Social Security: The Final Frontier

   Went to the Social Security Administration’s Center City office at lunchtime because someone in our house turned 16 last week and wanted her learner’s permit, like yesterday, but aging parents couldn’t remember where they put the card they acquired in 1996 because, really, what do you ever need the physicial thing except when you go to get a learner’s permit?
  Anyway, the digs aren’t bad, 20th floor at 2 Penn Center, top floor, penthouse view.
   But the  odd thing is the SSA has a spokesman, actually two. I was sort of shocked to learn they’re Patty Duke and George Takei, who played Hikaru Sulu on Star Trek.
  Actually, I had to look up the name.
  I always thought Sulu’s first name was Mister.
  Anyway, who would have ever thought to put these two folks together? Perhaps the thinking was “you know who these people are because they were on television a long time ago when you were young, but now you’re not and might need your Social Security benefits.”
  But, really, why does a mandatory benefit program need an ad campaign?
  Social Security isn’t facing wicked competition the way the United States Parcel Service is. The postal service  could really use Spock and Kirk, and Cathy and Patty Lane, and maybe whoever is left from Gunsmoke and Bonanza.

---Karen Heller

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