Beware the Porch-Sitters

When people reach the golden age of retirement they finally have the well-earned time to pursue all the hobbies they neglected for many years. Many turn to life-long passions or devote their new found free-time to giving back to their community through volunteering.

Clint Eastwood in the 2008 film Get Off My Lawn.

But most just grab a comfy rocking chair or old sofa and spend the rest of their lives having a serious porch-sit. You see them in the city, on the country road, and on porches of suburbia; at night you catch a glint of a streetlight off their thick rimless glasses peering from the darkness of the veranda.

Mostly it's just harmless festering but on occasion, it can spiral out of control into full-fledged paranoia. It starts when they cross over from observing, to memorizing the routines of their neighbours and tracking their movements. Any deviations from the normal traffic of the day is carefully logged and reviewed until suspicions can be confirmed.

At this level of surveillance, code names usually have to be used to specify which neighbors are of interest, names derived from the physical characteristics or other details discernible from across the street. Some are generic: The Lanky Teen, the Shirtless Fat Man... Others may reference pop-culture from back in the day to paint a picture in the readers mind: "You know that woman across the street who looks like the girl from Blossom, she was out walking Frasier's dog early this morning. I think she and Mr. Sulu, are fighting again."

The Worst kind of porch-watcher.

This piece of shit spent a lot of time watching the world from his porch - made sure his house faced an elementary school.

Porch-sitters are not unlike Tilley-Hat people, in that they serve as a warning to the rest of society about the perils of retirement. When one has no plans, hobbies, or some personal vocation to take up upon leaving an ever-increasingly long life in the workforce, then all that awaits is Porch Purgatory.

I'm fuckin watching you...always watching.

And that is a fate worse than death, a neurosis from which not even a thousand thoughtful phone calls from your kids will assuage...

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