THE ANT AND THE GRASSHOPPER – zuki finds solace in the ice box

Good Morning Lickerish Prevaricators,

It’s become a devastating fact of life that the money is gone! The much promised bonanza of retirement has been replaced by extending the retirement to age 70 and a bankrupt Medicare. During the ‘Great Depression’ of 1930-41 “people who lost their homes often lived in what were called “Hoovervilles,” or shanty towns, that were named after President Herbert Hoover. There was also “Hoover Stew” (food dished out in soup kitchens), “Hoover Blankets” (newspapers that served as blankets), “Hoover Hogs” (jack rabbits used as food), and (take note JJ) “Hoover Wagons” (broken cars that were pulled by mules).” Ironically this has become the situation for not only me, but evidently many others as well. While it’s hard to compare the recession of 2009 to the “Great Depression” it nevertheless is a hardship.

In a frank conversation with Just JACKWAGON I opened up and poured out my soul outlining my fears about surviving another decade. JJ for once in his life seemed to listen without the normal interruptions and meritless judgments. When I asked for his advice he turned away from me staring glassy-eyed at a commercial on TV. Without making eye contact his sockdolager floored me. “Maybe you should have thought about this during your days of decadence and idolatry” he blasted. “You fiddled while those that have built something worked diligently and laboriously saved their money knowing full well this day would arrive.” Now looking into his beer as if he’d lost something, he seemed to be waiting for the next round. Shell-shocked I searched my internal database for a smart pithy reply that would vindicate my efforts but found none. I paid my tab and left feeling worthless.

When I arrived at my hovel I flipped the light switch and burnt out the last of three light sources. Shit. Feeling my way to the TV I turned it on only to discover it didn’t. Opening the refrigerator door I finally had enough light to change out of my wet clothes and into my evening attire. I ate the remaining cup of yogurt and threw away the rotted lettuce and decided to go ahead and defrost the old freezer. I’ve been meaning to do it the last three months so now I could at least read by its dim light and finish a chore at the same time.

I was reading Mark Twain’s ‘30,000 Dollar Bequest’ and had settled in enjoying the humorist’s word smithing when I heard water hitting the floor. It sounded much different than the thawed ice hitting the strategically placed pan so I began to look for the source. As soon as my bare foot hit the floor I stepped into a large puddle of water and immediately recoiled retreating back to the carpet. I quickly put my shoes on and again looked to plug the leak. But before I could find it the ‘Fridge’ shorted out causing the back of it to catch fire. Within seconds the smoke alarm blasted creating more tension, so I panicked and tossed the catch pan of water at the drywall which had also caught fire further shorting the remaining circuitry of the old ice-box snuffing out the last bit of light. Shit.

Admittedly I’m not the best at managing money or home repair, and it’s true I gave little thought to the future, but whatever I did certainly doesn’t warrant this level of retribution. Contrary to just JACKWAGON’s assessment I did work hard and didn’t always “fiddle” yet I’m no better off than when I was nineteen. Now if you’ll excuse me I must go and unclog the toilet.


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  • Neil

    This is only a test 🙂