Saturday, May 2, 2009

Amish, Skunks or Statue Models...take your pick

Fred got laid-off yesterday. After the initial jab, jab, stomach punch of being “let go”, “separated” or “eliminated” (whatever the verbiage), the right-hook, undercut is going home with a car full of plants and boxes and telling your wife and family.

Fred had reason to be anxious on that long drive home--I am not known for my rational, non-reactions. Instead of panicking or cracking not-very-helpful jokes, I was eerily stable. Maybe I was, for a moment, a computer hard-drive that froze and needed rebooting—immobility of mind and mouth born of shock. Maybe I knew we were not alone, as I hear every day of thousands of others who have lost their jobs too. Whatever the reason, for once, I was exactly the kind of wife Fred needed me to be: calm, supportive and not at all feisty. I’m sure Fred was wondering, “Who are you?”

But today I want to actively help. My inner-survivor has already tossed about in bed, dark-circled my under-eyes and come up with some solutions to our pending financial crisis:

1. Buy and ride a horse

Other than the expense of the animal, food, quarters and necessity for a REALLY good sports-bra, this could be beneficial in many ways. No emissions issues, no dependence on foreign oil, biodegradable waste products which might be valuable to local farmers (idea of selling POO tabled for another blog).

2. Then there's always....Scientific Experimentation

College towns are full of research companies and biology departments anxious to inject or mess with 'live' human bodies. My son David recently attempted to earn a fast $1,000 in this manner. He told me, and I said, “Are you CRAZY?” But after some consideration, the virtues of helping mankind might override the short tail or horns I might grow taking some approved-for-mouse-use product or drug. Fred might object to something that would deepen my voice or sprout hair on my chest but aside from that--I’m in.

3. Consider Amish Conversion

Amish are native to parts of Wisconsin. Some of what I know about them comes from movies like Witness and Weird Al’s parody Amish Paradise. They also make a heckuva sour-dough cinnamon bread. The idea of self-sufficient community isn’t all that repulsive. You don’t have to worry about picking out an outfit or hair-dye. You know where your kids are and where your meat comes from. Although a probable feminist’s hell, and possible deal-breakers including shunning, no electricity and quilting parties, Fred might find the requirement of female obedience refreshing. “Who art THO?” Fred might think, stroking a yet-to-be-grown beard.

4. Dinner at Heidi’s: It’s Road-kill Surprise

It’s also not a bad way to drop some weight and get back in shape either. Who would ask for seconds of “Possum Stir-fry” or “Skunk Tacos”? Highways would be cleaner and gathering dinner with our Pacifica/“Animal Hearse” would be a novel family activity:

“There! I see one. Fred, I’ll fight off the crows while you get the casserole dish! Krista, honk once if you see a DNR vehicle.”

If all else fails I could look for a....

5. Rubenesque ‘Lawn Statue’ Modeling Job

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