I need some help in my attempt to understand something I’m not sure is understandable. Hear me out. Earlier today, my neighbor came to me worried about what might happen when he attempts to collect Social Security. He’s only a couple of years away, so he really wants to get this settled before then.

Here’s what has him worried. He thinks he’s his own grandpa. I told him that wouldn’t be of any consideration with the Social Security Administration, and, anyway, there is no way he can be his own grandpa. He explained it to me, and now I’m really confused. Maybe he is, but I’m way too confused to figure it out on my own. Maybe someone can straighten it out for me.

This is what how he described it to me:

“John, my neighbor, married Sue. John’s father, George, married Sue’s daughter, Mary. This makes Mary John’s step-daughter and his step-mother. George is John’s father and his son-in-law.”

By now I was well on my way to lost.

My neighbor continued, “John and Sue have a baby boy. George and Mary have a baby girl. When George and Mary have a baby, it makes John and Sue grandparents. John and Sue’s son makes George a grandfather.

“Since Mary is John’s step-mother, and Mary is Sue’s daughter, and John is married to Sue, this makes John married to his own grandmother. And, since John is a grandfather to Kathy, George and Mary’s daughter, and George is John’s father, and George is John’s son, this makes John his own grandfather.”

Can you see how I am so confused?

Good night, Mrs. Jackson, wherever you are.