After a lifetime of making the lives of his three sons miserable, Ralph Murton got in one more dig by living to 100 while still showing no signs of slowing down.
“I know my sons would like nothing more than to finally be rid of me, but if they think I’m going to let them off the hook, they’ve got another thing coming,” says Murton, an engineer who retired from Midwest Pacific Railroad in 1983.
Murton says he knows perfectly well his sons think he’s a bastard, a harsh disciplinarian who seemed to enjoy punishing them for the slightest infractions when they were younger, like when Dan, his oldest son, accidentally tore his new jeans when he was in eighth grade. “They used to cringe when I came home from work, wondering if I was going to find something they did wrong,” says Murton. “Usually I did find something, because it’s not hard to find things when you have three sons.”
Murton says he spanked his sons “pretty frequently” when they were small, first with his hand and then with his belt as they got older. He also yelled at them “daily” and imposed harsh punishments when they did things he didn’t approve of, like when Bill, the middle son, dropped out of the business program at college to get a degree in art. “You can’t do anything with an art degree,” says Murton. “And he’s not doing anything with an art degree. He’s working some public relations job or something and hardly making any money.”
To make his sons’ lives as miserable as possible, he’s becoming increasingly helpless and forgetful, but at the same time he refuses to let his sons put him in a nursing home. What’s more, he demands that they visit him daily, and if they don’t, he starts to wander around the neighborhood in his bathrobe, which he hasn’t washed in about six years. “Embarrasses the hell out of them,” he says.
The boys have been paying to have a woman come to the house once a day for about four hours to make sure Murton takes his medicine and to give him lunch, but they can never keep a caretaker for more than a year. “Everyone hates me,” Murton says. “But they also know they have to show me some deference, because I am, after all, 100.”
Given his health, which is in decline, he’s not sure how much longer he can harass his sons. But he’s going to make every effort to keep the harassment going , because it’s the only thing that puts a spring in his step. “Getting old is for the birds,” he says. “Luckily, you never get too old to be mean.”
This is a work of satire. It is fictional news article not meant to be taken seriously. Photo: ah (Creative Commons). Not necessarily an endorsed use of image.
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6. Preventable diseases
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