OK, maybe this is an idea no one will like. Or
maybe it's been thought of, maybe even
rejected already. Maybe there's a reason it
won't work. At 2 a.m. my time, it's not obvious.  :)

Let me start by asking a rhetorical question:
Why do we have the special name "super"?

Obviously we could do it other ways. I'm just
winging it here:

    class Child < Parent

      def mymeth
          #...
          Parent.mymeth
      end

    end

But it's somehow cooler, neater, more logical to
say "super" (is it not?).

Now, consider this common situation.

    alias old_system_method system_method

    def system_method
        if today == Sunday
           # Do some other stuff...
        end
        old_system_method
    end

Do you see where I'm going? I propose a special
name "prior" that will automatically refer to the 
prior definition of any method that is being replaced.
No aliases will be necessary.

    def system_method
      if today == Sunday
        # Do some stuff...
      end
      prior
    end

What do you think?

Hal Fulton