Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Man Who Could Get Any Job

I know a man who could get any job. He was visiting me in Coopersville, and just to prove it, he got a job within thirty seconds at a firm. He had never even been in the state before.

         I, on the other hand, cannot get a job anywhere. On many occasions I would ask my father for a job at his store. Papa, isn't there an extra spot at the register? No, he would say. Sweeping the floors? No. Papa, what about parking attendant? and Papa thought and said Congratulations, son, you're hired! It was my first job and I was twenty-three.
         Papa had to make a special uniform for me because I was the first ever parking attendant at his hardware store, and in fact, any hardware store. When two weeks were up Papa came to me and said Son, there's not a spot for you on payroll. So I got a little wooden sign that said TIPS in white paint nailed to a wooden bucket that Papa had me wear around my neck. Papa collected the tips every few hours and at the end of the week gave me a stipend. My first paycheck was $17.56.

         The man who could get any job moved down to Coopersville to work at the firm. Finally, I asked him what it was that got him all these jobs without even trying. What’s your secret? He just stroked his mustache with his thumb and index finger slowly and evenly, in deep thought. I don't know, he concluded. I asked him what he thought of Coopersville and spied him licking the corner of his mustache. Coopersville? I always thought it was Coppersville! Hahaha! And he laughed and laughed and walked out of the room. I stood bemused and then it dawned on me.

         Papa, Papa! I said breathlessly when I finally found him in his chauffeur uniform from 1986 that he still likes to "wear casually". This means around the house. I know why I can't get a job, I get it! I said in a fit of excitement. He looked at me and wiggled his pencil thin mustache resting on his wise upper lip and said, Why's that, son? I pointed right at him and said That!
         Zoom in on this mans face. My father, my Papa, in his chauffeur uniform, until your vision rests exclusively on his upper lip. The bristles protrude proudly and dance out of his glistening lip, which then smiles and shows only slightly his upper teeth. Still zoomed in, his mouth says I’ve been wondering how long it would take, son. I’m sorry I didn't tell you earlier but you’re simply unable to do this on your own. It's okay, son, I’ve been keeping the other 63% of the tips that you’ve made for this occasion. We have enough to get you fixed right up.

Wish me luck.

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