Every couple of months or so, a certain conversation arises in our house, as it does in yours and most houses in Maine, Missouri, California and elsewhere. It’s about retirement and what happens when the income one is accustomed to changes dramatically. This is generally referred to as a “period of adjustment.”

In this period, the subject of money comes up and decisions are planned, not made, just thought of, because most of them are so unpleasant as to be shelved somewhere in the back of our collective minds, back there with what to do with the long-neglected basement. I’ll be talking about that next week, and you should pay attention, because most of you don’t know what’s going on down there.

I just read an article on the coming financial disaster that suggests that the worst is yet to come, and that within the next 10 years we will all be living on the street in tents or cardboard shacks. I imagine that Mitt and the Koch Brothers will be OK. I’m sure the president and his entire Cabinet, especially the secretary of state, have a few bucks put away. But us?

So I have a plan. I’m not worried about myself. I’ve slept in some pretty scary places in my day, and had to do with meager rations in my career. I’ve always had five suits and a dozen shirts to tide me over, but Campbell’s soups were often the entree of the night. It’s she, who has had a softer life than I, whom I’m worried about.

So I’ve developed a few ideas for survival based on my long life in the movies, watching them and working around them. The trick here is to keep her laughing so she doesn’t panic when the financial crisis comes. We need to develop a fantasy life based on those old movie couples whom we can emulate to see us through.

“The Thin Man” is out. Nick and Nora Charles lived an opulent life, and Rick and Elsa ended badly after leaving Casablanca. The Captain and Maria Von Trapp? She hates mountains and I don’t sing. “Love Story?” She dies, for heaven’s sake. So I think I have the perfect solution. Tarzan and Jane. Yes, the king of the jungle and his fair lady. Stop laughing; I’m not kidding. After we lose the house, what do we have more of than anything? Trees. In the next year or so, I’m going to use what money we have left after taxes and cellphone payments to have my carpenter, Mr. Varney, build us a treehouse.

As Jane and Tarzan did, we can forage for food in some of the better neighborhoods. Look around you. Squirrels are everywhere; now and then, wild turkeys and edible rodents, too. And we still have that new grill and a tank of propane.

The costumes are cheap and kind of sexy. I mean, how much does a loincloth go for these days? You have one to wear, one in the wash. I think she, who still has the great legs she had when she was dancing in a flapper costume, would be really hot in a Jane loincloth. I have some work to do on some parts of my torso before I don a loincloth, but we still have time.

You may think this is all a joke, but at least I have a plan. Do you? I’ve picked out a place high in the trees just behind us for the treehouse, and my daughter’s new sweetheart assures me that he can build a nice rope ladder. Yes, the winters will be tough, but they’ve always been tough.

Is there such a thing as a “puffer” loin cloth? A couple of unresolved questions: I don’t know where we’ll get a chimpanzee, and unless Jack, the dog, learns to climb a rope ladder, he’s on his own.

About the loincloth, where did Tarzan keep the knife?

J.P. Devine is a Waterville writer.

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