Written by Harry Porter
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Topics: business, Hippies

Friday, 20 August 2004

image for Rock Revolution Rattles Retirement Business
The end is... high

The first care home exclusively for aging hippies has opened its doors with demand exceeding capacity 40-1.

And the sleepy town of Banner Elk, NC, doesn't know what's hit it.

Within a week of opening, the 40-room Mr Tambourine Mansion attracted four visits from the police, three turn-outs by the fire department and resulted in four petitions being drawn up by angry townsfolk and presented to every single member of the nine-strong Planning Board.

This oddest of retirement homes is the brainchild of Frank ‘Rowdy' Yates (47) and, despite the initial teething troubles and wave of local protest, he's no regrets, plenty of cash… and plans to expand.

"Care homes, up until now," he said, "have been desperate places. The retirement business is due for a hard rock revolution, and that exactly what we've started.

"People won't die in here, they'll be rock casualties."

But does that explain two drug busts, fights between residents, assaults on schoolchildren, wilful fire-raising and a noise level on a par with a city nightclub?

"You normally associate homes with the stink of urine, disinfectant and cooking," explained Rowdy. "Well, this place is dripping in patchouli oil and filled with incense. Granted, the number of josticks has proved a fire hazard and we are addressing that.

"The fights? They've been over nothing. What happened was that one resident said Alvin Lee was better than Hendrix during a showing of Woodstock in the residents' lounge and the place just erupted. There were all these old guys in tie-dyed pyjamas swinging at each other.

"A lot of the residents have hearing that's shot and you tend to find the volume on stereos is cranked up a bit, so that's irritated the locals."

And the attacks on schoolchildren?

"Look," explained Rowdy, "you've got a bunch of stoned guys watching The Last Waltz and giggling when Clapton's guitar straps comes off then a teacher, young enough to be their grand-daughter, comes in with a bunch of kids who start playing Frere Jacques on their recorders.

"It was always going to turn ugly."

The waiting list for Tambourine Mansions is now into four figures and there are plans for three more homes when suitable locations have been identified.

It is also hoped to expand into Europe before the end of 2008.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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