Lifestyles of the poor and jobless
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
“Take this job and SHOVE it, I ain’t working here no more!” I was belting out the old Johnny Paycheck song at the top of my lungs on a recent Friday afternoon when Husband-Head came home.
He looked at me in confusion.
“Why are you singing that?” he asked. “I thought you liked your job.”
“I do. But I just got laid off this morning,” I informed him.
Like a lot of companies facing financial woes in the poor economy, ours was also forced to make cuts to the staff.
“So what are you going to do with your time?” Husband-Head wanted to know.
“I dunno, maybe I’ll pick lint out of my belly button … or maybe other people will hire me to pick lint out of their belly buttons. I just don’t know!” I shrugged.
Actually, I had plenty of projects in mind.
“I’m thinking that I’ll float in the pool, get my nails manicured and my hair done, learn how to work my damn cell phone, bathe the dogs, go on long walks, workout, write a steamy novel…the possibilities are endless!” I informed him, trying to be positive. “All the things I never seem to have time to do.” Husband-Head did not look pleased.
“I mean, what are you going to do for MONEY?” he clarified.
I hadn’t really thought about it much yet, but surely there were some fun jobs out there.
“I think I’d like to sort and wash the vegetables at the grocery store,” I said after thinking about it for a few moments. “I love vegetables. That would be cool to play with them all day.”
Husband-Head just rolled his eyes.
“Or maybe I could be the chick that waters the planters all along the main street downtown,” I suggested. “That’s good exercise, and the plants don’t give you any grief.”
I could see Husband-Head was getting a little irritated at my ideas.
“There’s always the Wal-Mart greeter,” I mused. “But I don’t think the vest would look very good on me. Blue is not my best color.”
Husband-Head walked over to the refrigerator and very determinedly grabbed himself a beer.
“I suppose I could be a sex phone operator, but I don’t think I could get past the conversation without bursting out laughing,” I continued. Husband-Head began chugging his beer.
For 20 years I’ve been a reporter. Sure, I’ve waitressed and bartended in the past, but I don’t think I could do that again. I don’t know too many bars that close at 8 p.m. so I can make my 9 p.m. bedtime.
“Or I could do like Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys did in the 1970s when he left the band and just stayed in bed for four years,” I pointed out.
“You’d get sores,” Husband-Head countered. “And the dogs would never let you stay in bed that long, anyway. They won’t even let us sleep in on the weekends.”
But seriously, I would like to say thanks to all the sources I’ve worked with and those who have helped me out tremendously in providing information that I needed to write my stories. Thank you for sharing your stories with me and allowing me to even share a couple of personal stories of my own.
And like a cold sore, I’m not going to be completely gone just yet. It seems I’ll still be writing my column and will be pitching in to help out over the next two months while another reporter takes a leave of absence.
Then, it’s off to other pastures.
“What if I don’t want to do anything at all?” it suddenly dawned on me as I looked at Husband-Head.
Then I belted out another old song, this one by Todd Rundgren.
“I don’t want to work, I just want to BANG on the drum all day!”
Heidi Rice is a Rifle resident, and her column appears every Friday in the Post Independent. Visit her website at http://www.heidirice.com to see more columns or purchase her book, “Skully Says Shut It!”
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