Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Nice non-work if you can get it

My friend Eddie, retired from the Postal Service, has a scheme to make money on his Chicken Fat Blog. In the meantime, I, still not retired, get up each morning and go to work. I'm willing to bet most, if not all of you reading this have a job.

My coworker Harry was talking yesterday about his brother, who is in his fifties, yet has not worked at a job more than two years in his life. He's been a professional student, and he's been married a few times and lived with a few more women, and let them work so he could go to school. What has happened each time, with each relationship, is that the woman catches on that he will never go out and earn a living, so she dumps him. Right now the brother is living with his aged dad, who is dying of prostate cancer. He has assumed the role of caretaker, and as Harry put it, will probably inherit the house and most of his dad's estate. Besides the women who were willing to work to support him, this non-working man's parents have been there for him over the years handing out money.

I was telling my wife about this and then we talked of our friend Jan, who died a year ago, and how for years she supported her husband, who just didn't want to work. He didn't have the excuse of going to school, because he just wouldn't go to work. He worked as a boat mechanic, and had worked for every marine and boat company in town, usually quitting after a couple of months, but in some cases lasting a couple of years. A couple of years ago he turned 62 and applied for early Social Security, but they had a hard time determining his benefit because it had been over three years since he'd had a job. When Jan died an accidental death the school district gave him a year of Jan's pay plus whatever other benefits they give out when someone dies. People who know him say he took the money and bought a motor home, in which he goes camping with his buddies.

You know, when I hear stories like this I resent having to work for a living. I want to know how I could be charming enough, handsome enough, or even ballsy enough, to pull this off…? Since time began guys have been loafing while their spouses did the work. Guys do it at home all the time; even when both partners work one usually sits and watches TV while the other does the housework. Many of us do it and don't think that much about it. Still, we go to work every day or have some way of making a living other than letting our wives support us.

Sounds like a good idea, though. Wish I'd thought of it thirty years ago when I still had time for the misspent life of a wastrel, layabout and kept man.

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