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Gill is, in my humble, unbiased opinion, an excellent writer. As in, she’s creative, uses a wide-ranging vocabulary, gets her thoughts across succinctly yet with flourish, amuses her readers, and lays out descriptive phrases in such a way that the reader can picture an event clearly in his or her mind’s eye.

What she cannot do is write…as in cursive writing. Gill’s ‘writing’, or scribbling, is really a series of printed letters sitting beside each other, more or less related, but not joining together. Like a fractured family with the divorced dad at the end, nobody speaking, everyone holding an unspoken grudge. I am reminded of a kindergartener’s first attempts when I see Gill’s hieroglyphics. I have always found it difficult to decipher her scratchings, but, as with many things, there is comfort in numbers. And so I direct your attention to the modern educational system.

It would seem, according to a recent newspaper article, that Gill is not alone in her inability to form letters (with pen on paper) and join them together to make a legible word. The younger generation now relies so completely on pecking buttons on computers or cell phones or iPads that they don’t know how to write. (I suspect the next adaptation on the human body will be the prominence of the thumbs and the middle fingers…the thumbs for pecking; the middle finger for communicating via the ‘universal salute’.) The remaining fingers will become mere stubs since they serve no purpose whatsoever. I mean, it’s lovely to support the manicure industry, but in these difficult times, something has to give.

Writing is fast becoming a lost art. And it is no longer taught in schools. The biggest concern is that people will no longer be able to sign their own names to legal documents. How will one get a passport without a signature? Or sign a mortgage agreement? Or divorce papers? Or student loan applications? This is serious, folks.

And yet, it also presents a growth opportunity for the older generation, the folks needing to prop up their retirement savings after the recent financial meltdown. No longer do we have to become the local greeter at Walmart. Or the neighbourhood dog walker. It is time to regain our dignity.  We, those who KNOW how to write, can offer our services to the unfortunates who cannot.

I must confess, this was not MY idea originally — it is the twisted product of Gill’s genius.  It popped into her fertile mind when she was back in high school. Although unable to fashion a reasonable signature on her own behalf, she was nonetheless able to forge MINE with aplomb…and did so whenever she felt the need to absent her classes. Not content to let her talents languish from disuse (because how many classes can one skip and still be eligible for the swim team?), she branched out and provided her service to other students, crafting ingenious excuse notes — complete with their parents’ forged John Henrys.

So, back to my plan to restore the financial stability of the retired generation: all we seniors would need to do to set up such a business would be to get ‘Power of Attorney’ for an individual and then, for a fee, sign on their behalf whenever they required a signature. Ah, but you’re wondering, how would we get that if the other person couldn’t sign POA away? Simple…take an oath in blood. Or the modern way: videotape consent and put it up on FB or YouTube. Once it’s up on the Internet, it is there to haunt you for life…as many unfortunate movie stars and ex-politicians with sex tapes know.

And then, dear young people who cannot write, we the older folks, the foolish old codgers whom you mock for not keeping up with the modern world of technology, will take over your world, your bank accounts, your legal rights. ‘Cause we know how to sign our (your) names and you don’t! How about them apples??!