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Senior Power! A self-defense film for Senior Citizens!
by: -RoG-

Grandpa. He's as kind and giving as the old guy in the Werther's Original candy commercial who loves how shiny the wrappers are. And Grandma? Why, she's as harmless as a kitten in a vat of marshmallow fluff. But what about the bad people in the world? The criminals, the hoodlums, the thugs, the delinquents, the punks... the people who wouldn't think twice about putting ol' grandma and grandpa in a hurt locker. What are our elderly amigos to do when they come face to face with those scumbags?

Well fret not my golden geezers, for I've just uncovered a film from the 70's that will surely put all your fears to rest! The name of the film? SENIOR POWER!

A little old lady is walking down a city street all by herself in the middle of the night, and wouldn't you know it, some guy tries to mug her. But granny isn't about to give up her purse without a fight. In fact, she's going to use her SENIOR POWER to turn that purse into a deadly weapon!

Actually, this isn't a real mugging, this is just part of the "Senior Power" educational film that they're making. Problem is, the old lady keeps attacking her mugging co-actor instead of doing what she's supposed to do...

A law officer, Linden Chiles, steps in and tells her what she did wrong. Apparently, when you're old and about to be mugged, you must turn your purse upside-down and empty its contents onto the ground, then sit on the ground to avoid being knocked over by the mugger, and finally blow a whistle to scare the mugger away. Blow the whistle on crime! Funny how they don't mention that it's probably not a good idea for someone her age to be walking alone down a dark city street in the middle of the night... but hey, what do I know? I'm not a cop.

Anyway, they show her doing what she should've done, and the contents of her purse spill out onto the ground. A spoon, a bottle of white-out, a coat hanger, hair clips, a pair of scissors and other various junk. You know something? If anything, this film is a lesson for the would-be-muggers out there: Don't mug old lady's unless you were hoping to score a big bag of useless crap.

Cut to the studio where the offer, who I swear looks like Pete Rose, is leading the discussion about Senior Power. According to him, there are techniques you can learn, techniques such as the "upside-down purse" and "the whistle" which can prevent you from becoming a statistic. Ms. Sims is an expert on purse-snatchers, that is, she's had her purse stolen several times. So I guess she's an expert on being robbed. A lot of women lose their purses because they leave them unattended while shopping. Well, Ms. Sims recalls when she decided to try something new with her purse...

As Ms. Sims goes to ask the clerk for help reaching an item, she leaves her purse in her shopping cart like she normally does. Purse-snatchers love this sort of thing, but ol' Ms. Sims was ready this time! She didn't just leave her purse in her shopping cart, she actually tied it to it! Now when the purse-snatcher tries to grab her purse, he drags the whole cart with him. And what happens next is sheer brilliance...

He freaks out so much when he realizes the purse is tied to the shopping cart that he stumbles backwards into a stack of soup cans, knocking himself unconscious. Yep, all because she tied her purse to the cart. Make sure you jot that technique down, senior citizens. I'm sure you'll get the same results every time.

But what about burglars and prowlers? Don't worry gramps, we've got ya covered too! Keep all your doors and windows locked is common sense, but what about the criminals who aren't thwarted by mere locks? Well this old guy has a technique of his very own. He simply plays a tape recording of an angry dog barking whenever somebody tries to break into his house and then calls the police. Apparently the criminals who come to his house can't tell the difference between a low-quality tape player and a real dog, but hey, whatever works for you old timer.

Moving right along... "a common problem for senior citizens is the obscene phone call." Tell me about it. I can't tell you how many times my grandma has complained to me about all the lewd calls she gets. Well, thanks to Senior Power, my grandma won't have to be the victim any longer!

Cut to an elderly couple enjoying a relaxing evening in their living room when all of a sudden the phone rings. The old man answers the phone and before he can even say hello, the voice on the other line says, "I wanna take off your clothes!" And what does the man do? He turns to his wife and says, "It's for you." I SHIT YOU NOT!

While her excited reaction to the phone call is hilarious in its own right, nothing tops the facial expressions of the pervert who's calling her...

Look at the intensity in those eyes! Look how they just light up with excitement! Look at those big bushy eyebrows fluttering with anticipation! "Ooooooo you have no idea how old women exxxxxxxxxxcite me! Muahahahaha!" Oh yeah, this caller likes himself some old lady action! CLASSIC!

While the perv on the phone continues to ramble about how good he is in bed, the old lady puts some ear plugs on and then blows her whistle directly into the receiver.

Perv-o freaks out with a loud "Oooeeaargh!" and literally crashes through the front door of the phone booth that he's calling him. Nice checkered leisure suit by the way! Also, the pervert is played by Bruce Kerner, the guy who directed this film. He clearly gave himself the best role and I can't say I blame him one bit. (and yes, you'll have a chance to view this hilarious scene in its entirety at the end of this article.)

"That's another good way to blow the whistle on crime," says the officer and then he goes on to remind us all to report obscene phone callers to the phone company. I'm guessing that's what happened to the Jerky Boys. Well either that or Caller ID.

Anyway, another problem for senior citizens is when they go to the bank to cash their social security checks. Criminals would wait for them to leave the bank and then they would get robbed.

Stash it, don't flash it! If only Mr. Boyle had followed this advice, this thug wouldn't have seen him counting all his money as he walked out of the bank. If he had taken that advice, he could've avoided the following situation altogether.

(On a sidenote, when I first saw this film, I could've sworn that thug in the bank was Peter Tork from The Monkees. And if you keep that in mind while watching him mug this old guy, it makes it all the more amusing.)

Upon exiting the bank, Mr. Boyle is held-up at gunpoint by Peter Tork, er... some thug. He quickly gives the guy his wallet, and then the thug and his partner make a quick getaway... presumably to Clarksville. But Mr. Boyle was prepared, probably because he'd been mugged in the past, and he gave them a phony wallet with play money in it. "You can't trust anyone over 30!" the thug says as his voice cracks. Mr. Boyle then calls the sheriff and reports the license plate number of the getaway car.

Now this is the part where the film goes off on a Dukes of Hazzard-ish tangent. Instead of cutting back to the studio and talking about more Senior Power tips, they go on this whole elaborate police car chase.

Eventually the car skids out and one of the thugs is knocked unconscious. The other thug hops out of the car and makes a run for it on foot. The chase continues into a suburban area where the thug hops a fence and accidentally falls into a swimming pool where the cops catch him. It's like a poor-man's episode of TJ Hooker; no William Shatner, no Heather Locklear, and altogether extremely anti-climactic.

Mr. Boyle talks about how if he hadn't flashed his money, none of this would've happened in the first place. They also tell him he shouldn't leave the bank alone, and Mr. Boyle says, "believe me, I tried." A reference to how he's got a thing for Ms. Sims, which makes her blush. Awwww. Mr. Boyle goes on to talk about how he always carries two wallets, one real one fake, but how he was prepared to give those criminals anything they wanted. Don't resist the criminals. That's Senior Power!

The officer then goes on with a recap of all the techniques we learned today, but as I watch him, I can't help but think about how awesome his hair is. "You've all had a lifetime of experience, and your brains CAN beat their brawn. When you make the criminal's job more difficult, you help all of us blow the whistle on crime!" Preach on brother, preach on!

As they leave the studio, Mr. Boyle takes one last stab at getting Ms. Sims to go out with him and she finally caves in. They walk off prepared to exercise their newfound Senior Power on any criminal who dares get in their path.

Now you may feel safe with all this new knowledge, and that's great, but just remember one thing...

He's out there somewhere... and he's got your number.


*** BONUS! ***


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