The common canard is that those in retirement have no valued social roles. Those who don’t die from the shock of being a non-person with no productive position or schedule face a life of emptiness. Time is a measureless void, both frightening and shapeless. Except for some seasonal gardening, retirement can become a kind of vegetative state without goals or meaning. In cold climates a few sad souls sit around tables in senior centres crocheting doilies and exchanging tales of ‘the good old days’. In the American sunbelt they sit around the pool exchanging the same tales augmented by tales of sun damage and the sport of insect swatting.