A collection of short stories and journalistic commentaries depicting my simple life
and how I fit in with the modern day universe of our times

A few years ago, I had the undeniable privilege of being commissioned to re-paint the exterior of Lord Alderley's home. "Just a couple of doorways and a few windows," he said to me over the phone.

Turned out the whole job took about 6 weeks to complete.  Here's why...

Turned out that the couple of doors and a few windows were in fact 6 doorways, 178 individual panes of glass for windows, a shed-load of masonry including cills, headstones, quoins, parapets and decorative urns on the roof tops.

While there, I also undertook to build him a library on his landing and at the same time, decorate the hall stairs and landing for him. It all turned out like this...

He knew of my interest in interior design, so he allowed me to have a nosey around some of the more public areas of his home.

So if you want to know how the other half live, follow me.... as we go .... through the key hole so to speak...

This was what he considered to be the main hall, a 60 x 30 foot reception room. Soom of you may have seen it on TV. It has been used in many television drama's. "One has to pay the mortgage somehow," said the Lord.

Upstairs the house is home to many pieces of antique furniture. The pride of which is this 600 year old bed.

Not to everyone's liking, I know. I much preferred the inviting warmth of this piece...

One of the quirkiest rooms in the house was this guest bathroom. Re-fitted in the early '70's, it is the epitome of all that is bad for today's bathrooms. But the Lord reckons it is a vital part of our cultural heritage and should be preserved as such. The Lord has a sense of humour too, as you will see...

The room comes complete with a working cigarette vending machine (30p a packet), beer pump heads from an old pub and an optics stand for dispensing spirits. Of particular note, is the notice which takes pride of place above the loo. "Gentlemen - please adjust your dress before leaving."

Which is what I did before my Lord kicked me out. As he reckoned he had an appointment in his front garden...

How many of us can boast having balloon rides over our estates?

STATELY HOMESSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Two men were occupying the same ward in a hospital, both of the old boys were seriously ill. One of the men was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, and where they had been on vacation.

And every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window. The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and the richness of the colour in the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every colour of the rainbow. Grand old trees graced the landscape, where the birds flew merrily by and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene. It brought him hope and a reason to fight on through his debilitating ailments.

One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn't hear the band - he could see it in his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words and full meaning.

Days and weeks passed by in this fashion.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the limp lifeless body of the man by the window, who had sadly passed away earlier that night, peacefully in his sleep.

Immediately she was saddened by what she saw and called the hospital attendants to take the old man’s body away. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved over towards the window with all its endless beauty beyond.

The nurse was more than happy to make the switch for him, and after making sure he was still comfortable in his bed, she left him to be alone with his thoughts for a while.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the picturesque world that lay beyond the window, he needed to see the life outside. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it for himself, he thought. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed.

It faced nothing more than a blank wall.

The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described in such detail, such wonderful things outside this window?

The nurse responded that the man was blind and couldn’t even see the wall. She said, "He knew he didn’t have long to live. Perhaps he just wanted to prove, that no matter how bad things may seem, things could always be a whole lot worse”.

“Maybe he just wanted to encourage you. He wanted to give you some HOPE!”

HOPESocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

From their boots to the tops of their heads, these two men sit in the car, as if they just got into a fight, racing down the country road. Toby is driving while Nick sits in the passenger seat. Toby is smoking a cigarette, and Nick is looking up at the sky. Toby looks over at Nick, and then at his dirt stained clothes, every few seconds he looks back at the road to see where he is going.

Toby looks at Nick and says, "Are those new?" Nick looks over and says with an attitude, "Yeah, why?" Toby sighs and shakes his head, and then takes a long drag from his cigarette. He takes small drags in-between every few words, "How much did you spend on them clothes?" Nick gives him a confused look, "Around $120 dollars probably, what's the big deal?" Toby throws out his cigarette and lights another, "Look, we are burying a dead guy out here. We can never wear these clothes again, so consider that money down the drain, dumbass."

"Well why the hell can't we just wash them?" Toby looks over at Nick like he is stupid, "You're wearing these clothes while you're burying that fat motherfucker back there, so we are going to burn them. Don't you watch those crime shows? If they find the tiniest little speck of blood on anything, we are fucked." Nick starts to move around in his seat, "Well, why the fuck didn't you tell me before I bought all this shit?"

"Because I didn't think you were going to shop for clothes to bury a dead guy in." Nick starts to get angry, "Well, what about the damn car?" Toby slows the car down and looks at him, Nick mutters, "Are you going to drive it off a cliff or something?" Toby slows down further, "I am going to wash it, Nick."

"What the fuck man, why can you wash your car, but not our clothes? This doesn't make any sense." They sit in silence for the next five minutes. Nick is getting a little antsy and frustrated with Toby not answering him. He looks over at Nick and notices that Nick is tapping his fingers on his knee. "Listen, the body is just in the trunk. It's not touching anywhere else. You, on the other hand, will be digging with your clothes on, and you will get dirt all over everything. Hence, the difference."

Nick looks over at him, "I don't see one fucking difference there." Toby laughs a little and with a smirk says, "Oh, there's a difference." Nick was silent once again. Toby looks over at him, and Nick says, "What if I don't wear the clothes when I bury him?" The smile quickly fades, "What the fuck are you going to wear? I'm not helping a naked retard bury some dead fat fuck. Fuck that shit." Nick folds his arms and stares out the window. Toby makes one last remark, "Jesus man." They ride in silence, neither of them making eye contact.

Nick says, "Asshole." under his breath. "Hey, I'm not the one who buys stupid worthless shit all the damn time. Remember that Luke Wilson cut out you got?" Nick sits up in his seat offended, "That was from Idiocracy, and it was a solid steal." Toby shook his head, that was the most unless piece of shit he had ever bought. Nick looks over and says, "When we bury him... I'll wear my underwear." Toby looks at him in disgust; he does not want to see Nick in his underwear, "No... God no. You're wearing the fucking clothes." Nick slams his hands down on the dash and yells, "This is fucking bullshit!" 

"Will you get off the fucking clothes bullshit? Jesus Christ, we are here, now shut the fuck up with the clothes, or I will bury two bodies tonight." With that, Toby parks the car and shuts off the engine and they get out of the car. Stretching, the two make their way to the trunk where Toby hands Nick the keys and tells him to open it. "What the fuck, why do I have to open it?" Nick looks back at Toby, "In case he is still alive and lunges at us with some sort of instrument of death." Nick throws him the keys to the trunk, "Again, I pose the questions, why do I have to open the fucking thing? It's your car."

Toby throws the keys back at Nick, "You killed the god damn guy." Nick angrily throws the keys at Toby's chest, "You shot the fucking arrow and threw me the bow!" Toby gives him a disapproving stare, "Fine, I will open it." Nick walks to the backseat and hands Toby a wooden baseball bat, and shrugs his shoulders. Slowly, and nervously, Nick slides the key into the hole in the trunk and turns. It unlocks, and Toby roars a war cry as he raises the baseball bat to the air, cracking the bumper with lightning speed, and then, "Nick... "

"Yes?" Nick is on the ground sliding out from under the car Toby looks at him, "Where the fuck is his body?" Nick climbs out of the dirt and looks in the trunk, in utter shock, "Oh shit, he is a fucking zombie, brain eating and all, holy fuck!" Toby taps him on the back of the head with the baseball bat, "He isn't a zombie you dumbfucker. You forgot the fucking body." 

They both got in the car and start to head back. About twenty minutes later they are back in the car. "Are you sure about the body this time." Toby shakes his head, "I don't know how about you stick your head in the trunk and look?" Nick looks around at the surroundings and he looks confused, "This isn't the same way we came." Toby looks back at him in an even more confused look, "What do you mean?" Nick rearranges his crotch and looks around, "I mean, it took us ten minutes to get there and it has been about 21, and we don't know where the fuck we are." Toby looks to the rear-view mirror, and notices a car turning off down the road. "Don't you worry about that, I am a professional, just keep your mind at the task in hand, digging that fat motherfuckers hole." Nick shivers and Toby looks over at him in disgust, "Listen, about this. Can we just dig somewhere else, cemeteries creep me the fuck out man."

Nick looks out the window and something catches his eyes, and he grabs hold of Toby. "Stop the fucking car." Nick seems scared. Toby stops for him. Nick points out the window and Toby looks, "You've got to be fucking with me." Nick's face is now serious, "We can bury him here, and it’s perfect. No one will ever know." Toby finally cracks, "Fine, you get the shovels I want this over with."

They stand, Toby with a cigarette in his mouth and Nick holding a shovel. They are both shaking their heads. The body is lying behind them, bloody in the white sheet. Nick drops the shovel on the fat fuckers head. They walk up to the colourful playground and Toby points, Toby begins to dig. Nick carries the body over and throws him next to the ground, "Holy shit that is one heavy fucker." Toby laughs a little under his heavy breathing, "Yeah, well, grab the shovel Terminator. We need to finish digging and put dirt over him, before sunrise.

"Jungle gym huh? What if a kid starts to dig here?" Toby starts to climb out of the hole, "Won't happen." Nick doesn't look very convinced. "How do you know this one?" Toby throws the shovel into the hole, "Shut up and shovel, or I'll shovel your face."

Forty-five minutes later...

Toby is sitting on the top of the jungle gym, kicking his feet, and smoking a cigarette. Nick lay on his back in the hole, it is break time. "Who knew digging a hole would be so much work." Toby nods in agreement. "Do you think its deep enough?" Nick says looking up towards Toby, "Baby, if we were any deeper we would be eating rice." They both laugh hysterically at this. 

Toby leaves to get the body, and Nick attempts to get out of the hole, but it's too steep. "Alright, help me outta here Toby." There is no answer, he starts to get scared. "Toby... Toby, get me the fuck out of here!" There is still no answer from Toby. "TOBY!" The body comes tumbling down into the hole, head first, almost smashing into Nick. Toby peaks his head over the edge of the hole, "Heads up."

They leave the children’s playground, Toby smoking yet another cigarette; Nick is sleeping in the passenger seat beside him. Toby looks over at Nick, waking him with his words, "Hey." Nick wakes up and rubs his eyes he mutters his next word, "Yeah?" Toby looks into Nick’s eyes and starts to smile, "We should do this again sometime soon."

THE BURIALSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

A lie is like a marriage, except without the divorce part. There are legal and binding laws about lying – fundamental elements of the universe. The primary rule is that, once you commit to a lie, you never diverge from the original story: no matter how barraged by contradictions, accusations, confrontations or legal threats. You and that lie are together to the end. You must remain invariant and arrogant beyond normal comprehension to pull it off. If they escalate, you must not only call their bet, you must raise the pot. This basic truth is the heart of lying.

Hitler, besides dabbling in politics, also authored The Big Lie Theory. He claimed that the more outrageous the lie, the more likely it was to be believed. This school of thought aligns with human psychology in my experience. You must adopt this way of thinking throughout all the stages of a lie. And don’t worry; it will have stages. The only question is how many. 

You can’t divorce a lie for trifling things such as demands for proof, document falsification, counter-sting operations or even the threat of perjury. Lies are like marriages in two ways – both are enormous responsibilities initially disguised as passionate relief. Both are entered into lightly. There is a single, critical difference. One has an exit door. The other does not. Remember that part.

Let me tell you how an ill placed seedling grew into a Redwood even Paul Bunyan would avoid. I was working a normal, middle class job, writing a book on the side. Life was great.

Then, I became a published author. Not the ‘become an instant Tom Clancy millionaire’ type, but the ‘I have a small publisher, so I must focus my entire being on promoting my book’ type. 

Months passed before anyone at work noticed I wasn’t doing a damn thing. When they did catch on, they moved so fast, I felt like I was in a time machine stuck on fast forward.

My boss took me to a room where my peers and superiors waited. The boss proceeded to rip me about eight new orifices in front of everyone, highlighting each of my recent shortcomings.

I had a decision to make, a simple binary choice. Take what I had coming, or not take what I had coming. Still disoriented, thinking on my feet, I went with option two. I made it up as I went along, so it’s a good thing my memory is trained to slip into lie mode in a nanosecond. 

The instant I open my mouth to lie, all auxiliary functions are shut down so the brain can focus its energy on being a flawless stenographer. Luckily, I’m a man, so the only auxiliary function to disable was the sex drive. That alone freed up nearly 99% of my RAM.

I broke down and apologised for not being honest with the group. The truth was that I had been in chemotherapy for the past several months, and went into detail describing what my friend’s mother went through. I’m also bald – a fact I took into account with my lie-dy senses. I had a surgery coming up, and the prognosis was dim. I had been in a funk for months. Wary of paperwork, I offered to resign as soon as a replacement could be found, since I was likely to die.

OK, so that was a whopper, but I figured what Hitler lacked in military strategy, he made up for in the craft of lying. Others would probably agree with me on that one. Into the breech I went.

They immediately apologised and, out of guilt, told me not to worry about the lost time and to take off all the time I needed. No sane man would argue with this, so, as much as I wanted to, I didn’t.

Two more months of book promotion passed, and I had developed the story such that the particular strain of cancer I had was a rare one that did not metastasize nearly as quickly as my own lie. The surgery removed most tumors, and radioactive pellet implants were destroying the post-surgery cancer. I was ready to return to work full time. 

Perfect. Every now and then, life tosses you a bone. It tosses plenty of shit too, so I have no remorse over enjoying the occasional bone. But this bone had a sticker price. It was like being told you’d won a new car, test driving it, and just reaching for the keys when…

"You know, I was chatting with HR the other day and they felt we should go ahead and get the proper paperwork in place for your recent disability leave."

Without the slightest flinch, I responded, "Sure! Just let me know what you need." I smiled broadly. Always bluff. Remember that too.

They needed a letter from my doctor detailing my entire treatment and current prognosis, as well as all pertinent hospitalisation paperwork. I didn’t jump out of my skin when they mentioned that, if they had any questions about the doctor’s letter, they’d just give him a call. I knew lie-divorce was not an option. A man without options is a man without worries. He knows what course he’ll take. He simply needs to work out the details.

So, I needed a letterhead with a legitimate address and phone number where my doctor could be reached. Of course, the letterhead had to look professional and the content had to be written the way a doctor would say it – confusingly.

Remember those stages I mentioned earlier? Well, here they are.

Step One: Buy time. I eagerly told the HR person I had a doctor’s appointment in three weeks, and would be happy to pick up the letter then.

Step Two: Get an address. I found a medical office park, and used its address with no suite number. I test mailed to this address and it came back marked ‘incomplete address, suite number missing’. Just an oversight by the new printer who was now handling my doctor’s letterheads.

Step Three: Get a phone-a-doc. I called a phone service provider I’d never used before and ordered a business line installed, with the name of the practice on caller ID and the doctor’s name linked to it through 411. I listened to the messages at several of my doctors’ offices before composing the one my wife would leave on this dedicated line. I even included the warning about calling 911 for medical emergencies.

Step Four: Become a genius. I studied, studied, and studied. I wrote the letter and mailed it from the mailbox at the medical office.

Step Five: Prepare continuously. It took two weeks after I sent the letter before that message light came on. It was the HR person, asking that my doctor return her call. I had met this person, and he knew my voice.

Step Six: Go full throttle. If you’re going off a cliff, you may as well do a triple summersault. Even if there are rocks at the bottom, you’ll go out with panache. I had taken several German courses, and for five weeks practiced speaking English with a German accent and sentence structure. I returned his call with my accent and incorrect syntax. I had dozens of cheat sheets all around me. We spoke for nearly a half hour, and not only did he believe I was the doctor; he loved the doctor.

That’s it. My message is simple. Marry on a whim. It can be undone. Lie with the utmost care, as it brings with it immutable responsibility. You’d more easily bear the burden of Frodo’s Ring than a lie. 

WHOPPERS...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

I left the bank, after begging them not to foreclose on my house, on my way to the unemployment office to file for an extension because my regular benefits are about to run out, and the car in front of me had a bumper sticker that read, "I am proud to be British", and it got me to thinking, well so am I. We Brits, have a lot to be proud of. In the last ten years we have had a government that signed a deal sending millions of jobs overseas and had a scandal over expenses. Discretion, in this case, not being the better part of valour. Another Prime Minister that turned his back on the public after stealing the election, declaring war on a country on contrived intelligence just to line his and the minister’s pockets. On top of that they gave corporate Britain and the major banks free rein over the country and collapsed the economy, throwing millions of people out of work and for good measure out of their homes too. Yes, I am still proud to be British, I just don’t see the point of getting involved with such a government that whines for our vote every four or five years saying that it is our God given right to vote for a person that will lie to me and rob me of my livelihood in the name of democracy.

It all started this morning, my wife left for work and when I finally got out of bed there was a TO-DO list on the kitchen table (yes we still have problems with listings – See Feeling Listless) with a harsh note attached. There would not be any peace in the house tonight or supper if I didn’t take care of the list. I guess I can’t blame my wife for her level of intolerance, a year ago she was in middle management with a bright future, today she is waiting tables in a local restaurant for less than one tenth of what she used to make. Long hours and low pay is the British way forward!!! At least that’s the way I see it. Sitting at the table with me is a pile of envelopes, bills, no point in ruining my morning coffee; I already know what’s there. Sliding the envelopes to the other end of the table I pick up the list of things that I am expected to do, let’s see, bank, employment service, stop at the restaurant for lunch, her boss is paying today, he knows the fix we’re in so he buys us lunch a couple times a week, nice guy, decent. A good lunch and a good scolding from my wife if I don’t get something done today. Finishing my coffee I take a few minutes and stare out the window and dream of better times. My car looms large in my vision; I think to myself, I hope it lasts another year.

My second cup of coffee gives me the courage I need to open the envelopes; mostly bills but at least people are still thinking about me. After a few minutes I decided that I have had enough abuse from the debt collectors, finish my coffee, and leave for the bank, I still need a roof over my head and that’s my first priority this morning, over five years in this house I don’t think there should be a problem I never missed a payment. As I get in my car I hear barking and notice "Satan" my neighbour’s poodle doing a wild sprint across my front garden. A second later my neighbour Ron, chasing his dog clad in fluorescent green gym shorts and an "I’m with stupid" T-shirt on, c’mon buddy, I think to myself there is a dress code even in this neighbourhood. Getting in my car Ron waves and smile’s as he goes jogging by, go get him buddy, watch it Satan your freedom is almost at an end. I push the key into the ignition and turn it, the car starts, ten years old and you haven’t let me down yet. Hang in there sweetheart I need you for one more year and then you can retire, I promise. I have my fingers crossed for good luck.

Driving down the main street I notice a lot of empty buildings, some of these were prosperous businesses at one time. Coming into view, my favourite hangout, the hardware store. For PadPimpers and home owners alike, this is like a second home. I knew the owner’s of that store, Harry and his wife, man, they ran that store forever, my dad knew them too, now the store is gone. Thank you to B & Q. Another block puts me in front of the bank; I park the car and sit for a minute, and look at the ominous building hoping for the best. Well I think to myself, I have to go in and get it over with, see if they will work with me. "Mr. Stephens, how are you today", I greet the loan officer with a friendly smile. "Andy", he answer’s my greeting with a raised eyebrow, "how are you?" "Well, Mr. Stephens that will be up to you, I hope we can work something out, this month’s mortgage payment will be a little late, you know my situation, no job, unemployment pay is way short of what I actually need." "The bank will work with you for the time being Andy, but your situation better change." I think to myself, yeah you got yours, you’re not hurting that’s for sure. An imitation Rolex watch and a hundred pound suit. "Thank you sir," I say as I leave the bank. I get in my car and pray a little, put the key in the ignition and turn, it started again, a bonus, twice and all in one day.

Next stop, the employment office, as I pull into the car park I think to myself, this has got to be my day, there’s a job in my future, I can feel it. As I sit down at the desk, a perky little thing smiles at me, "how may I help you sir?" "Well, my name is Andy Robinson and my benefits are about to run out and I would like to apply for an extension, unless there is a job opening." Joanne, the perky little counsellor types my name and social security number into the computer, "Well Mr. Robinson let’s pull up your file, see where we’re at." "Okay, Mr. Robinson, I see here your benefits are about to run out, would you like to re-file?" "Yes, that’s why I’m here, for a job or to re-file." "Well, as you should be aware of, the job market is a little slow right now." "Have you been actively seeking employment?" Joanne looks at me a little suspiciously, like I am getting rich on unemployment. "Yes, yes I have." I say with an exasperated voice. "There has really been nothing but very low pay and limited hours, nothing I could live on." "Well have you considered taking perhaps a full time and a part time job, just until you can find something in your field?" "My field," I say in a voice that’s ready to explode, "my field was shipped overseas." "I see Mr. Robinson, perhaps additional training in some other field then?" "I did that, computer classes, IT, and I found out that I trained into an area that is already saturated." "Well Mr. Robinson, I’ll get your extension process started so there should not be any delay in your payments, just keep trying to seek employment." I push myself out of the chair and not feeling any better for the journey I bid Joanne a good day and leave. With all the good news I have collected, I’m headed to the restaurant and a show down with my wife, or at least it feels like a show down.

While driving to the restaurant just six blocks further and lot of excuses are running through my head, the bank is getting restless and the employment service is of no help. Maybe my wife will understand. Driving past two other hardware shops that I used to frequent are now shuttered, again, thank you B & Q. Used to be a time when shopping meant a chance to catch up on the news and the gossip of the community with the shop owners. Small town England, whatever happened, now its mega-banks, mega-corporations and mega-chain stores. The one last bastion of man, the barber shop, a man’s world, now has gone the way of the chain stores. Talking to the barber was better than reading the local newspaper, he always had the inside dirt. Little Britain and the good old days, that’s where I want to be. Simple times, hard work, easy living.

Almost noon, in front of the restaurant, I see my wife through the window in her perky red and white checkerboard uniform, boy what the owner puts these waitresses through just to serve a bunch of lecherous old men, men left over from a past gone by. As I walk into the building, a smile on my face at my wife’s uniform, she spot’s me and smiles back. Walking up to me she asks "what’s so funny dear?" "Oh nothing, I’m just glad to see you, that’s all." "Glad to see you too dear, grab a table and I’ll get you a cup of coffee." "I’ll order lunch for us are you ready?" My wife say’s while heading to the counter for my coffee. Watching my wife walk away I glance around the place and remember coming in here when I was in high school, the place hasn’t changed a bit. It’s hard to find mum and dad restaurants like this anymore, this too will probably succumb to the weight of the chain outfits serving factory made food in poly-foam cartons. This is a great old placed I think wistfully to myself.

Brought out of my daydream my wife is setting my coffee in front me, "Any good news dear?" she asks. "Yeah, the bank will carry us for a while longer, not forever, and the job situation hasn’t changed, still nothing on the horizon." "Well, that’s not what I wanted to hear, but at least you bought us a little more time." "Yeah, they suggested more education but why train into jobs that are not there." "Well don’t despair dear, things will get better, they always do." This coming from a person who doesn’t realize just how silly she looks in that uniform. "Oh, don’t forget, the lunch is on the house today, order up." "Great, I’ll have a hamburger and fries, are you going to join me?" "As soon as I place our order and clear a couple of tables." I think to myself as I watch my wife walk away, she can wait tables and I’ll wash dishes.

After staring out of the window and more day dreaming I’m brought back to the real world with the clatter of dishes being set on the table. My attention is immediately focused on the plate and then on my wife’s smile. "How does that look dear," my wife asks. "If it’s free, it looks great." I answered back. My wife sits down at the table across from me and takes my hands in hers, "don’t worry dear, things will get better, just have faith." "I know dear," I reply as I look into her eyes, "just hang in there with me," trying to avoid any chewing out from her over the to-do list that I forget to bring along. "Taste good, dear?" my wife looks at me and smiles. "Yeah it’s good," I return her question, "it’s really good, tell your boss that I would be happy to do dishes for him for the rest of the afternoon," I smile sarcastically. "Okay, okay just eat, I get the point." "Making you wear that uniform we ought to get lunch free every day."

"Boy, aren’t we just a little Miss Sunshine today, and what is wrong with my uniform?" "Nothing I guess, it’s just the way the day is turning out, I had such high hopes for a job today, to get back to work, at this point I would be willing to take anything." "Is that dish washing job still open here?" "NO!! You wouldn’t do it anyway; besides, they had to lay off the dishwasher not enough people coming in here since most of the people were laid off at the same time you were." "The cook and I take turns doing the dishes, when I have no tables to wait on I do the dishes, when he’s not cooking he does them." I look at my wife and smile and before I can say anything she gives me a dirty look and tells me to keep my opinions to myself. My smile even broader I look at her, "now you know the meaning of multi-tasking." "Finish your lunch and get out of here I’ve got a lot to do this afternoon." My wife laughs.

As I finish my lunch I get up and my wife follows me to the door, I give her a quick kiss on the cheek and ask, "How much of a tip should I leave?" My wife laughs and swats me playfully on the shoulder. "Just leave, I’ve got things to do." She smiles at me as I walk through the door, "and don’t forget the chores on the to-do list clean the house and do any leftover dishes from this morning." "Yes, dear," I smile a little sarcastically. As I get into my car I realize that I have been reduced to the ranks of a house husband. Thank you twenty first century. Working wives and house husbands. Whatever happened? Did the earth reverse direction on December 31, 1999?

A CHANGE IN DIRECTIONSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

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Its my own fault really, its all about what I see in the world, and how it all translates for me.

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