Coming in 2040: No Future, the First Punk Rock Nursing Home
by Lisa Borders
Your Gen X loved ones have survived so much: the Cold War, latchkey childhoods, mosh pits, COVIDs-19-through-27. They were born into a world without the internet, but now skillfully use their Facebook Hippocampal Implants™ to share old Bauhaus videos, plot the revolution in their local Antifa groups, or photos of Joey Ramone with his cat.
Do the seniors in your life sneer at the idea of decorum? Spit at the mention of Rupert Murdoch, and go into an anti-Reagan rant like it’s 1984 and they’re canvassing for Mondale? Do they insist that none of the good music in the ’80s was played on the radio, except for college radio? Have you found old photos of Grandma when she was 20 wearing Doc Martens, ripped fishnet stockings, and a miniskirt? If you answered “yes” to any of the above, then No Future might be just the place for your elders to rock out their sunset years.
Staffed almost entirely by the love children of Henry Rollins, we’re opening our doors in 2040 at this first-of-its-kind facility. From the moment you walk in, you’ll see the difference. Gone are the floral wallpaper borders, the fake oak wainscoting, the lingering scent of Febreze and death you’ll notice in other elder care facilities. We’ve designed No Future to resemble a warehouse squat, the kind in which your loved one likely attended many a gig. Our thin Berber carpeting was custom-ripped, cigarette-burned, and beer-soaked for maximum authenticity. And we’ve worked with Glade to develop a scent we call “Illegal Hüsker Dü After Party” — an intoxicating aroma of skunky marijuana, Rolling Rock, and urine. It might smell terrible to you, but the light you’ll see go on in Pop Pop’s eyes will tell you you’ve brought him to the right place.
At No Future, we welcome residents of all ethnicities, faiths, and sexual orientations. We do, however, discriminate based on musical taste — our residents wouldn’t have it any other way. Our application process includes a lengthy musical quiz with questions like, “Which album marks the point when the Clash sold out: London Calling or Combat Rock?" and “Green Day: revivalists or second-rate poseurs? Discuss.” We’ll also ask your elder to list all the gigs they attended from 1980-1995. Trust us: they may not remember their grandkids’ names, but they’ll remember those shows. You might be surprised to learn how many nights Mom spent at CBGBs, and end up wondering if Richard Hell is your real father. But what’s a little paternity confusion compared to seeing that twinkle return to her rheumy blue eyes?
No Future has been designed with two wings: Pretty Vacant, the early punk unit where our staff sport mohawks and leather jackets (white for our medical staff); and Just Like Heaven, the post-punk area where everyone is dressed up like The Cure. If Goth demand increases, we may well open a Sisters of Mercy wing at a later date.
Instead of a sterile dining hall, we offer a snack bar that resembles a New York City bodega circa 1986. Dad once told you he existed on cigarettes and coffee when he was young; now it’s time to put him to the test! We do have a cook on staff 24/7 to whip up some cheap ramen noodles or boxed macaroni and cheese for your elder after they pound back too many Budweisers listening to our Circle Jerks cover band. Residents who slam dance to our Sid Vicious impersonator will be fitted with hip and knee pads, but if the stage diving gets out of hand, our medical team is on-site 24/7 as well. “This is the kind of magazine you keep on your bookshelves with your favorite books.” — Cece Bell, author of El Deafo
As you tour other facilities, think not about the credit to the straight world your parents became after they were saddled with jobs, mortgages, and, frankly, you. Think about who they were when they were young, that hint of a Billy Idol sneer they sometimes can’t suppress, that story you’ve heard over and over about the band they were in for a hot ’80s minute that opened for R.E.M. once and “could have been huge.” Think about the kind of place where your elders can live out their punk rock dreams, that road to nowhere not taken.
No Future. Because if it horrifies you, your Gen X parents are certain to love it.
(Breaking ground in 2045: Nevermind, our new Grunge wing.)
I should add that this was anticipated by the great NYC punk band Iron Prostate, whose debut album featured a song called "Rock 'n' Roll Nursing Home," with the immortal lyric "Baby take a ride on my Craftmatic Bed." Which can be heard below...
...beginning at the 3:12 mark.