A Modest Proposal for the Modern Era - What's Eating Boomers These Days

Michael Burg, MD



With most sincere apologies to Little Jonathan Swift

For preventing the Baby Boomers of America from being a burden to their children or country, and for making them beneficial to the public.

It is melancholy AF to those who walk through our great cities or travel in the country, when they see the streets, the roads, and store fronts, crowded with wrinkled old people, followed by their equally wrinkled spouses and often three, four, or six of their decrepit cronies, all in polyester or other out-of-date rags, importuning every passerby for a boring conversation. These oldsters, instead of being able to work for their honest livelihood, are forced to employ all their time in begging to matter to anyone, and who as they grow ever older and more useless either turn to shuffling through shopping malls or driving 45 miles per hour in the fast lanes of our freeways.

I think it is agreed by all parties that this prodigious number of pensioners, is in the present deplorable state of the Democracy a very great additional grievance; and, therefore, whoever could find out a fair, cheap, and easy method of making these oldsters sound, useful members of society, would deserve so well of the public as to have his statue set up for a preserver of the nation.

But my intention is very far from being confined to provide only for the Boomers among us; it is of a much greater extent, and shall take in the whole number of Boomers to come who are appearing in ever-greater numbers, estimated at 10,000 each and every day, and are of such little use to the rest of society that their sole function seems to be to clog up stores as they slowly write checks for their purchases.

As to my own part, having turned my thoughts for many years upon this important subject, and maturely weighed the several schemes of other projectors, I have always found them grossly mistaken in the computation. It is true, a Boomer just dropped from its dam of normal human to suddenly senescent may be supported by social security and medicare, which their children may help them apply for being that both are online and unbelievably complicated, far beyond the limited capabilities of these doddering fools. So it is exactly at 65 years of age that I propose to provide for them in such a manner as instead of being a charge upon their children or their children’s children or the parish, or wanting soft food and ill-fitting raiment for the rest of their lives, they shall on the contrary contribute to the feeding, and partly to the clothing, of many thousands.

There is likewise another great advantage in my scheme, that it will prevent those voluntary neglects and ignoring, and that horrid practice of children shushing their parents and telling them to stay out of harm’s way, alas! too frequent among us! sacrificing the poor innocent babblers I doubt more to avoid the expense than the shame, which would move tears and pity in the most savage and inhuman breast.

The number of souls in this country being usually reckoned millions and millions, of these I calculate that roughly none of them contribute anything to society or maintain themselves independently. The question therefore is, how these millions shall be propped up and otherwise provided for, which, as I have already said, under the present situation of affairs, is utterly impossible by all the methods hitherto proposed. For we can neither employ them in handicraft or agriculture, witness the hash they make of their part-time jobs at McDonald’s being pleasant and engaging while slowly counting out change and smiling like simps at the customers; we neither build houses, except in Florida in overabundance, nor cultivate land: they can very seldom pick up a livelihood by larceny, till they arrive at 80 years of age, when they spend all their time in casinos trolling for free drinks and change left behind on the floor, which of course they ask others to pick up for them. I confess, that until that time, they can however be properly looked upon only as probationers, as I have been informed by millennials and gen X-ers, who protested to me that they never knew above one or two instances of exceptions to this dictate, even in a part of the Democracy so renowned for the quickest proficiency in that art, like Atlantic City.

I am assured by our merchants, that an old man or an old woman after 65 is no salable commodity; and in the rare instance that they are they will not yield above minimum wage for an hour or minimum wage plus tips at most on the exchange; which cannot turn to account either to their children of the country, the charge of nutriment and cotton/poly blended rags having been at least four times that value even at Walmart.

I shall now therefore humbly propose my own thoughts, which I hope will not be liable to the least objection.

I have been assured by a very knowing chef of my acquaintance in the Sunshine State, that a Boomer well-nursed and fattened by a diet of cheeseburgers and fries, is at 65 years of age a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee or a ragout.

I do therefore humbly offer it to public consideration that of the millions of Boomers, a few may be reserved for public display in museums stuffed or if they must be in their wild state, zoos. That the remaining may, at their 65th birthday, be offered in the sale to the persons of quality and fortune and multinational corporations of course, throughout this great land; always advising their relatives to let them suck plentifully on chocolate pudding and Bundt cake and the like in the last month, so as to render them plumper and fatter for a good table. A Boomer will make at least two dishes at an entertainment for friends; and when the family dines alone, the fore or hind quarter will make a reasonable dish, and seasoned with a little pepper or salt, or hot sauce as is the fashion of the day, will be very good boiled on the fourth day, especially in winter.

I have reckoned upon a medium that a Boomer at 65 will weigh 250 pounds, and maybe as much as 300 if properly nourished in the manner I’ve described.

I grant this food will be somewhat dear, and therefore very proper for landlords and other 1%-ers, who, as they have already devoured most others, seem to have the best title to the Boomers.

Boomer flesh will be in season throughout the year, but more plentiful in July, and a little before and after, when Boomers often reveal their saggy pale flesh to the world due to the extreme heat in their communities.

I have already computed the charge of readying a Boomer for consumption to be about equivalent to one super-sized fast food meal per day; and I believe no gentleman would repine to give $500 for the carcass of a good fat senior citizen, which, as I have said, will make four dishes of excellent nutritive meat, when he hath only some particular friend or his own family to dine with him. Thus the squire will learn to be a good 1%-er, and grow popular among his serfs; the Boomer’s children will enjoy the net profit, as they await the inevitable aging of another “dear” relative.

Those who are more thrifty (as I must confess the times require) may flay the carcass; the skin of which artificially dressed with make admirable gloves for ladies, and summer boots for fine gentlemen or perhaps even a jaunty chapeau for a hipster, or dare I say it, lamp shades for Alt Right members.

As for the application of my plan to your fine citadel, shambles may be appointed for this purpose in the most convenient part of it, perhaps near nursing homes and parks, and butchers we may be assured will not be wanting; although I rather recommend buying the Boomers alive, and dressing them hot from the knife, as we do roasting pigs.

A very worthy person, a true lover of his country, and whose virtue I highly esteem, for he is a great supporter of making this great land great again, was lately pleased in discoursing on this matter to offer a refinement upon my scheme. He said that many gentlemen, having of late destroyed their other food sources through mismanagement and rampant over consumption, he conceived that the want of food might well be supplied by the bodies of those nearly 65 if judged by a panel of their peers to be already useless or in danger of becoming so soon. But with due deference to so excellent a friend and so deserving a patriot, I cannot be altogether in his sentiments; for as to the males, my goodly acquaintance assured me, from frequent experience, that their flesh was often tough and lean having not yet softened and sagged, and their taste disagreeable, and to fatten them further would not answer the charge. Additionally, these younger men might still possess the will and strength to fight back despite our assertions that self sacrifice was in the best interests of our society. Then as to the females, it would, I think, with humble submission be a loss to the public, because some of them are still pretty hot; and besides, it is not improbable that some scrupulous people might be apt to censure such a practice (although indeed just unjustly), as a little bordering upon cruelty; (especially since many in this age group are excellent bakers and cooks) which, I confess, hath always been with me the strongest objection against any project, however so well intended.

And, I’ll just skip ahead here

Some persons of a desponding spirit are in great concern about that vast number of poor people, who are aged, diseased, or maimed, and I have been desired to employ my thoughts what course may be taken to ease the nation of so grievous an encumbrance. But I am not in the least pain upon that matter, because it is very well known that they are every day dying and rotting by cold and famine, and filth and vermin, as fast as can be reasonably expected. And as to the young laborers, the Gen Y-ers and Z-ers, they are now in as hopeful a condition; they cannot get work, especially work that sets them on the glorious path to self actualization, and consequently whine and pine away for want of nourishment, to a degree that if at any time they are accidentally hired to common labor, they have not strength to perform it or even will to appear for the work; and thus the country and themselves are happily delivered from the evils to come.

I have too long digressed, and therefore shall return to my subject. I think the advantages by the proposal which I have made are obvious and many, as well as of the highest importance. For first, as I have already observed, it would greatly lessen the number of AARP members, with whom we are yearly overrun, being the principal drag of the nation as well as our most dangerous enemies; and who stay at home on purpose with a design to deliver the country to stodgy ancients.

Secondly, the poorer younger members of our society will have something valuable of their own, which by law may be made liable to distress and help to pay their landlord’s rent, their lattes and avocado toast already in danger of being seized, and money a thing unknown.

Thirdly, whereas the maintenance of the Boomer horde cannot be computed at less than billions of dollars per annum, the nation’s stock will be thereby increased substantially, beside the profit of a new dish introduced to the tables of all gentlemen of fortune in the nation who have any refinement of taste. And the money will circulate among ourselves, the goods being entirely of our own growth and manufacture.

Fourthly, the Boomer’s children and grandchildren besides the sale proceeds gleaned from ridding themselves of their decrepit elders, will be rid of the charge of maintaining them after they are no more.

Fifthly, the food would likewise bring great custom to taverns and other happenin’ hot spots where the youngsters of our great land do congregate and frolic and occasionally contract the herpes virus; where the vintners will certainly be so prudent as to procure the best receipts for dressing it to perfection, and consequently have their houses frequented by all the fine gentlemen, who justly value themselves upon their knowledge in good eating: and a skillful cook, who understands how to oblige his guests, will contrive to make it as expensive as they please.

Sixthly, this would be a great inducement to cohabitation, which all wise nations have either encouraged by rewards or enforced by laws and penalties. It would increase the care and tenderness of children toward their parents, when they were sure of a settlement for life, to their annual profit instead of expense. We should see an honest emulation among the young, which of them could bring the fattest Boomer to the market. Estranged sons and daughters would become as fond of one another as they are now of their BMWs, the costly vacations they cannot afford and their frivolous spending on the latest fashion; nor offer to beat or kick one another (as is too frequent a practice) for fear of being excluded from the financial windfall.

Many other advantages might be enumerated. For instance, the addition of some thousand carcasses in our exportation of barreled beef, the propagation of swine’s flesh, and improvement in the art of making good bacon, so much wanted among us by the great destruction of pigs, too frequent at our tables; which are no way comparable in taste or magnificence to a well-grown, fully-mature, big fat Boomer, which roasted whole will make a considerable figure at a Mayor’s and Governor’s or even, dare I say it, a President’s feast or any other public entertainment. But this and many other I omit, being studious of brevity.

And so on and so forth.

I can think of no one objection, that will possibly be raised against this proposal, unless it should be urged, that the number of people will be thereby much lessened in the country. However, there seems to be a plan afoot of this nature already whereby through poor planning, inattention and a lack of understanding of basic immutable principles several hundred thousands have died unnecessarily. There may be additional plans as yet undisclosed to imprison, deport or otherwise bar from entry into this fine land a host of undesirables. My proposal to terminate and consume Boomers would fit well with this scheme in this land of the free and home of the brave that was once envisioned as both a melting pot and haven for the disenfranchised. Truly a new and MAGA-nificent vision is born!

In conclusion, I am not so violently bent upon my own opinion as to reject any offer proposed by wise men, which shall be found equally innocent, cheap, easy and effectual. I call upon the brilliant minds of QAnon and similar splendiferous organizations to propose their well-considered plans. But before something of that kind shall be advanced in contradiction to my scheme, and offering a better, I desire the author or authors will be pleased maturely to consider two points. First, as things now stand, how will they be able to find pablum suitable for the largely-edentulous elders and polyester raiment for millions of useless mouths and backs? And secondly, there being around 70 million of creatures in human figure throughout this land, whose whole subsistence put into a common stock would leave them in debt up to their sunken eyeballs. I desire those who dislike my overture, and may perhaps be so bold as to attempt an answer, that they first ask the children of these mortals, whether they would not at this day think it a great happiness to have been sold for food, at age 65 in the manner I prescribe, and thereby have avoided such a perpetual scene of misfortunes as they have gone through by the oppression of this youth-obsessed culture to the exclusion of all others.

I profess, in the sincerity of my heart, that I have not the least personal interest in endeavoring to promote this necessary work my fellow Americans, having no other motive than the public good of my country, by advancing our trade, providing for infants, relieving the poor and giving some pleasure to the rich. I have no living relatives three score and 5 years of age or older by which I can propose to get a single penny.

I must confess though that it was in June of the year of our lord of nineteen hundred and fifty-five, just as Disneyland “The Happiest Place on Earth” opened that I came to be. It is with all certainty of expectation of assent, as the creator of this brilliant proposal, that I be allowed to live on until death by natural causes particularly since I must monitor and direct the plan of action I’ve conceived. I will not leave this office even if another is selected by the will of the people to replace me.


In case you’re wondering, I did reach out to Jonathan Swift for permission to butcher his fine work for my own nefarious purposes but he is apparently doing the same thing as Beethoven … de-composing (perhaps after the bulk of him was fricasseed). So instead I asked the U of Oregon (rbear@uoregon.edu) and got this permission.

I say have a go. This is your official permission; have fun. _()_

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