End-Life Crisis Marked By Extravagant Spending Spree

Top Headlines


Roommate Skulking Around Edge Of Party Like Victorian Ghost Child

SEATTLE—Appearing initially in the far corner of the living room and then several minutes later on the threshold between the kitchen and the hallway, local roommate Kelsey Stahl was, by multiple accounts, seen skulking around the edge of a house party Friday like a Victorian ghost child.

Man Praying Interviewer Doesn’t Ask Any Questions

MINNEAPOLIS—His mouth going dry and his palms growing sweaty as he arrived at the offices of Regent Advertising Partners to interview for an open account manager position, local man Devin McKee reportedly prayed Thursday that the hiring manager wouldn’t ask him any questions during their meeting.

Man Had No Idea Cough Was Going To Be Wet One

MUSKEGON, MI—Caught completely off guard by the viscous lump of sputum that was dislodged and sent rocketing upward from his lower respiratory tract, area man Luke Reese confirmed Wednesday he had no idea his impending cough was going to be a wet one.

Area Man A Staunch Single-Gender Voter

JOHNSTOWN, PA—Saying it was the only factor he considered when deciding who to cast his ballot for, local man William Swanson, 44, told reporters Thursday he is strictly a single-gender voter.

Weird Relative At Family Reunion Knows How Everyone Related To Each Other

WELDON SPRING, MO—Saying she possessed a seemingly limitless wealth of information on various cousins, step-siblings, and in-laws, sources at the 2016 Webb family reunion this past weekend confirmed that weird relative Susan Amos, 73, exhibited a strikingly intricate knowledge of how everyone was related to each other.

Woman Worried She Doing Bad Job Enjoying Massage

MALVERN, PA—Silently wondering throughout the hour-long appointment if there was anything she could be doing to enhance the experience, local woman Caitlyn Leigh reportedly worried Wednesday that she was doing a bad job enjoying the full-body massage she was receiving.

Cyclist Clearly Loves Signaling Turns

MILWAUKEE—Judging by the firm outward thrust of the woman’s arm and the length of times she held the gestures, witnesses confirmed Wednesday that a local bicycle rider clearly loves signaling turns.

Mom On Vacation Marveling At Time Difference Compared To Home

SAN DIEGO—Having already pointed out when everyone back home was getting off work and when the local nightly news was starting, area mother Pam Westin spent much of the first day of her family’s week-long California vacation marveling at the time difference compared to where they lived, sources confirmed Tuesday.

Relaxing Tea Better Fucking Work

SMYRNA, DE—Saying he needed to be transported to a tranquil, untroubled state of calmness pronto, local man Pete McCartin, 29, told reporters Thursday that a fresh-brewed mug of purportedly relaxation-promoting tea had better fucking work.

Parents Into New Snack Now

BALLSTON, NY—Noticing they had both a Lightly Salted and a Tomato Basil version of the previously unknown product in their cupboard upon arriving for a visit home this past weekend, Jared Randall, 26, confirmed Wednesday that his parents are into a new snack now.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

End-Life Crisis Marked By Extravagant Spending Spree

TOLEDO, OH—Ever since his retirement nearly a decade ago, area resident Oscar Subitzky just hasn't been the same. What began as a single, uncharacteristic extravagance—the payment of $15,000 for a coronary angioplasty to expand his narrowing arterial wall—has given way to a growing number of personal luxuries, from the latest brand-name heart medications to the most advanced palliative care. The unusual developments have led concerned family members to suspect that the once prudent and conservative 74-year-old widower is undergoing an acute end-life crisis.

Family members say Subitzky's expensive "impulse purchases" aren't making him any younger.

"Sure, the operation seemed a little indulgent at first, but we could tell it was really important to Dad, so we didn't try to stop him from having it," said daughter Martha Welsch, 46, who can still remember when her father didn't need "pricey doodads" like defibrillators and cardiopulmonary-resuscitation devices to be content. "We all thought this was going to be a one-time thing, that it was just something Dad had to get out of his system, and then things would go back to normal," she said.

"Unfortunately, one surgery quickly became two surgeries, which soon turned into three surgeries," Welsch added. "That's when we realized the whole thing was a lot more serious than Dad just wanting to get a clogged artery cleared."

Subitzky's end-life crisis began when he suddenly left a secure job as an accountant at the age of 65. Welsch admitted she didn't quite understand what had come over Subitzky until he announced six months after his retirement that he had started seeing a cardiologist nearly half his age.

"You hear those stories about men in their late 60s all of a sudden coming home with an expensive new pacemaker or deciding to get work done on their kidneys out of the blue, but Dad just never seemed like the type," Welsch said. "If he honestly thinks that spending thousands of dollars on blood transfusions is going to change the way he feels inside, I'm afraid he's got another think coming."

Lately, Welsch said, between "all those fancy new breathing tubes he now wears," and the company of a new live-in nurse only a few years older than some of his grandchildren, she sometimes doesn't recognize her father.

"What's he going to do next, gallivant off to some $10,000-a-day, all-inclusive hospice?" she wondered.

In addition to throwing money around "like there's no tomorrow," as Welsch puts it, Subitzky has also reportedly grown obsessed with his appearance, examining his body for lumps, bruises, or signs of congested veins dozens of times a day. According to son Patrick Subitzky, 39, who admits to being a little embarrassed by his father's newfound vanity, the older man's obsession with his looks has also resulted in a "ridiculous new diet" of only dark-green leafy vegetables, fruits high in citric acid, whole-grain cereals, and absolutely no meat or dairy products.

"I love him and everything, but I don't know who my father thinks he is anymore," said Subitzky, who cringes every time his elderly father speeds around town in that "loud and flashy" ambulance. "He's even talking about a trip to Denver to see some heart specialist there. Whatever happened to the Oscar Subitzky who hated to travel?"

According to psychologist Elizabeth Schulz, who specializes in mortality-identity issues, an end-life crisis is an emotional state of fear and anxiety that often affects men and women between the ages of 65 and 100, and is usually sparked by the uncomfortable realization that one's time on earth is limited.

"Individuals in the middle of an end-life crisis are usually easy to spot, as they tend to foolishly acquire big-ticket items such as liver transplants to compensate for feelings of growing inadequacy," said Schulz, who in the past several years has observed increasing numbers of clients suffering from the common disorder wheeling themselves into her office. "While these shortsighted material purchases will often work at first, leaving the individual feeling rejuvenated and even energized, in the long term they have very little effect."


Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close