Saturday, September 22, 2012

Magazines for Retirees

A recent news article caught my eye. It reported that a Southern lifestyle magazine once borderline defunct had risen like a phoenix from the ashes. Garden and Gun, touted as “the Soul of the South,” will live to see another harvest and another hunting season.

Gardens and guns seem like an odd pairing, even for the Billy Bobs and Sue Ellens of the world. It occurred to me that there must be a treasure trove of equally oddly-titled magazines in distribution. I set out to find these, especially ones that would be of interest to retirees.

Guns and Bran Muffins offers another unlikely coupling. It provides advice on the best firearms to keep in your bedside table and where to practice using them. Research shows that fear of late-night break-ins is a top concern for retirees and guns help them sleep better. Each issue also has a recipe for a bran muffin, often in combination with fruit. The issue I scanned featured Raisin Bran Kumquat Surprise Muffins. I shudder to imagine the surprise.

Dentures and Woodworking Quarterly is yet another unexpected combo, brought together for retired handymen. If it goes in your mouth or if it can be made out of wood, you’ll find it here. Every issue has at least one project that combines dentures and woodworking. The publishers are either really creative or totally insane. Then again, when you consider the cost of dental work, they may be on to something, by George.

As you might expect, Walker, Texas Rover is a magazine for outdoorsy folks. You’ll find extensive information on Texas hiking trails designed especially to accommodate those who rely on walkers to get around. A particularly popular feature is each month’s first-person account of a walker rove that tested the survival skills of someone over 65 who was eventually rescued by Chuck Norris.

Air Power ceased distribution in 2007, but it’s been replaced by the senior publication, Passing Air Power. This has a strong focus on recipes that use high fiber ingredients. The chart showing the wind velocity generated by various non-gluten grains is surprisingly informative. PAP is also full of ads for scented candles. And Beano. Pick your poison.

Modern Velcro is a Godsend for those with arthritic fingers. Velcro is the miracle tool that most retirees just can’t live without. You’ll discover uses that you couldn’t imagine in your wildest dreams or your most drunken stupor. Just one example: replace those magnetic backings for the pictures and tchotchkes on your refrigerator with Velcro strips. They don’t fall apart and they even work on appliances that aren’t made of metal.

Do-it-yourselfers should find The Arch Support Hobbyist useful when they retire. Experts explain step-by-step methods for producing molds of your own arches using various materials found in most kitchens. Other contributors provide detailed instructions for creating supports from these molds. While some are predictable (Play Doh, Silly Putty), others are downright intriguing (clumping cat litter, cornstarch packing fill). I’m no podiatrist, but Dr. Scholl’s could be in for some serious competition from this uplifting magazine.

The Old Codger’s Bedside Companion is technically a periodical—it’s published annually—but it’s really more of an almanac. It’s filled with complaints and insults that can be hurled at anyone you can think of. The curmudgeonly comments are organized by category. You’ll find just the right way to annoy family members, neighbors, merchants, doctors—even your Facebook buddies. If there’s a category that’s missing, it will probably show up in the next edition. Good luck holding your tongue for a year.

My favorite title for retirees, albeit on a vicarious basis, is Heirloom Grandchildren. Every page is bursting with the pride of having produced something so special that its genetics should be preserved as part of the Millennium Seed Bank Project. The pictures of the grandkids are as luscious as those of heirloom vegetables. Each child is scrubbed and combed and shined to perfection and the photos are accompanied by stories of the progenies’ extraordinary accomplishments. Be still my heart. And pass the tomatoes.

And so you have it. Eight special pleasures you can have delivered right to your door, and none of them needs a brown paper wrapper. Eight glossies that you can curl up with while you enjoy a nice glass of wine.

Keep an eye out for my next edition of “Magazines for Retirees,” in which I’ll review House and Closet (a must-have for those downsizing into retirement), Patio and Lawn Chair (devoted exclusively to life on your patio), and After Dusk/Before Dark (replaces the discontinued After Dark entertainment mag, which was targeted to younger folk). I’m sure you’re looking forward to these as much as I am. Now about that wine…

No comments: