And To Think That I Missed It On Mulberry Street

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When I leave home to walk to school, Dad always says to me
“My son, just turn your cellphone off and see what you can see!”

But what’s the use of telling Dad each step of where I’ve been
When nothing that’s worth telling have I ever ever seen?

All the long way to school and the longer way back
I’ve looked and I’ve looked, and I’ve kept careful track.

But all that I noticed except my own feet
Was a dog and a trash can on Mulberry Street.

So today, heading homeward, I up and decided
(Though I knew that my Daddy would not be delighted) 

I reasoned it out: really, why should I bother
When there’s nothing but nothing to share with my father?

And besides, I’d be missing three new texts from Ned
Or ten photos of kittens on top of a bed.

Still, I knew that I had to have something for Pop
Something big, something thrilling that no one could top.

 “Just a minute!” I thought, “put my cellphone to use
And Google that guy … what’s his name? … Dr. Seuss!

I could do it right now, on my way home from school
But it must be convincing; my Dad is no fool.”

Omigosh!  On my phone! There it was! And so neat
A story set right here on Mulberry Street!

There were elfants, policemen, calliopes, bands
And people were yelling from up in the stands!

There were banners and flags and the Mayor appeared
Then an airplane flew by and the people all cheered!

So, I practiced and memorized all the way home 
And not even once took my eyes off my phone.

I swung round the corner and dashed through the gate
I ran up the steps and I felt simply great!

I now had a story that no one could beat
Thanks to Google and Seuss, right on Mulberry Street!

But, before I could open my mouth and begin
Dad hopped up from his chair with a ten-foot-wide grin:

“Oh my boy, I’ve been sitting here watching TV
When the local news started, and what did I see!?

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There were elfants, policemen, calliopes, bands
And people were yelling from up in the stands!

There were banners and flags and the Mayor appeared
Then an airplane flew by and the people all cheered!

But the best part of all, and what made it so neat
It all happened right here, down on Mulberry Street!”

Then he stopped and he quietly said, “Son, I’m sorry
I shouldn’t have told what is really your story.

There is more, I am sure, that you saw, so exciting
I’ll just sit in my chair.  You go on, start reciting.”

“Is he joking?” I wondered, and wanted to shout
Was I there on the street?  Was I maybe passed out?

But I knew from his eyes it was just as he said
 And I knew I’d been living inside of my head.

“I saw nothing,” I said, my heart turning to stone
“Not a thing but the glow of the screen on my phone.” 

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Small Favors

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The infinity of things that might have happened, but didn’t — the child that might have been conceived but for a nighttime summons by the boss; the man who might have cured cancer but left school at sixteen and became the car-wash guy with the drying rag — are beyond our knowing or caring.

But some things are close enough and common enough that, when they don’t occur, we just might notice their absence, as Sherlock Holmes realized that the dog did not bark in the night, and thus solved the Silver Blaze mystery.

Unknown-2Perhaps, especially when so much seems to be going so wrong, we should keep an eye out for the small annoyances that could have happened, but didn’t.  I have, and it’s lifted my spirits.  For example, there’s …

… the guy in the blue Volkswagen behind me, at the intersection, who did not honk when I took 3 seconds to respond to the green light

… the man ahead of me in the King Soopers check-out line who did not send his son back to pick up the forgotten pack of hot-dogs, did not have 17 coupons, and did not pay with a wad of crumpled singles and a handful of pennies

… the woman I was canvassing for her vote who did not answer the bell, so the front door did not open, and her enraged mastiff was not able to hurl itself through the flimsy screen door and maim or kill me

… the little girl, sitting behind me at the ballet, who did not kick the back of my seat and did not persistently ask her mother why Sleeping Beauty could wake up from a sixteen-year nap and dance like she was a first-grader on the playground at recess

… the man standing beside me on a hot, crowded bus, who did not reek of tobacco, and was not wearing a shirt that had not been washed for three weeks

… the dishwasher repair person who was not late and did not track mud into the house

… the dry cleaner who did not lose my shirt and did not substitute a new stain for the one she removed

… the phone call that was not from the IRS, about money I owe, and not even about my overdue student-loan payment, but actually from my mother, letting me know it was not going to rain in Toledo, so I would not need my raincoat (in Houston)

… the doctor who was not running two hours behind schedule, with a stethoscope that was not freezing cold

… the visit from the police which was not about the red-light I ran or the car I sideswiped in the parking lot, but simply solicitation for a donation to the Policemen’s Benevolent Association, which I (respectfully) did not give him

… the morning paper that was not left so far from the garage door, in the snow, that I would not have been able to get it because all I had on was my socks and I would have had to go all theUnknown-1 way upstairs to put on my shoes, which I would not have been pleased to have to do.

For all these admittedly small, but not completely inconsequential when you add them all together, blessings, I am not unthankful.

Where’s Jamal?

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October 2, 2018: Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen, resident of the U.S., and Washington Post contributor, enters the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.  His fiancee, waiting outside the consulate, later phones friends that he never emerged.

October 3: Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman says that Khashoggi left the Saudi consulate in Istanbul after about an hour there and went to the beach. He provides a photo, in which, he claims, one can see Khasoggi in a red-and-white striped jersey: 

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October 12: A Saudi team is dispatched to meet with Turkish officials.  The Saudi consulate provides a photo of the team arriving at Istanbul airport:

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October 15: A Saudi spokesman denies Turkish claims that a Saudi hit squad had arrived in Turkey on/about October 1 to kill Khashoggi, saying they were simply Saudi tourists.  As proof, he provides a photo of their arrival at Istanbul airport.  In response to journalists’ observation that this is the photo of the Saudi team that arrived on October 12 to meet with Turkish officials, the spokesman claims that could not be the case, pointing out that this arrival space is clearly much smaller:

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October 17: Turkish authorities search the Saudi consulate.  They find no body, but praise the Saudis for their hospitality:

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October  19: Saudi authorities acknowledge that Jamal was killed in a fistfight and provide a confirming photo, offering as proof that Jamal is still wearing the red-and-white striped jersey he wore to the beach. They explain the odd image on the right as an appended, up-close shot of the badly wounded, stitched arm of one of the Saudi officials.  They offer no explanation for the red-and-white circle above the stitched arm, nor the word MENU, below it:

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October 27: Turkish officials publicly press the Saudi’s for information on the location of Jamal’s body.  The Saudis decline, but rumor begins to circulate that he is buried in a castle north of Istanbul, and thousands flock to the presumed site.  Local press provides a photo of the scene, but reports no conclusive results as yet:

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October 28: Turkish and Saudi officials meet to discuss a possible resolution to the diplomatic standoff.  Noting that the Khashoggi story has riveted the entire world, the Saudis suggest that, given a decent interval, it could be made into a series, with books, games, puzzles, possibly even a Netflix series.  This could be as big as “Where’s Waldo,” one official comments.  Now, what the hell should we call it?  The two sides agree to work on that, and to meet again soon for further exploration.

I Am Knowing When You Are Sleepening and When You Are Awokening

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Note: I recently received this e-mail and am not certain how to proceed.  I think it’s a hoax, but it does include some information that might … just might … possibly contain a grain or two of truth.  Just in case, would any of you be in a position to advance me a bit of money (cash only, please) if I decide to accede to the sender’s demand?  Thanks to all.

Dear Friend,

Let us to the point directly get.  I am having your password — ABCD12345 — (which, let me make comment, I am thinking is incredulous stupidness and most see-throughingly obvious; if, once your obligation, as denotabled below, is filled up, I can be at your service to help you make more opaqueness in protecting against someone actually like me myself).  

Why am I giving you this informations, this is something you may be wondering?  Well, as I can say, I have entered you by the avenue of your password, and have installed in your insides a malware which has keeped — and still it is keeping, and will be keeping until certain activities on the part of you are undertook — a video record of your internet journeyings.

These are inclusive numerable adult sights with many nakeds and enterings and even some devices said to make for pleasurableness.  (Also there is a snake, but I am thinking that possible this is what you call nature program.)  I am quite unbelievable how many oftens you have visit these internet sightings, but I am not doing judging — this is excludingly practical proposition and not moralness or making judgmentalisms.

So, you have two choice-makings: (1) You will ignore this and go on businessing your life as usual and not paying the amount I will be saying to you in #2 option; or, (#2 option), you will give me $3,000 and I will not make knowledge to your family and friends the viewing of the nakeds and all the other gatherings of playing with body parts.

If, with considerable wiseliness, you choose #2 option, you will be making pay with bitcoin and sending to 1potato2pOtato3PoTaTo4 (to stop and making note that this is example of very security password).  If you do not know the buying of bitcoin, Google can information you how to make purchase of this thing.  You should not waste time trying to trace payment, which is defying all traceabilities.

Then, you will be happily going on your business like something like this never happened, and no person will know how amazing time-wastingness you are taking for the nakeds, and I will eliminate all videos and even send you message, proving by saying, that I have made a nothingness of the videos.  

But then now, if you decide unwisedly to make ignorance of my offer, you must be informationed that I have your completely e-mail addresses book, and I will make a sending of your sexiness habituals to your friends and uncles (and even grandmothers if they are still in a living situation).

And, do not think to go to constabulary, which they cannot possible downtrack me.  And consider not friends for helping, who may sophisticate computers, and even hacking, and believe they can get me.  I am filled with ungettability!  

And also do not think to try to make a negotiations.  All this is in complete unnegotiatableness and I will be thanking you not to be wasting my time or even your time with beggings or threatenings or backdoor opening tryings.

I want to hope that it will be a pleasure in making business with you.

Yours sincerely,

(Surely, you can not be imagining that I would be giving you my actuality name.  So, I will just ask you to think of me as “Donald Duck,” which will be the name you will be understanding is actually me if your actions are necessarying farther communications.)

Exit Strategy

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poe-3-16-0389_1_origFor you, gathered at my bedside, wondering When already?  When already? let the following apply:

Living Will:  I do not wish to live in constant pain if there is no prospect of recovery.  When the time comes, if Trump is still President, PULL THE PLUG! How much pain can anyone endure?

Nonetheless, if the bookies are giving good odds on impeachment and conviction, keep me alive!  However that issue is resolved, let the necessary then be done and I can depart, either for heaven or hell.

Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care: 

I shall be deemed incapacitated if:  (1) the thought of Seinfeld’s Puffy Shirt no longer makes me laugh; (2) I am found to be tweeting without aid of a cell phone; or, (3) I offer no response to the therapy puppy frolicking on my bed and licking my face.

Especially because we think as one when it comes to Seinfeld and puppies, I appoint my spouse my attorney in this regard.

Durable General Power of Attorney:  I also authorize my spouse to:  (1) settle all accounts owed to me, except where the use of physical force may be necessary; (2) respond to any demand for payment as I would have, by changing her name and moving to another state.

My Last Will and Testament:

My Assets:  With the exception of moneys designated for a specific purpose, as below, I  leave to my spouse all my financial assets and worldly possessions to do with as she wishes, with the following specific provisos: (1) do not throw out my hockey gear immediately, but let it resolve itself naturally (as it will very quickly considering its current state) into its constituent elements; (2) destroy the 407 unpaid speeding tickets in my top drawer, behind the purple socks; (3) keep my e-mail and bank accounts open until Prince Afolabi provides confirmation that the $1 million inheritance I am due has been safely deposited.

Should my spouse pre-decease me, I leave my estate in more-or-less equal shares to those children of mine of whom I am aware.  It would be nice if they carried out the three requests in the above paragraph, but I’m not banking on it.

My Remains:  It is my wish that I be cremated and that my urn and I attend a hockey game in each NHL arena within a single season.  Even if the score is 9-1 at the end of the first period, I wish, always, to stay until it’s over.

To that end, I designate $200,000 to pay for:  the services of a companion to accompany me; air travel (including a first-class seat for each of us); hotel (separate rooms); tickets (a box seat for each); and popcorn (none for me, thanks).  If there should be any funds left, let them go to the Old Hockey-Players’ Home.

Final Service:  If my survivors wish to arrange a memorial service, well and good.Unknown-2  I ask only that the use of foul language be kept to a minimum and that, if the various reminiscences about me differ substantially, the most favorable be declared the winner, if possible without recourse to intimidation or physical force.

Horoscope from Hell

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If, like me, you avoid the depressing news in the morning paper by going immediately to the comics and the puzzles, you probably have run across the advice columns in that neighborhood.

There’s the Bridge column for the addicted, and Ask Amy for the bewildered.  And then there’s the Horoscope.  True, it preys on the weak and gullible, but its tenor is usually positive and its guidance inoffensive.

So, I was startled a few weeks ago when a very different horoscope showed up, speaking, not to those born under the signs of the zodiac, but to the signs themselves:

images-1Aquarius, Gemini, Libra:  You are Air.  You are essential to life, but, as you slowly accumulate poisons, you have become the innocent bearer of evil.  The blackened skies of New Delhi and Beijing, the ozone that hangs ominously over Denver and Los Angeles, are not your fault.  And you can comfort yourself with the thought that the ills you bear may help rid the earth of those responsible.  Perhaps, then, the bluebird and the chickadee, if they survive, may sing without coughing, with none but themselves to hear.

Pisces, Cancer, Scorpio:  You are Water.  You, too, are essential to life and unfairly criticized for being the distant origin of the life-form called “human” and, now, for being their ultimate garbage dump.  Scornful nicknames like “The Sea of Syringes” and “The Bay of Bags” are especially unfair.  But you needn’t get angry.  You will get even, as you watch New York City and Miami slip beneath your waves.

Aries, Leo, Sagittarius:  You Are Fire.  You are what turns iron into automobiles and petroleum into their toxic fumes.  Nonetheless, you have begun to right the balance with wildfires that are devouring more and more of the land that humans expropriate and misuse.  Do not fear criticism.  Their reflexive blame-game rebounds on themselves: “They’re the ones who started it.”

Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn:  You are Earth.  Your bounty has allowed life to flourish.  LikeUnknown-1 Air, Water, and Fire, you have facilitated the explosion of humans.  In this, you are perhaps the most innocent since you can produce little without the intervention of your companions in the zodiac.  They will determine.  Of course, you do have earthquake and volcano … just sayin’…

I figured it was all a prank — deadly serious in its intent, but still a prank.  And, indeed, the following morning’s paper carried a front-page apology and commitment to a thorough investigation.

Within two days, it had the answer.  No hacking had been involved.  Indeed, the column made it in by the simplest of devices — it was exactly as received from its regular author, whom (along with one hapless copy editor) the paper immediately suspended.

But that isn’t the end of the story.  Thousands of e-mails and letters came in, some applauding the paper’s step, but many deploring it.  The typical missive praised the author for speaking the truth, however harsh, and at least with a touch of humor, however macabre.

The paper has given in to popular demand and the Horoscope from Hell now appears once a week, in the Sunday Op-Ed pages, opposite George Will, who really does need to lighten up a bit.

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Speaking Truth to Power

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UnknownYou may have heard of, may even have read, my anonymous op-ed piece in the September 5, 2018 New York Times, chronicling the efforts that I, with other colleagues in the White House, have made to rein in President Trump’s hasty, erratic policy-making tendencies.

In the piece, I made clear my support for the objectives and accomplishments of his administration and, above all, my dedication to the best interests of America, which the President’s behavior puts at risk.

Some have accused me of engineering a virtual coup d’etat that violates Constitutional principles, thwarts the will of the American electorate, threatens an even deeper split in our already-divided country, and leaves us vulnerable to outsider meddling.

Nothing could be further from the truth, and, to prove that I meant no harm, and that, indeed, no serious harm could possibly come from my accusations, I feel I must provide specifics:

Pajamas:  Tradition says that the President’s pajamas are replaced daily, and the pants carefully starched and ironed, with a crease front-and-back.  The reasoning is simple:  should a crisis develop, requiring the President to meet immediately with staff, and no time to get dressed, he must at least be able to present himself with whatever dignity he can muster.  The President objects, but we have found a way around with a pattern that camouflages the crease (at least initially, in subdued bedroom light) and a less obtrusive starch.  So far, he hasn’t noticed.  (To lighten the burden of so heavy a decision, we called our operation A Starch in Time, or Meet the Press.)

The Oval Office Chair:  President Trump’s preference for a full-reclining, heated, massage-giving swivel-chair, with footrest, poses serious problems: the President is subject to sudden and severe swings of mood and behavior; a quick twist of the chair could propel him, centrifugally (and dangerously), into a drawer-knob or onto the floor; he might, just as suddenly, decide he needs a rest, and nod off for an inappropriately long nap.  Unknown to him, we have retrofitted his chair with an airbag that deploys if his rotation speed exceeds a prescribed limit, and an alarm clock (under our control) to wake him if he dozes off.

Cabinet Meetings:  There has long been a strict precedent for what official sits where.  The President, who is sensitive to his size and appearance, often demands that, in order to avoid his standing out so prominently, the largest and most hirsute cabinet members sit closest to him.  At other times, his keen aesthetic sense inclines him to reseat participants according to the color of their clothing or hair.  You can imagine the disruption!  We have solved this by randomly moving the President’s seat, in advance, and recreating the traditional seating pattern from there.  This so disorients the President when he enters the room that he simply forgets to redo the seating pattern and the meeting can proceed as efficiently as his leadership style allows.

The Formal Dining Room:  Place-settings are ruled by time-honored principles.  However, the President, who is right-handed, and does not like left-handers, insists that place settings should all be to the right of the plate, arranged from right-to-left according to the sequence of use.  The result is that guests with short arms often cannot reach their napkin or their fork and either have to stand up, lean, and reach, or ask their right-side neighbor to pass the item.  Some guests have taken to eating the entire meal with their dessert spoon.  We have found no easy solution beyond buffet-style, which does not sit well with dignitaries, especially when the President, as in Cabinet meetings, tries to rearrange them by their size, or the color of their clothing or hair.

These past few days have not been easy, but I do not regret having spoken out, nor providing this clarification.  I know that, now, I will be identified quickly and fired summarily.  With my country’s honor and integrity at stake, I have no regrets.  And Iimages have no illusions about my future.  My resumé is updated and I’m anticipating a call from a five-star restaurant here in  town.  It’s not the White House, but, at least there, the management is predictable, things are executed as planned, and decorum prevails.

Suffer the Children

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I was pleased, yesterday, to see pictures in the paper of Hawaii’s baseball team celebrating their victory over South Korea in the Little League World Series championship game.

2018 Little League World Series Championship

Though I felt a bit of Made-in-America pride, my reaction was mainly relief that no one was hurt in the winner’s post-game celebration.

This was of special concern in light of what happened in one of the qualifying games, about a week ago, when Southeastern North Dakota beat Northwestern South Dakota in an incredibly exciting game that ended in the bottom of the fifteenth inning with a two-out, walk-off, three-run homer.

It started when the SND player on first, who broke for second the minute bat hit ball, saw the ball go over the fence and jumped excitedly on second base, twisting his ankle.  The runner who had been on second, and was nearing third, slowed down when he heard his teammate cry out in pain, and then headed back toward second to help him.

Meanwhile, the home-run hitter had exuberantly tossed his bat behind him, hitting the on-deck batter on the shin (a little blood, but no break), and proceeding to race around first leaping and whooping, unaware of the damage done.   

The third base coach, who knew that the boys still had to touch all the bases, plus home plate, and in their original order, shouted at the home-run hitter to slow down just as he was about to touch second.  The lad, startled, turned toward the coach, tripped over the base, and skinned both his elbows.

The coach kept his head and, as his wounded warriors painfully regrouped, gently encouraged them around third.  Once they were past, he followed them cautiously toward the plate, which, by this time, was completely surrounded by the rest of the team, jumping up and down (two boys got trodden on; one metatarsal was broken).

The hero, following custom, tossed his batting helmet in the air as he neared home plate.  The arc of the helmet, fortunately, was behind him, away from the scrum of celebrating players.  It did, however, hit the third-base coach squarely, giving him a minor concussion.

The three runners were able to touch home plate — in proper order — and somehow escaped the exuberant pileup that produced two sprained wrists and a broken rib (but, thankfully, no asphyxiation).

Those players who were not yet injured then grabbed the Gatorade cooler (in the lifting of which one back was strained and one possible hernia incurred) and doused the manager, who is still under observation for a cold-shock-induced heart attack.

Later, once the injured were treated and all ambulances had left for the hospital, aimages-1 journalist asked the few remaining SND players for their reaction.  They regretted what had happened but pleaded that they were only doing what they had seen major-leaguers do many times.

A short time later, LL World Series management announced that, with only five able-bodied players left, Southeastern North Dakota would forfeit their game against Northern South Carolina (which subsequently lost to Eastern West Virginia).

The manager, the third-base coach, and the Commissioner of Baseball were unavailable for comment.

Altered Boys

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I escaped the predators.  Others may not have.

The sports I played as a kid, mainly baseball and hockey, didn’t lend themselves to closed-door conferences with coaches.  And dads were ever-present.

629541471-612x612I gave Boy Scouts a try, but our leaders were idiots and I quit.     

Most important, I wasn’t an altar- or choir-boy.  Unitarians didn’t qualify.

But I wasn’t completely oblivious.  In our neighborhood-kids’ grapevine, vague allusions to priests and the boys who served them occasionally circulated.  We laughed unknowingly knowingly.

There were also rumors about what might happen if you rubbed a certain organ in a certain way.  But that was premature.  The possibility that, God forbid, someone else might help with the rubbing, or that you might help someone else, didn’t arise.

Whatever dark secrets were floating about, I was too busy to care.  There was too much else to do.  The neighborhood was filled with kids and we lived outdoors, in the cornfields across the street, in the creek up the street, in the swamp near the creek, in the woods up the hill, in the abandoned quarry at the top of the hill.

Some of us were Catholic, some were not.  We all knew who was what.  It didn’t make any difference when we were bashing through our pagan Eden, with its occasional perils (especially the quarry walls), but, at least, no predators.

It wouldn’t have occurred to us that some of our mates might be safer there than a mile away, at St. James, in God’s anointed sanctuary, in the hands of the priests.

This isn’t an attack on St. James.  I have no idea if anything bad happened there.  It’s not a call to substitute organized religion with some kind of youthful paganism (keep Lord of the Flies in mind).

And it’s not an attack on the Catholic Church.  It’s simply an appeal to human decency and common sense.

The Church is as capable of good as it is of evil.  It has the history and the horsepower to make a difference in human lives.  It also, now, has a Pope who seems genuinely to care as much about people’s physical and psychic needs as their spiritual well-being.

Please, Francis, be sensible.  Open the priesthood to married men and to women!  The notion of a celibate priesthood is a sick joke.  In a battle between Sex and God, Sex will usually win.

The change wouldn’t guarantee an end to scandals, but at least it might warn aspirants that the church is not their personal pick-up bar, and allow a growing number of priests to satisfy their urges within the bounds of church doctrine, the law, and sensible morality.

Perhaps, then, the Church might, with an easy conscience, allow its priests to lead itsUnknown-2 children among the fields, the swamps, the woods, and the hills where godliness also lives.

Help!! (Wanted)

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Recently, returning to Denver from the Rockies on I-70, I noticed a Hiring Now sign at the Eisenhower/Johnson tunnel.  I was briefly distracted by the vision of blowing up mountains, but traffic moved inexorably on and common sense prevailed.

Once we were through the tunnel, the perennial slowdown gave me time to read the notice on the back of the big-rig ahead:  Drivers Wanted.  Will Train.

images-1None of this was surprising.  There are Help Wanted signs everywhere — markets, hardware stores, pot shops.  The Denver Post reports that the US Post Office has volunteers out with sandwich boards advertising 200 vacancies, and that senior living facilities are helping employees with car repairs to make sure they can get to work.

The only job not being advertised is Help-Wanted Sign-Maker.

I was keeping my distance from this particular scrum when, one evening, I popped over to my neighborhood Chinese take-out for a quick fix to our perpetual catering crisis.  As I was leaving, I dropped a quiet Xie xie  (Thank you), one of the last remnants of my modest Chinese vocabulary.

Before I could get out the door, the owner leapt over the counter and grabbed me:

You speak Chinese?

Well, never very much and hardly any now, I responded.

You like to be delivery boy? 

I thought all delivery boys were Chinese.

Well, they usually but don’t have to be, and not just boys.  But now all of them gone into better jobs.  Can’t compete.

But is Chinese really needed?  I imagine all your customers are English-speakers.

Not with customers.  Need kitchen Chinese so order not get messed up.

I told her I’d think about it but, always the coward, switched my take-out run to a local Indian restaurant, where I knew the owner had long ago solved his delivery crisis with assorted locals when all his sons and daughters went into hi-tech.

That was that for a while, but the signs kept proliferating.  I began to notice Bus Drivers Needed signs in front of local schools, even along roadsides.  Regardless of school district, they all offered the same $17/hour.  Not interested.

But then, one sign showed up — same design, same wording, but offering $17.58.  It wasn’t enough to tempt me, but the 58 cents intrigued me.  I had to stop by and inquire.

Why 58 cents?  Why not go the extra 42 cents and make it a round $18 per hour? I asked.

That’s exactly what the others asked.

Others?  Really?  How many?

Oh, about twenty-five in the last couple weeks.

Wow!  So it was just a gimmick and it worked.

Yeah.  We’ve got eight in training and, even if a couple wash out, we should have a full crew.

Did they explain why they said yes?images-2

Yeah, they did.  Most of them are retired.  They didn’t really need the work, but they figured, what the hell, anybody with 58 cents of humor must be fun to work for.