Very admirable rule: Never do tomorrow what you can put off until after the age of forty!
He took his place at the table. Kate and the kids had already eaten, so Kate served, while the kids, attracted by his finery, stood off and watched him swallow a vitamin pill, a thyroid pill, and a Dexedrine pill.
Solemnly, he opened the three eggs Kate brought. Each was guaranteed by her to have been irradiated for exactly two minutes and fifty-five seconds, and guaranteed by the grocer to have been enriched by feeding the hens three kinds of mold.
His mouth was full of the third and last one when Sophie asked, "Why do you have to go to work, Daddy?"
The reminder choked him. Gulping, he said, "To support us all, honey. My pension stops tomorrow."
"Yes, but I read in a book where people used to go to work when they were young."
He was tempted to say, "I am young!" but thought better of it. "That was long ago, dear."
"Were people different then?"
"No, but society was. Our Senior Citizens used to be pensioned off, while younger people worked. But when science improved the Seniors' health, they got tired of sitting in corners on pensions and, besides, a lot of them died soon after they stopped working. When it got so that more than half of all voters were between forty and seventy years old, the Seniors voted their pensions to the young, to get educated and raise families on, and nobody's allowed to work till he's forty. Now do you see?"
"Forty is awful old," said Sophie.
(1953) Sci-fi (Future life style)
From 'Galaxy Science Fiction' September 1953
A fairly short story about work in the future, where you are retired from birth until age 40 when you go to work for the rest of your life.
Amusing way to kill a few minutes
This story about how society has reversed the working order of things -- you goof off until you're 40, when you're forced to get a job -- is short, sweet and packs a surprise punch at the end. Good way to kill a few minutes.