500 Hours of Community Service

I was cordially invited by email to a gathering by the volunteer agency that took place today to accept a piece of paper of recognition. I knew it was going to be boring but I decided to go anyway because you never know what can come out of it.

There were shitty free sandwiches that came out of it but I kind of expected that. The egg salad sandwiches must have had only half an egg inside each of them. It was more like egg spread. They say you shouldn’t complain about free food but I disagree. I called out my former manager for serving us 2 day old dry buns. If you’re begging then you can’t complain about free food, otherwise you can revolt.

So I received my certificate of appreciation for over 500 hours of volunteer service…my greatest accolade since posting my 500th post on WordPress. I gave my acceptance speech where I thanked my mother, Jesus Christ and all my fans.

An old guy received his certificate for over 1000 hours.

“How long did it take you to get 1000 hours?”

“8 years. It takes a while. It helps that I’m retired,” he replied.

I too am retired but I’m halfway to where he is and it only took me a year and half.

The other guy sitting beside me was a young guy just finishing high school. He was there to accept a scholarship for university.

“So what are you going to study?” I asked.

“Umm.. Science. I don’t know what I want to do.”

To motivate him I said if the next time I saw him he wasn’t on his way to being a doctor, I would burn his house down.

On the bus ride home I was thinking how being a bus driver is an important job. A lot of jobs are important, they just don’t always feel very satisfying. Providing an important service for the community doesn’t feel that great because you’re not very connected to the people you help and sometimes you feel very replaceable. It’s not like the patrons are always that gracious either. When someone’s getting paid to do something, some see it as permission to treat them as a lower entity.

A bus driver is a somewhat sought-after position where I live because it only requires a high school education and the wage is close to $30 an hour. There’s not many jobs like this left. I thought about it at one time(not really) but I decided I would rather pick up and deliver packages instead of people. I can tell every package to “go to hell” if I want to and not have to worry about the repercussions of social media. Packages don’t complain or have any rights.

 

 

 

 

Poor Outcomes in Life

If you are unaware or don’t believe in statistics then you are likely to become one. I grew up with the same group of guys and continued the friendship well into adulthood. I know enough about every stage of their lives to make sense of them.

In the beginning you all appear to be at the same level mostly because grade school and the legalities of age confine you. Sure, Mike might have all the swimming badges but who cares. John is an honour roll student but his grades aren’t doing anything for him right now. Dave’s grades suck and he’s good at nothing except thievery but he’s still in the same grade as Mike and John. Everyone’s future is still speculative.

Once you’re out of high school you’re free to fly as much as you are free to do nothing. From there it’s a slow rise or descent which makes being able to see the future vast disparities of inevitable outcomes difficult especially with the large dose of ego of a 20 -something-year-old.

Once time has somewhat settled the dust it all starts to make sense. It may have always made sense but to make sense you need knowledge and rationality. Broken homes and poverty is a killer combination. If you have one or the other you can get by at least with the appearance anyway. If you have both you’re a coin toss. You’re either in trouble or at best on the low-end of average. If you become the latter they’ll say, “you turned out okay.” What they really mean is that you could be a lot worse.

The few guys in the group from disadvantaged upbringings show the same thing in common. None of us had that strong enough desire or the capability to become successful or even that average guy in society. Perhaps it’s having no one to disappoint or to impress, having less fear of failure or some kind of brain wiring. Maybe if you don’t get what you need when you were young you can’t move on. I think the pitfall was using average as the barometer for success and competency.

Everyone else is living that typical life of marriage and a career. Even if they are miserable doing it or will be that’s considered normal. For them the want is there and strong. You don’t have to be happy to be considered a functional and competent adult in society.

Your early upbringing can retard your development or point it in a different direction. It might not necessarily be a bad thing but it’s not like most people. If you want to function well with society though you have to be like most people.

 

 

 

The Last Day at Work

It was the last day of my 2 week resignation notice and I was hoping to get away without many colleagues knowing about my departure. There’s a morning meeting every day when management announce what they think needs to be said and I guess people quitting fits into that category.

“It’s his last day today so wish him good luck.”

You could hear some gasps within the circle of people. A few of them rushed to my vicinity eager to hear what was waiting for me but hoping to hear I wasn’t going on to something better. People can cope with their dreadful existence if they believe no else around them can do better.

“It’s either quit or stay here forever,” I said.

Perhaps no greater words have been spoken before but it wasn’t promising enough to spark widespread envy. Having perceived to have opened myself to life’s fury soothed their souls. To many there that job was a godsend for the unambitious. “Put in your years and you’re golden.” That way of thinking should have expired at least 30 years ago.

Some people probably had the idea that I thought I was too good for the job and would be sorry once I realized how “life really works.” Company nerds can take offence that someone would leave for what they perceive as nothing.

“You just have to accept it,” one said.

“Sometimes acceptance is the same as giving up.” 

 

The words people will say to you depend greatly on the actions that have transpired. When the damage has already been done, thoughts on what you should have done go unspoken. As stupid as they might think you are all that’s left to be said are well wishes.

“Good luck, nice working with you.”

 

 

 

 

Old Guys in the Neighbourhood

There’s this old Chinese guy who is always doing stuff to his motorcycle that I see sometimes when I walk my dog around the neighbourhood. I asked him a couple questions about his motorcycle and then 10 steps later he calls me back to the trunk of his car. He pulls out a pamphlet and starts talking Jesus with me.

“When I was living in Hong Kong I used to smoke 3 packs of cigarettes a day, drink a whole bottle of Johnny Walker, gamble, say bad words…..”

I was just waiting for him to finish the sentence with, “and have sex with hookers,” but it didn’t happen. I know he was thinking it though. Sometimes you just get the feeling.

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I told him I would say the above prayer but I haven’t got around to it yet.

Today I was walking back from buying a straw hat when I bumped into the old guy who lives across the street from me. I was walking behind him for a few minutes, he was wearing shorts and kept staring at his right leg. I haven’t decided yet if he’s just wearing one of those blood pressure socks or if it’s a fake leg. It doesn’t look like a real leg but you never know with old people.

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Just about an hour ago I was at the park with my dog. I was chatting with this other old guy and another guy who was about my age. When the younger guy left the old guy said, “I want to give you….”

“A million dollars?”

“No,” he replied.

I know the look. I could tell it was going to be weird. He started going off about the Lemurian Plug which I never heard of. If he laid his cell phone against mine I would get the “frequency” and I wouldn’t have to every worry about brain cancer. With the frequency installed I could also remove all toxins from cheap wine and cigarettes. He went on about holograms and I started bracing myself for the worst. He better not ask me to touch his penis. 

He got me to put my feet together and then pulled my left arm downwards once without his cell phone in my right hand and once with. I know that trick. If you want to make the person go off balance you kind of pull towards the side. “See, I couldn’t knock you off balance with the phone in your hand.”

I wonder if people see me and think, “hey, this guy looks stupid.”

Jumping off a Bridge

Yesterday’s newspaper had an article about the possible suicide prevention strategies for a local bridge where police respond to potential jumpers on average of once a week. This reminded me of an episode from a radio show about people who jumped off bridges and the popular bridges they jump from. This then got me reading about it on the internet.

It’s quite the fascinating topic if you’re interested in that sort of thing. Jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco will statistically give you a 98% success rate of killing yourself. If you’ve done your homework though you should be able to up your chances to 99.9%. Apparently, hitting the water feet first at a certain angle will decrease your chances of dying. The small percentage that survive the impact will often die from hypothermia.

I can see how the bridge method for suicide is desirable. It’s fairly quick and as a bonus you get the thrill of a lifetime just before it’s all over. Suicide by firearm, car exhaust fumes or pills requires one to attain the proper tools. A bridge is accessible 24/7 for free.

One fellow who jumped off of the Golden Gate Bridge immediately regretted it while in free fall. He ended up surviving, garnered some publicity, wrote a best selling book about it and may have found his calling advocating for mental health and bridge suicide prevention. Again the mantra stays true…bigger the risk, bigger the reward.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicides_at_the_Golden_Gate_Bridge

 

 

 

 

Imaginary Unreality

To accept a life that you dislike could mean that you’ve decided that there isn’t anything better for you. There’s peace when there is no one to fight. It may be true that this is as good as it gets but a lack of an imagination can take you to the end of the line prematurely. If you can imagine the reality of an idea then it’s likely to be realistic especially if it’s been done before. To not be at peace with the life you have may indicate that you believe there is something better for you. You don’t ever hate yourself for what you do not think is possible or expected of you.

A life of torment is referred to as an unimaginable hell not because it wasn’t a possibility but because it was a life one hoped would never happen to them. One who dreams for better possibilities than status quo is considered to have a good imagination but it’s not meant to be a compliment.

There’s a life we imagine for ourselves but we often set limits based on our environment and cultural conditioning. It’s like writing science fiction fantasy novels but not allowing the stories to ever leave Earth…you can only go so far.
Daily Prompt: Imaginary

 

Chasing a Pit Bull

At the local park I was walking my 8 pound dog when I saw a pit bull running around without an owner. I picked my dog up because she’s often an annoyance to other dogs when she barks in their faces. No manners this dog.

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The pit bull did a couple laps around the park and then took off somewhere. I took my dog back home and decided I was going to hunt after the pit bull. It’s probably not what most people would advise doing but I had nothing better to do. Being bored is often the catalyst for the downfalls in life. You stare at the dead hooker on your bed and wished instead 3 hours earlier that you just kept watching CNN but nooo, you were bored.

I grabbed some dog treats, went back to the park and there it was again. As it came closer it became apparent that its head was too big for its body which made it more intimidating. It also kind of had that liquor store dog look. You know, the kind of dog a beggar in front of the liquor store would own.

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I figured if I sat on the concrete bench table it would be harder for him to maul me. He wasn’t realizing I was throwing treats his way at first. He kind of just took my treats and walked away until I started scratching him. Once I stopped the free body massage though he took off again. I guess I should call the dog people. The dog people were closed but the recording gave me a phone number. That phone number went to a person who gave me a phone number. That phone number gave me a person who gave me a phone number(they only dealt with dead dogs aka roadkill). That phone number went to a machine and I left a message.

I guess it’s not really worth it to have someone on-call who would probably get paid $25 an hour to drive around looking for dogs and possibly not end up succeeding. You might as well take that $25 and buy 4 homeless people dinner.

I went home again and grabbed more treats and found him at the park again scaring all the other dog owners. The dog took off again from the park and got away from me. I hope he’ll be okay. I went to go buy ice cream after.