When I looked up “illusions” in my thesaurus I found: “figment of the imagination, deception, fantasy, day dream, sensation, and trick.” I summed it all up with “an illusion is nothing more than feeling or seeing something that isn’t there.”

As senior citizens we think we have seen it all but now more than ever before, we must be aware of the things we think we see when in reality there is nothing there but hot air and yes, I did think of politicians when I wrote that.

Illusions come in all shapes and sizes. You all recall the “pitch” for having a lottery? All the money that wasn’t claimed went to support and augment education. Dream on!

How about the illusion regarding Social Security? “Don’t worry, senior citizen, Social Security will last forever.” Hah!

Illusions are everywhere — even politicians who claim to represent the will of the people in matters of state are usually speaking from an orifice other than their mouths. (If you are thinking about the voice being muffled you are on the right track.)

Politicians for years have felt that money could cure anything. They think that more money will buy peace or minimally at least some thankfulness for our largesse.

America is the United States because there were people who fought to make this happen. The colonists fought the British, the North fought the South. We fought in two World Wars to keep our freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. It was backed up with human lives.

We have prevented many nations from being swallowed up by a jealous aggressor who was crossing boundaries with guns, tanks and airplanes. All these events were crucial to creating this great nation where we are today.

You can’t give freedom away to anybody — it must be won with blood sweat and tears before it has any value. Too many lives, men and women have been taken because we have been fighting other people’s battles.

So why do we maintain this illusion that freedom can be purchased just like a pound of bologna? Politicians keep slicing it and we keep buying it. It’s a sad state when we are so hungry an hour later.

There is a growing illusion that elderly people are a burden to society. Once we retire we become “useless” and only get called out when somebody, somewhere, needs a warm body to fill an empty space. What a fantastic waste of talent!

It is a shame when this happens because the elderly have a great deal to offer in experience and knowledge gained from living in an ever changing society.

The greatest illusion is our “democratic” process of nominating candidates for elective office. The funds recruited in Super PACs are there and the process is OK’d because money talks.

A person who was a log splitter or a cherry tree chopper wouldn’t have a ghost of a chance in this boondoggle system.

Question: How long does a politician’s promise last? Answer: As fast as Superman can fly (Superman flies at the speed of light; 186,282 miles per second.)

I’m sorry that I keep hounding politicians, but they are such easy prey. Some claim to have invented the Internet, others claim to reduce spending. They will claim to get you more money in the form of a cost-of-living adjustment but in truth this is the greatest deception of all because the hand you feel in your back pocket isn’t yours — it’s just politicians taking back what they claimed to give you with great fanfare.

There is an illusion that the longer you are in public office the more you can deliver in “pork” to your district. I believe in term limitations – two terms and out. If you can’t get the little that they do in two terms then they are not trying.

There is a illusion that politicians are different than us. Politicians should get nothing more in benefits than that which is given to the populace. (Have you ever seen a politician on welfare? Me neither.)

I’m starting to get acid reflux from writing about politicians so let’s change the subject.

Since all my wounds have healed from my last foray into “What makes a woman tick,” I jump again into the frying pan and ask a very stupid question: “Why do women listen to the dictates of the fashion world?”

In my lifetime I have seen women who have deformed feet from wearing those pointed high heeled shoes — you know the kind — they have pointy toes so you can climb trees or telephone poles or for kicking me under the table to shut me up.

I ask you, “Doesn’t it hurt to wear these shoes that ultimately cause your big toe to cross over at least two others?” I bet foot doctors could tell us some wild stories!

I do have a day dream — it’s very simple, “peace on earth.” It probably is an illusion but that’s life!

I’m pooped. As time goes by, that covers things for now.

Henry Geerken is a three-time NYSUT award-winner writing humorous articles addressing retiree and senior citizen concerns. Geerken also writes for Sail-World, World Cruising Newsletter, regarding his many humorous sailing episodes through the years. He can be reached by email at hgeerken@stny.rr.com. ‘Senior Scene’ columns can be found at www.thedailystar.com/





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