WASHINGTON, DC—After decades of waiting, the much-anticipated mass Baby Boomer die-off should finally commence within the next five to ten years, Census Bureau officials said Monday.
"I am pleased to announce that it won't be much longer now," Census Bureau deputy director Arthur Clausewitz said at a press conference. "According to our statistics, by 2009, we should see the Baby Boomers start to die off in large numbers. Heart attacks, strokes, cancer, kidney failure—you name it, the Boomers are going to be dropping from it."
Clausewitz said the Great Boomer Die-Off should hit full stride in approximately 2015, when the oldest members of the Baby Boom generation—born during the last days of World War II—turn 70.
"Before long, tens of millions of members of this irritating generation will achieve what such Boomer icons as Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Timothy Leary and John Kennedy already have: death. Before long, we will live in a glorious new world in which no one will ever again have to endure tales of Joan Baez's performance at Woodstock."
Despite his enthusiasm, Clausewitz cautioned that the Great Boomer Die-Off will not be without its downside.
"Our nation must steel itself for one vast, final orgy of Boomer self-obsession as we are hit with a bewildering onslaught of magazine pictorials, hardcover coffee-table books and multi-part, Motown-soundtracked television specials looking back on the glory days of the 1960s," Clausewitz said. "But once this great, final spasm of nostalgia passes, the ravages of age will take its toll on boomer self-indulgence, and the curtain will at long last fall on what is regarded by many as the most odious generation America has ever produced."
Clausewitz also noted that the cost of caring for the elderly and infirm of the nation's largest demographic group will be enormous.
"The selfishness that has been a hallmark of the Boomers will continue right up to the very end, as they force millions of younger Americans to devote an inordinate amount of time and resources to their care, bankrupting the Social Security system in the process," Clausewitz said. "In their old age, the Boomers will actually manage to take as much from the next generation as they did the previous one, which fought WWII so that their Boomer children could have Philco TVs and Davy Crockett air rifles."
The Great Boomer Die-Off will have its greatest impact, experts say, in the economic sector. The funeral industry is expected to enjoy a $700 million surge in profits, a result of the inevitable onslaught of lavish, Big Chill-themed memorial services. Many industries, however, will likely suffer from the die-off, including the manufacturers of sport-utility vehicles, home jacuzzis and hair-replacement systems. The financial sector will also feel the hit, as it is forced to fill some 400,000 high-paying stockbroker and corporate-banking jobs, held for decades by ex-hippies.
"It's not exactly clear how, but for the past 40 years, this generation has managed to keep the spotlight on itself," Brown University history professor A. Thomas Raymond said. "The era-defining flower children of the '60s, hedonistic disco-goers of the '70s, BMW-driving yuppies of the '80s and graying private-investor homeowner parents of the '90s all have one thing in common: They're all Boomers."
"It takes a staggering amount of effort to keep oneself the focus of an entire society for one decade, much less four, but the Boomers somehow pulled it off," Raymond continued. "Thankfully, though, their reign will soon come to an end. It's just too bad so few of them died before they got old."