"Hey, Pa, they're going to have to make some changes in Social Security to keep the program from going bankrupt."

"Makes sense to me. Am I still under the safety net?"

"Not sure yet. It depends on the compromise. Ain't enough money to go around so they have to change the rules again."

"What went wrong, son?"

"You want to know the truth, Pa? You didn't die when you was supposed to."

"Never intended to, son, heh, heh, heh."

"It ain't no laughing matter, Pa. You see, when the Social Security program started, them smart fellas in Washington figured you to die when you was 62, so they wouldn't have to give you more'n you put in. But you lived to be 75 and you still don't look ready to go."

"You bet your sweet life I ain't ready to go. I didn't promise them fellas in Washington nothin' about when I'd kick the can. I feel better now'n I did when I was 50."

"It ain't how old you feel. It's how old you are that has them fellas in Washington biting their nails. Ma's hanging on a lot longer than she's supposed to, too."

"When did they have her snuffed out?"

"When she got to be 67."

"They don't know your ma. She's going to be kicking up her heels until she's 90."

"Them stat-as-tissions are starting to find that out, Pa. Nobody is dying when they've supposed to. You and Ma ain't cooperating with the axchew-aerial tables one lick. And neither are any of your friends."

"Wal, maybe they shouldn't have invented penicillin and all them new-fangled drugs. Maybe them smart fellas in Washington didn't figure on new breakthroughs in medicine that would keep us all alive."

"They didn't, Pa, and now they have to bite the bullet. Not their bullet -- yours."

"How they plannin' to do that, son?"

"It ain't clear yet, but they're trying to set up new regulations for people that wants to go on Social Security."

"What kind of regs?"

"Wal, if you're 62 years old and want to retire, you can get 55 percent of your pension, providing you agree to serve in the U.S. Army for four years." y

"That seems fair."

"If you're 70 years old and have been paying into Social Security since you was a teen-ager, you're entitled to have every third filling in your mouth paid for, providing you ain't on a football scholarship."

"No one can argue with that."

"If you're over 75 years old and can prove you're an orphan, you can get 100 percent of your benefits -- unless you have a newspaper route and you don't declare your tips."

"That won't affect me. Your ma is the one who has a newspaper route."

"If you win more than $2.50 a day at gin rummy, you have to pay the first $100 of your Medicaid bill."

"There goes my safety net."

"I'm sorry, Pa. But that's just the way it's got to be."

"I thought that fella Reagan said he wasn't going to mess with anyone's Social Security if he became president."

"He got no choice, Pa, what with you and Ma hangin' on the way you've been doin'."

"Wal, your ma and I ain't about to die just to balance the country's budget."

"Nobody wants you to die, Pa."

"Then what do them smart fellas in Washington want us to do?"

"For starters, you could go out and get a job."