Don’t sweat the job loss: Eat noodles!
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
I had no idea Husband-Head was standing in the doorway of our bedroom as I knelt at the side of the bed the other night before climbing in.
“Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray I’ll have a job to keep,” I said softly with my eyes closed and hands folded on the bed. “Should I get canned when I awake, then we’ll eat noodles instead of steak.”
Husband-Head cleared his throat to announce his presence when I was done.
“What was that all about?” he asked curiously, trying not to laugh. “First of all, I’m not used to seeing you looking like a Hallmark statue praying on the side of the bed, and secondly, I think you just butchered that 18th century children’s prayer.”
I was a little embarrassed that he’d been listening, but I was not ashamed.
“Hey, you never know anymore what’s going to happen from one day to the next,” I shrugged. “These are weird times. We need all the help we can get. I was just sending a little message to the Job-Fairy. …” Lately, it seems every time you turn around, you hear news about another company shutting down, people being laid off and newspapers closing.
I’ve had to make a few personal changes myself. As a newspaper person who is concerned about our industry, I’ve switched deodorants from the pastel pink “Lady Speed Stick” in the “powder fresh” scent to the heavy-duty, trademark green “Mitchum” ” an anti-perspirant that bills itself as “so strong you can skip a day.”
Or two … or three … depending on whether you have a job that allows you enough money to buy the stuff. …
Actually, Mitchum’s is kind of neat in that it’s not just a deodorant ” it actually has its own “Armpit Orchestra,” which currently includes three women and nine men ” who play songs using … how should we say … “armpit farts” by making noises with their underarms.
These songs include “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” “99 Bottles of Beer,” “Happy Birthday” and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”
When I pointed that out to Husband-Head, he was not all that impressed.
“We used to play ‘Stairway to Heaven’ with our hand in our armpits at my fraternity house in college,” he pointed out.
Still, the idea of someone being able to pound out “Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack, I don’t care if I never get back” with their armpit seemed pretty impressive to me. “And best of all ” you can wear black because there is no underarm residue from Mitchum’s!” I said excitedly. “How cool is that?”
Husband-Head was nowhere nearly as amused about the whole subject as I was.
A little later, I calmed down about the whole deodorant/underarm topic.
“Honey, what if I was to lose my job?” I asked Husband-Head seriously, while we lay in bed. “What would I do?”
Husband-Head was silent for a few moments before he spoke.
“Welcome to Wal-Mart!” he said with a laugh when he finally answered. “You’d be the best greeter they ever had. You never shut up as it is. People would be RUNNING into the store just to get away from you! You’d be the employee of the month!”
He slapped his hand on his leg and thought the whole idea was a hoot.
I ignored him and kept pondering.
“I suppose I’d have to collect unemployment benefits like everyone else,” I mused out loud. “According to some news reports, the benefits have been extended up to 59 weeks.” That shut Husband-Head up.
“No,” he said after thinking about it for a moment and shaking his head in disagreement. “I would not put up with you being unemployed for more than a year. You’re already a pain in the butt while working full time. I can’t even fathom what kind of trouble you would get into with all that time on your hands.”
Crossword puzzles … soap operas … the home shopping network …
“Besides, I think they make you fill out a report each week showing what jobs you have looked for,” Husband-Head said smugly.
The Washington Post … USA Today … Time Magazine … US News and World Report … Travel and Leisure magazine … New York Times … the Today Show … a NASA astronaut … a neurosurgeon … a Catholic priest …
The number of “jobs-you-are-most-likely-not-to-get” is endless.
We lay in bed in the dark and dropped the subject, because the whole idea was rather depressing.
Then Husband-Head piped up.
“Like … what kind of noodles would you fix?”
Heidi Rice is a staff reporter for the Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Her book collection of columns, “Skully Says SHUT IT!” is available for purchase at the Post Independent or through her website at http://www.heidirice.com.
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