Posts Tagged 'Betty White'

Lesson Seven: Resort to Tomfoolery – Aging Our Way

Wouldn’t we all be better off if we laughed more?

Bill, at 95, believes that humor is the greatest medicine. He stands on his downtown front stoop and jokes with random passersby. He does the same thing at the grocery store and the bank. If he gets people laughing, he figures he’s done his duty for the day.

After reading about the role that laughter can play in health and concentration, one of my students suggested a study tip: take a break and force yourself to laugh (which releases oxygen into the blood), then get back to work on that research paper. Now that’s taking laughter = health benefits quite literally.

The “Pranking Dane,” Glenn, has a slightly different approach to humor. For him, the best jokes are the ones that stop people in their tracks. Like when he put that ladies slip on his rumpled bed, and watched his housekeeper react. He also likes to wear a t-shirt that says “Retired: Go Around.”  (See pic below.) Glenn must be the inspiration for Betty White’s new show “Off Their Rockers,” which is all about elders as pranksters.

Glenn is a favorite among readers of Aging Our Way. They love his spunk, and appreciate his efforts to throw ageist notions back in people’s faces (in fun-loving ways).

Glenn – any good pranking lately?

Your turn: What’s your favorite aging-related joke or prank?

This is the seventh in a 13- post series on living well, adapted from Aging Our Way: Lessons for Living from 85 and Beyond






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Betty White: 90, Proud, and Pranking

Just when we think she fits the “adorable grandmother figure” stereotype, Betty White socks it to us, as she should. In her non-threatening way, she’s leading a movement to confront ageism in society, and we’ll be all the better for it.

Did you see Betty White’s birthday extravaganza on NBC last night? What a scene! What pomp! What a lifetime Betty has had!  And such an impact. I came away feeling like she has mentored all of Hollywood! Despite the roast-like moments, the affair was sugary sweet, a fitting appreciation for Betty.

However, if you kept the TV on, the contrast between Betty’s birthday and Betty’s new show was fascinating.“Betty White’s Off Their Rockers” is a show about a gang of 7 senior citizens who play pranks on young people.

I like to call it “Punk’d! By Nonagenarians.”

There they are, playing up and bashing stereotypes of the elderly, to hilarious effect. And why not? They are the fastest-growing age group in our society. They are surprisingly healthy and strong, full of wisdom, and up until now, made to be mostly invisible – by Hollywood and society at large. (They are 70% women, although this is not evident in the show.) And let’s face it: they are the true survivors of this reality show we call life. So, why not put them in charge?  They are the best news of 2012 so far. And we really need to shift our thinking about “the elderly” and how aging is changing. So…

Betty: you go (Golden) girl!

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Meika Loe

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