Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Sometimes A Not-So-Great Notion

Sometimes A Not-So-Great Notion

I've decided that I may come out of retirement. I'm not sure that my working life is over quite yet.

I've been retired for ten years. It's been a gas. Every day is my day, my time, my space. Still, I miss the give-and-take of the working world. I miss the camaraderie of colleagues. I miss the brown bag lunches. I miss the home-made muffins, the slightly burnt brownies, and the crumble-in-your-lap peanut butter cookies. I miss the Tupperware containers of penicillin in the fridge. I miss the flirtatious eyes from across the office. I miss hearing about Max's divorce or Marie's hot weekend in Niagara Falls. I miss the discussions about politics and religion. I miss participating in flu season, cold season, measles/chicken pox/smallpox season, and Heaven forbid, worrying about Ebola. I miss the fund-raisers for worthy causes — Save The Seals, Go Green, No Fur For Her, Fortify The Food Bank, Adopt An Future Terrorist, Save Africa From The Africans, Jews For Jesus, Missiles For Muhammad, Loose Change We Need — the list is endless. Most of all, I miss the day-to-day drama, with all the posing, the dozing, the gossip, the innuendo, the bloodless back-stabbing, the nose-to-nose debates, the dismissive comments like "What do you know?" or "Sucks to be you, I guess."

Oh, I miss it all.

So, I guess it's only a question of what new career I should undertake. After thirty years of teaching, I think I need a dramatic change. It's a tough decision, but I've narrowed it down to two possibilities.

One is to drive that little contraption that picks up golf balls on a driving range. As you whirl around the yard markers, people flail away and drive Xed-out golf balls at you. Somehow, this job opportunity seems reminiscent of my life. Looking back, I seem to remember people driving all kinds of Xed-out things my way. Some hit, and some didn't. Worse, some hit and stuck. All you can do is keep driving that whirligig contraption around and harvesting your balls as you go. Somewhere in there, I suspect there is a metaphor for life.

The second possibility is to become a rodeo clown. You know, the half & half guy dressed up as part-cowboy, part-Emmett Kelly. The job is simple enough. When the bull riders flip and soar around the rodeo ring, your job is to jump out of a barrel, like a jack-in-a-box, and distract the bull away from a fallen rider to prevent that bucked-off Brahma buster from being horned or trampled to death. To be a good rodeo clown, you have to dance around like mad, because bulls are apparently attracted to motion. You can do the Watusi, the tango, the smoking samba, the robot, the sprinkler, the dirty chicken, the moonwalk, the Mars-Saturn-Venus-Pluto-walk, or whatever dance you feel comfortable doing. You may not want to do the waltz, however, because unless your two-step includes a quick side-step, you may be horned yourself. Nothing worse, in my books. I have never been horned, and I never want to be horned. It may be a gender issue. Not sure.

I must admit that my résumé for both career possibilities is short. I do have some experience for the position of golf ball cropper. I did drive a harvester once, but only under the cautious guidance of my uncle Sol, and as I veered towards the cistern beside Auntie Melody-of-the-Mixed-Universe's clothes lines, he pulled me over and insisted I stick to using a scythe and sickle. So very Russian of him, I must say.

I have no qualifications for the position of rodeo clown, except that I do have a cowboy hat and I do dance, everyday. I dance around this and I dance around that. I dance around naughty-hottie emails, and I dance all over Facebook, mostly looking for interesting faces. I even dance in the cracks of reality most of the time, since I don't see the point of engaging real life head on. I just end up hurting someone's feelings, often my own

All in all, it would seem that the better of the two career choices would be to try my hand at being a rodeo clown. Let me reword that. It's not really one's hand that matters when it comes to this career of bull-baiting lunacy. Rodeo clowns have long bright bandanas hanging from their back pockets, and as they jitter-jive in front of the bull, they offer the infuriated beast their butt, ostensibly for the bull to butt. Some even get butted into the air and do an improvised three quarter Salchow, as neat as anything Kristi Yamaguchi ever managed to do, before they land on said keister in the sawdust. I confess that I don't have such great moves yet.

Still, if it's an ass that makes the difference in qualifying for the job of rodeo clown, hey, I think that I fit the bill.



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