Dear Catastrophizer:
I am 62 years old and retired. I keep adding up the numbers of my budget to see if I am likely to outlive my money. Until yesterday it seemed safe to assume I would make it through my dotage without having to eat cat food, even once. But yesterday when I added up the same numbers I discovered an error in logic that I'd been making all along. Can you tell me where I can buy discount cat food? Would pellets for rodents deliver the same nutritional punch at a lower cost? 

Thanks, in advance, for your advice. 

Yours truly, Aging woman. 

P.S. I know you're too young to be worrying about this kind of stuff

I've said it before and I'll say it again: you're never too young to worry about penury, infirmity, and death. That said, those fortunate enough to have lived for a while in consecutive years might be in a better position to appreciate how nice money, "firmity" and life are, and to suspect that they are probably not now or ever going to be discovered on Johnny Carson.

Allow me to answer this while also getting to talk about something else that's been thrilling me and to do so by discussing a scene from The Golden Girls. In a scene more bizarre than any shakily-filmed drug-using sequence from a motion picture, the girls host a talent show at which Bob Hope makes repeated jokes about Ronald Reagan. I was, of course, appalled, because no one is permitted to make light of Ronald anymore. He is a conservative icon, even though it turns out that the very conservatives who venerate him today would probably colour him red for commie if he were still around. He was in favour of reducing the number of nuclear weapons kicking about, after all. Hippie.

But let's get to the whether-to-eat-pellets portion of this entry. I mention The Golden Girls because their example could well prove to be instructive. Why did these golden girls ends up rooming together? Not because they wanted to giggle girlishly and pretend they were undergraduates. It was made clear intermittently on the show that Blanche, Dorothy, Sophia, and Rose lived together because they could not afford to live on their own. They were forced into cohabitation by the reality of an empty wallet. One of the earlier episodes features Rose desperately trying to find a job and finding it difficult to do so because she's old and has no work experience. 

A side note: when Rue McClanahan started on the show, she was 51. When Kim Cattrall starred in the last Sex and the City movie, she was 54. I know that only because I checked and not because I saw the film. Even though the idea of three lovely white ladies going to Abu Dhabi and acting like great big sluts is HILARIOUS.

So here's my advice: find a woman who's sex-loving, a woman who's dizzy-headed, a woman who's sharp-tongued, and another woman who's sharp-tongued AND extraordinarily tall and move in with them. With all of you splitting costs, it should be possible to survive not by eating pellets of any kind, but by sharing beans from cans.

Send the Catastrophizer your requests for advice and/or rationalizations using the form conveniently provided HEREI will publish my responses on the THE CATASTROPHIZER page.

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