Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday rerun: What's My Line?

(I wrote this in 2010, thinking that retirement was much farther away than it turned out to be.  I'm still sifting through Career Opportunities.  I watch it at least once a week.)

With retirement not exactly staring me in the face just yet, but kind of noticing me edge nearer every day, I from time to time mull over post-retirement job options. Just thinking about what I would like to do with my time once those sweet monthly checks start rolling in...

I don't think that I could do nothing. I can't not do anything. Even though the greatest icons of my youth (Ozzie Nelson, Uncle Joe from Petticoat Junction, and Fred Mertz) were basically guys who hung around the house all day hitching up their pants, I still figure that unless I become the sad victim of diminished capacity, I would want to have something on the daily schedule beyond watching Regis and Kelly and taking a four-hour nap.

Here's where my thinking has me so far.

a) Waiter. I love food and love to serve food. I do understand that many restaurant patrons love to heckle their waitperson, complaining about how the food is, as if that person had anything to do with the taste of it, its preparation, its warmth, or the saltiness of the borscht. I don't foresee a long career in this field; restaurants traditionally frown upon their waiters dumping a plate of pancakes down the front of some goof's shirt while hollering, "See? They aren't as cold as you thought, are they?"

b) A public educator for Lea & Perrins. I could go around the country teaching people how to pronounce the word "Worcestershire" in a saucy manner. ("WUR-ster-sher")

c) I think I could stand being a cab driver, but only in safe neighborhoods and I'd only transport passengers who were sober, non-stinky, fairly well-read, current on the news, and good tippers. In fact, there might be a quiz: "e.e. cummings ,or T.S. Eliot: whom do you prefer, and why?" "Sorry - next cab, please!"

d) I have offered to become a greeter, WalMart -style, in the lobby of our Credit Union. I would have to refrain from my natural inclination to refer to all incoming depositors as "Big Money Man!" and be a little discreet, but this line of work intrigues me.

e) If anyone hears of an opening, I would love to be a member of the retinue of hangers-on with which pop stars, movie actors, and Steelers quarterbacks surround themselves. Just like in that "Entourage" show, I could enter nightclubs, sub shops, and Circuit Courtrooms ahead of Ben and make sure that the coast was clear for his usual merriment.

f) Keeping up with the legal theme, do you think my lack of a law degree would be an impediment to finding work as a judge? Schooled by years of exposure to Judges Judy, Mathis and Wapner, I could dispense justice along with pithy remarks just like they do, except without any legal bearing whatsoever. But maybe it's time to have a guy like me be the one that teenagers with the crazy loud rock and roll and the hopped-up cars and the hopped-up companions need to face. "Youth sentenced to Manilow on iPod" is a headline that we need to see in the Baltimore SUN.

g) What I really want to do is direct. My dreams of becoming a jockey at thoroughbred tracks long since vanished, but the second-easiest thing in the world to do, after sitting on a horse's back and holding on tight, is to be in a movie or TV studio and tell the actors that it's time to act. "You! You tell a joke here, Mr Sheen. Be all sexist and full of barely-suppressed rage, just like in your real life. And the rest of you, laugh when he's finished saying his line, ok? Action!"

Piece of cake, this retirement stuff.

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