It was almost too good to be true. I went for 48 hours without hearing a word about baby boomers and what stage they were in. Then, someone figured out that in 69 months, 4.3 million of them would turn 40.
All of a sudden the country goes crazy again. Do we have enough laxatives on the shelves? Can clothing manufacturers make enough elastic waistbands to keep pace with the demand? Will the sound of all those biological clocks ticking cause major noise pollution?Who cares? Let's get down to the real problem here. In a few years we are going to have 77 million yuppies roaming around with bad backs. Add to that the millions who already have a back problem, and it could change the way America lives.
Forget Rupert Murdoch and Donald Trump. The new rich will all be orthopedic surgeons and chiropractors. Madonna and Michael Jackson will have their personal favorites who will write books and be interviewed by Barbara Walters.
The Betty Ford Clinic will be converted to the Betty Ford Whirlpool and Physical Therapy Treatment Center. Every new car off the assembly line will be touted as "back-friendly." People won't even sit up and notice anymore without having one knee bent.
Personally, it will take away the only attention-grabber I've had in years. When I walk into a room, I feel confident knowing that I can assemble a group around me in minutes and hold them mesmerized with stories of my bad back. It's like a poker game. Those standing around who are into bed rest and traction had better fold because there is always someone who is holding a higher card. Even three months of physical therapy won't beat my "automated percutaneous lumbar diskectomy" and I know it. But with the bad-back glut on its way, there are going to be more laminectomies in a room than you can trip over.
It's like the old story about the guy whose only claim to fame was having lived through the Johnstown, Pa., flood. When he died and went to heaven, he was asked if he had any last wishes. He said, "I'd like to tell the story of the Johnstown flood just one more time." God said, "Your wish is granted. But remember, you'll have Noah in your audience."