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Planning for un-retirement

Date: 10/25/2010

By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

God bless the French. It's not bad enough they get way more vacation than we do, they are now up in arms about changing the age at which the full pension kicks from 65 to 67. The minimum retirement age is going up from 60 to 62.

College and high school students are literally stopping the country in its tracks through protests. They don't want to work until those ages.

Wow. What would they think about living here?

Do you ever look at those newsletters the Social Security Administration sends you about what your benefits will be when you are allowed to retire? I do out of sheer perversity because it always makes me a bit sick. I won't receive full benefits unless I work to 70.

What about the idea that we start our third life after childhood and adulthood at 62 or 65? Wasn't that the message that floated through my Baby Boomer generation?

Well, perhaps if my generation hadn't allowed chuckleheaded presidents and members of Congress to smilingly allow jobs to go overseas -- jobs that secured the future for this nation -- I wouldn't be planning to work full-time until I die.

Now don't get me wrong. As a writer I hope to still be at a keyboard until I draw my last breath. But it would be great if I weren't a wage slave until the day before I take the big nap.

I'm prepared for that situation. I frequently practice the stance, smile and dialogue of a Wal-Mart greeter. Perhaps I can pack gro-ceries part-time. If I'm lucky.

I'm not an elitist. There's nothing wrong with these jobs, except I have held out some hope that by the time I'm 70, I wouldn't be bossed around by some pimply faced kid telling me how the fry-o-later works.

I can dream can't I?

Halloween is coming up and it's one of my favorite times of the year, but not because of the trick-or-treaters.

In my neighborhood, we get adults holding pillowcases out to you demanding candies for their infants in strollers. Yes, it's great to give your kid a ground up Snickers bar in his or her formula.

Don't they have any shame? Well, no. They want your candy bars.

Besides, Lucky the Wonder Bichon hates the continual ring of the doorbell. So we stay at home with the porch lights off and watch movies.

That's why this time of the year is very welcomed as, because I'm a long-time horror film fan, everyone is exposed to the genre.

Granted as a geezer, I don't care very much for a lot of the stuff I see today passing as a horror film. I don't like the "horror porn" stuff like "Hostel" and the "Saw" series leaves me cold.

If I want to be tortured, I'd watch Bill O'Reilly or Glenn Beck.

I like films that are original, has characterizations and a story, exiting visuals and good performances. I love the Universal classics with Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi and the Hammer films with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. Sam Raimi's "Evil Dead" trilogy is wonderful. Directors Larry Cohen and George Romero have made outstanding films. I'll watch most anything with Vincent Price. I'll stop any time to watch a horror film from Hong Kong or a crazy Filipino movie from the 1970s.

The rest of the year my taste in films is always viewed with some suspicion by some folks, but at this year they come over to my dark side.


And I'd like to give a special Halloween treat to all of the incumbents who took the time to discuss their record at forums with their challengers.

Obviously these folks believe in the institutions that make this country what it is supposed to be.

But if you dodged debate or conversation with those who are opposing you, then you might find voters will be soaping your windows come Nov. 2.

This column represents the opinions of its author. Send your comments online to or to 280 North Main St., East Longmeadow, MA 01028.