell his aging parents on Craigslist.  Having lived with them for over 50 years, he said, he appreciated all they had done for him but was now ready to move on to something newer, shinier and more fuel efficient.  Sorry, my mistake:  what he actually said was he would be willing to trade them in for a pair of younger parents, a LEGO set, or perhaps a “hot blonde”.   Craigslist

Mr. Amatrudo later made a point of saying that he was only joking and merely trying to pass time on a rainy day, plus it turns out that the trade-in value for a mom with arthritis and hearing in only one ear just isn’t what it used to be.  His wife and parents, who think he’s a hoot and are used to his sense of humor, seem to me to be missing the point.

To me, a story like this makes me wonder what the elder Amatrudos could possibly have done to rack up this kind of end-of-life karma.  Operating on the theory that it was wise to be kind to your children because they would eventually pick out your nursing home, my own parents bent over backwards to show me and my sister a good time, and then, when the time was right, fled to Florida in order to escape our greedy little clutches.  In retrospect, I have to give them props for forming a pretty decent escape plan.

On the other hand, there are other cultures that handle the aging of their population with less compassion than merely trying to recoup his blue book value, like Mr. Amatrudo.  Given the choice between freezing to death on an ice floe like an Inuit elder, or being mauled to death by a bear in the forest like a Native American elder, I will take the trade-in any day.  Because if I’m really lucky, I might wind up with a family considerably less idiotic than the Amatrudos.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Wendy Golden permalink
    September 18, 2009 10:29 PM

    I’m impressed that Amatrudo’s parents were willing to put up with his sorry ass for 50 years. Yikes! Imagine how much fun he is to be around if his idea of a good time is trying to sell his parents on Craigslist. You can not make some of these people up!

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