At 6:30 p.m. every evening, when the young start to figure out who they will hook up with that night, or what the Kimye's are up to, I usually retire to my comfy chair to watch the evening news.
I watch the unfolding stories with some interest, but to be truthful, I really only come alive for the 'Breakthrough Medical News', told with breathless excitement both by the anchor and the medical correspondent.
The fact that most of the time it turns out to be something still in 'experimental stages', in 'mice labs only' or 'not FDA approved' has dampened my enthusiasm considerably and made me question whether I'm just an easy mark for network ratings...
So it was with great jubilation that I saw a segment about scientifically proven and available exercises that increase our brain cells dramatically! It is no secret that once we get to 50, we begin to have more dead cells than live ones -- sadly, just as we need them the most (why is a 'Name Fluffier' still not a profession?).
To me, those brain 'fitness' games are my 'Krav Maga' defense against the rampant fraudulent solicitations that descend daily on the 'elderly'. Yes, that's you and me, 'Baby Boomers'. We're the target now...
I'm not worried about obvious con attempts like the Nigerian emails, which are so comical they can't even fool dementia patients ... nor am I talking about the fine-print traps in insurance policies -- just assume that when a catastrophe happens, you are not covered. Surrender here..
No. The reasons that I need to grow a new mass of brain cells are the 24/7 phone calls and mails from my legit bank, cable, phone, utilities, brokerage corporations ... You know, the ones that that start with: "We are committed to making our customers' lives better".
And then there are the tempting freebies: 'Amazon' gift cards, trips to exotic vacations, or the home improvement magic where a company's rep is inexplicably going to be in your neighborhood tomorrow and wants to give you a 'free' estimate (or just plain rob you?). Registering with "do-not-call' lists just gives marketers a good laugh...
What they're really hoping and banking on is that from age 50 on, you will be confused and forgetful and buy and subscribe and sign. Did I say confused and forgetful? I can't remember.
That's why I was going to subscribe immediately to that amazing brain website but what the hell was the name of it? Is the difficulty of remembering that site's name part of the exercise? They could have chosen a name like "Brain Power" or "You pay, You play"... but no ... are they hoping you will forget how to cancel after the 30 days-trial is over?
My husband deals with it in an entirely different manner:
When he got an urgent email from our 'friend' who was 'robbed' in London and needed money to 'get home', he immediately provided him with several fake bank transfers and let him run all through London until the cat figures the mouse is having fun and quit playing.
Another line of combat my husband employs is to tell the solicitors how interested he is in their offering and to please tell him more. He then puts them on speaker while he watches sports. After they drone on for a while, he asks them another question and after an hour of him wasting their time, they remove his name from their list forever.
Of course, when you watch sports all day like my husband, and don't have to wash the dishes, you can come up with clever counter-scams like that.
But for me, I'm just going to continue to be alert, watching the medical news with the help of my pen, little black booklet and my progressive glasses, so I can diligently write all that cutting-edge info down -- because I can tell a war when I see one.