I’ve paid into Social Insecurity since I was 16 years old, and now I’m ... well, let’s just say I’m 462 years old in dog years. We debated on when to take it. The spry 62-year-olds argue, “We want to get some before it goes broke.”

Then there are those like me, who waited until full retirement age who didn’t want to be limited on how much money we could make. Besides, I don’t know how many years I have until I take that trip in the long, black Cadillac with no back seat. I already know I’m over the hill; I just don’t know how many years I have until I’m under it.

I gave serious consideration to waiting until I was 70 because then I could get 3 grand a month. But I wouldn’t know what to do with such riches, so I took it at 66.

We had three options for signing up: We could do it online, on the phone or in person. I signed up for Medicare online, and my wife did it over the phone, and it was all a nightmare, so we decided to sign up with a real person.

They tell you to bring your Social Insecurity card, marriage license and birth certificate, which prompted a nationwide search for documents I haven’t laid my eyes on in 40 years. When we finally found my Social Insecurity card, it was so old and delicate it was ready to spontaneously combust.


One of the signs you’re ready for Social Insecurity is: You get lost trying to find the right building. The last time I saw this particular piece of ground, it was a cow pasture. Another sign is: While you’re waiting in line outside the building, a guard comes out and offers you a chair.

Once inside, we all sat in a classroom surrounded by kiosks with big numbers on them. When I looked around, all I saw was a bunch of old and decrepit individuals with silver in their hair and gold in their teeth. “These folks are really old,” I told my wife.

“Probably younger than we are,” she sighed.

When our number was called, my wife woke me from my catnap, and we sat next to a piece of bullet-proof glass with a hole in it to talk into. The woman on the other side said real loud, “Can you hear me, Mr. Pitts?” Only Miss Smarty Pants didn’t say Pitts but instead put a “T” in front of “itts.”

I corrected her three times because everyone could hear – and it was getting embarrassing. From then on, Smarty Pants just called me Mr. Methuselah.

After going to all that work looking for our personal papers, Smarty Pants never asked to see them; instead, she asked us a bunch of tough questions to prove our identity. The one about my mom’s maiden name stumped me, as did the one, “Where were you married?”

I answered, “On the grass in the backyard of my mother-in-law’s house.”

Smarty Pants frowned and shook her head.

She also asked for our cellphone number and when I told her we didn’t have one, she looked at us like we were aliens or dinosaurs. She announced on the PA, “Hey guys, the folks in window seven don’t have a cellphone.” Everyone in the joint let out a big guffaw.

We ended up with more money than we anticipated, so we decided to celebrate and dine out, but it was 10 in the morning and too soon for the early bird geezer’s special. Totally out of character, we splurged anyway.

We told our waiter about the big day, and he brought us a piece of free cake with a big candle in it to celebrate and said, “If you need help blowing it out, just let me know and I’ll get help.”

Afterward, we went home and took a long nap.

Sure enough, a week later I got a letter from Social Insecurity filled with errors that said based on that information, I was ineligible.

I knew all along the whole Ponzi scheme was too good to be true.  end mark