Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Thank You Sir! May I Have Another? [Exclusive]

Its another lovely day here in Northern Ohio. God has decided to provide a little sunshine which imparts mixed feelings of enjoyment and home sickness for this misplaced Southerner. For now I have decided to make the most of this blessing and see where it leads. So I have taken up the role of flower gardening. Now you know where I’ve been hiding the last couple of days. It isn’t as original as you might be led to believe. I was given a head start by the boys down at the super sized building supply store. It is amazing what those boys sell nowadays. They have enough stuff to make the simple minded either look intelligent or dangerous. Now I won’t admit to any of the categorization, but I do tend to enjoy spending a might bit of time browsing through their goods. And one good thing about Ohio, these boys have a heap of what we call rich dirt. My whole yard here is full of what we had to find down at the banks of Malone Creek back home to fix up the dirt for planting. Of course you already thought I just said Ohio was full of manure, but I actually meant dark soil. We got the other stuff from the barn too, but you don’t necessarily need it in my flower garden. While I was at the big store I got one of them pint sized tillers too. My regular tiller which we inherited from my wife’s Grandfather was too much for the size garden we could have here. So I got what looks to be a weed whacker on wheels, but it has more energy than a horsefly in a barn. It tore through every weed, clump of dirt, and some of my wife’s perennials without blinking. It was kind of interesting watching the wife sift through the dirt finding the parts of what I just tore through and explaining how I kind of turned loose like a bull in a china shop. But its done now and the plants are happily in place.

It is kind of nice to talk about the garden. Gets your mind off things that trouble your mind like job security and such. That is just one of those questions the politicians of late have insured would haunt us for the near future. I took a look in the paper and saw where they were talking about jobs might be picking up a bit. But if you’ve reached the lower part of the bucket it is easier to fill it up than pour more out. Even though things are picking up the telecom industry has thirty percent fewer workers than it did four years ago. Now folks, that is almost scraping the bottom of the bucket. Thank God most of the businesses aren’t that bad off. So now we understand how bad it can be, just where are the jobs at? Well according to the federal government a right good bunch of you folks are looking for these jobs. The national average unemployment rate for May is 6.1%, the highest since 1994. Well I took a look at the unemployment rates and you will never believe what I found. You boys in Mississippi need to pack your bags. Only the District of Columbia has a higher unemployment rate than you. Mississippi clocks in at 7.0% with DC at 7.8%. You boys need to pack up and move to Hawaii. The sellers of pineapple seem to be doing well with only 2.8% needing a job. Other places to get a job include Wyoming (3.1%), North Dakota (3.3%), and Virginia (3.3%). The real question is just what are these jobs paying. Well it seems that the rate of new jobs in the lower paying segment is greatly outstripping those in the higher paying jobs. Those boys reporting this stuff from Washington are just figuring out what most of you already know. Like I’ve said before, we need to help those boys in Washington join us down at the state employment office. But most of them get those hifalutin teaching and consulting contracts which I think means they are gladly teaching the next round of politicians how to do the same thing. Pass the pineapple boys. We might need to learn how to live off these.

Well one last piece of news from this end of the pond. I let one of those fancy banker type fellows talk me into consolidating my IRA accounts. Now seeing as how that will be my only source of income when the boys in Washington spend out any social security I might be supposed to get then I need to keep an eye on these funds. So, I called the fellows at the bank today just to see how things were going. Well, the next words I heard puckered up my backside so tight you couldn’t pry it open with a toothpick. “Uh, sir, have you moved your funds? We just don’t see anything here.” Now folks, my heart is still trying to figure out the correct rhythm after that interruption. While I was trying to find some polite words my brain was trying to figure out the next flight to Florida (where they have my account) so I could just hear this fellow say those words in person. The gentleman now knows I am imagining how he might fit on a skewer in the hot coals of my fireplace so he begins to start a frantic search. We called the “national accounts center” together. Well, the new fellow comes on the line and we tell the story of how I am receiving CPR and such. “Sir, you have an A89 account.” And you my dear friend are the son of a donkey. What is an A89 account? And to correct you I better have two of them. “Sir, your account is abandoned.” Just how in Hades could that happen? I am sitting right here talking to you and I am wishing I knew just where your knowledgeable behind is at so we can figure this out. That is what I was wanting to say. So now the sharp tongued fellow has his assistant trying to sort this out but has assured me nothing is lost. Nothing is lost?!?!?! Sir, my mental chastity just got flushed down the toilet possibly along with my only hope at some retirement for my working butt. So now I sit by the telephone waiting for the call that someone at that national institution has some possible intelligence while I diligently search for all proof of my accounts. Oh, and our friends in Washington (don’t they always play a role?) have it figured out that I can’t just get this money in my hands (early withdrawal penalties).

So with that said I pick up my ball and chain, place it carefully in the back of my truck, and head into the sunset. I need my rest so I can earn those politicians some more money to freely insure THEIR life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. I told Momma that I needed to be a politician. Oh no, I went and became an engineer.