The Unemployment Diary Part 6: What is Time, Anyway?
Friday, July Something
Well dear reader, it has finally happened. After being unemployed since March 3, I have finally snapped my cap, gone ‘round the bend, bought a ticket for the Up With People Concert, and begun wearing traffic cones on my head as cutting-edge fashion. What I mean to say is that I’ve caught the disease reserved for the elderly, the insane and individuals without access to a Gregorian Calendar.
I no longer can tell you what day or date it is.
While filling out a check from my dwindling account or filling out a job application, I have to physically get up and find a calendar somewhere to see what date it is. Not knowing the date may be fine for someone on vacation in a Dominican resort hotel, but for me- an unemployed aging, obsessive-compulsive, it is poison.
If I had a job, if I was out in the world with other human beings, if I had actual calendar events on my Smart Phone besides “Sew costumes for living room pet pageant” or “Check out new Mannequins Gone Wild porn site” I might actually know what the day and date were, let alone have a frame of reference for conversations with real human beings. However, a position for a man of my rare talents (I can speak to trees!) is hard to find.
I scheduled an appointment for a a psychiatric therapist to discuss my malaise, hoping that it was just my attitude that was keeping me from finding work. The answer was probably simple, something that a professional could help me see. Grateful that my wife, the responsible Rochelle, is gainfully employed and has me covered under her insurance for at least 10 mental health visits, I pulled into the discreet one-story medical group parking lot full of hope. Hell, I’d be in tip-top shape, and have myself pulled together and ready to join the workforce in two, three visits max.
I left the office ten minutes later with a simple answer.
A fucking bum? Who calls a patient “a fucking bum?” Was that even a psychiatric term? I was a misunderstood genius! I’d have that lady’s ass on a platter by the end of the day!
Whoopsie, there goes my smart phone! It is indeed Friday, July 15. I know that now, since I see a reminder for a 1:00 pm appointment for a table read with my hound Willie and cats Lucy and Esteban for a situation comedy that I’ve been working on. I had Willie contact the Fox people for a sit-down about this exciting idea.
Gotta go. Lots to do. While I think about having that therapist disbarred, or whatever the procedure is for such a grievous breach of patient trust, I leave you with a hilarious story that the short-sighted editors of Cracked.com deigned to ignore. There is plenty of room for their asses on that platter, too.
Fools! All of them!
The Firing Squad
Nope, thanks, I quit last year. But thanks for asking.
The large, weathered Mexican Federales regarded Joe with a stare, then shrugged and took a step back and lit one of his own. Both men were sweating heavily under a blazing noonday sun with not a bit of shade available anywhere. Joe’s hands were bound behind his back by a tightly wound rope that cut into the flesh of his wrists. His nose itched maddeningly. There was not a whiff of a breeze to be found. Cicadas droned incessantly. The nearest building was the jailhouse, the cárcel, a half mile back down the dusty, hard-pan road.
“Senior Jose, the business at the jail (when the officer spoke the word sounded like bees-nest). I am sorry. You surprised me. It was not necessary for me to strike you.”
”No worries . Should’ve covered my mouth before I coughed, especially during cold and flu season. I should be the one saying sorry. As a matter of fact, thank YOU, for not hitting me harder.”
There was an awkward silence as the sergeant moved his bulky frame forward, producing a black bandanna. With both hands fastening the blindfold around Joe’s face, the officer was forced to squint with his left eye as the smoke drifted lazily upward. Before the fabric plunged him into darkness, Joe saw a jeep approaching, lurching and bouncing in the distance, with what he supposed were the firing squad, bouncing like puppets in the cab.
The jeep squealed to a stop in a cloud of dust. The soldiers piled out. Joe stood stoically, with his chin jutting out, belying the terror and panic rising up through his bowels and into his throat.
”Senior Jose, you must know why you are here.”
Joe sputtered. ”Kind of a silly question. You know damned well-”
At that, Joe felt his bonds being cut free. His blindfold was roughly pulled away from his eyes.
”Surprise! Surprise! Happy birthday, Senior!” The Federales surrounded him, thumping him on the back, mussing his hair. The sergeant stood behind them, beaming, with a large birthday cake in his meaty hands. The men in the jeep had even brought a cooler full of ice cream and festive party hats.
It turned out to be the happiest birthday Joe had ever celebrated.
To read Rod’s Unemployment Diary from the beginning CLICK HERE.