Saint John — It’s 4 p.m. A beautiful day. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and the beaches are open. Nevertheless, four teenagers sit in 17-year-old Caleb Molton’s bedroom, trying to make themselves look older.
“I always have to draw the wrinkles juuuuust right,” said Molton, carefully applying makeup to his forehead. “They always get you on the wrinkles.”
This is how every Thursday looks for the Old At Heart Club, as they call themselves. A small group of teens who disguise themselves as senior citizens in order to attend local church game nights, the Old At Heart Club has been meeting once a week for almost two years.
“Our favourite is Our Lady Beloved on the west side,” said 16-year-old Bradley Knove. “They have the best Bingo prizes.”
The church leaders say it’s important that seniors have a place to meet in a quiet, recreational setting, which is why they have imposed an age restriction for the event. No one under 65 is permitted to attend.
“I think it’s good to provide the more aged folks in the community the chance to be with their own kind, and ignore all the trappings of modern society,” said the games night organizer, Father Grayscale. “Also, as part of my settlement, I’m not really supposed to be around children.”
Local seniors echo this sentiment, not wanting their beloved games night to be overtaken by rowdy teenagers.
“Ooooh, those darn kids sneaking in here…it just makes me so mad,” said one old woman, shaking her head dramatically. Suddenly, her white hair fell onto the table, revealing long, brown locks before she speedily replaced it. She coughed nervously, and continued. “How dare they try and improve their lives by playing fun games together in an emotionally safe environment.”
The teens say they have no plans of stopping, however, until the regulations are changed to allow young people to play alongside the elderly in perfect unity.
“We don’t mean to be intrusive, but as young people, we simply are not afforded the same opportunities,” said Molton. “We just want to spend our Thursday nights unplugged, playing games, making friends–”
“And scoping for some senior ‘tang, amiright?” said Knove, looking around eagerly for approval. Receiving none, he quickly retreated. “Nah, I’m just kidding. That’s totally gross, I guess…for some reason.”