Friday, 25 June 2010

Coffin dodgers put to work

Ninety eight-year-old former police officer Stan Widdle retired 38 years ago. Yesterday he returned to his former role as a bobby on the beat, patrolling some of London’s most dangerous areas with his walking frame as part of a government scheme to get coffin-dodgers back into work.

The new scheme sees the retirement age raised to 105, effective immediately.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said old people still have “a very small part to play” in our society and they should allow society the benefit of their wisdom and life experience.

Pensioner’s playgrounds were empty today as coffin-dodgers dusted off their briefcases and toddled off to offices around Britain.

When Gusset News caught up with Mr Widdle he said he was finding the job a challenge, despite the wisdom old age has brought. He said he was tired and by midday he had forgotten what he was supposed to be doing and what his name was, despite wearing a nametag.

Thumbs up: Beatrice Ripple will retire in 21 years.

Eighty-four-year-old Beatrice Ripple landed a Boeing 767 for the first time in more than 20 years yesterday afternoon. She retired from her role as a BA pilot in 1989 due to sight problems, but the new law, which is firmly in line with today’s equal opportunities legislation, will see her take to the air once again – with the help of her seeing eye dog, Buster.

“It’s just marvellous,” Ripple said. “Yesterday I was knitting a bonnet for my great-grandson and today I’ve got the lives of thousands of people in my hands, haven’t I Buster?”

Older people who are unable to move at all are being put to use in other ways. Those with Parkinson’s Disease will be used as cocktail shakers while those unable to move or communicate at all will be gainfully employed as call centre workers and road workers.

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