They’re saying that we’re officially in the land of recession, which can only mean that the end is near and we should go hang ourselves in the basements of our foreclosed homes.
I’ll let you go do that before I continue.
Okay, good. Those people are gone. May they rest in peace. Now…it’s you and me, GS reader. Let me tell you about people who don’t seem worried about the recession. The Other Half are still out there, and my weekend job brings me right into their strange world.
My weekend job is seasonal. I’m a glorified janitor at a place that rents itself out to parties for almost 10k a pop. Throw in caterers, photographers, cakes, gowns, booze, florists, and lighting people and I find myself making a meager 20 bucks an hour at an event that costs, on average, $30,000. My job is to sit in a dark office, watch TV, read books, drink a little, and make sure these rich, inhuman motherfuckers don’t kill a schoolgirl or light the bathroom on fire.
I look forward to winter. The job peters out in November and doesn’t pick up again till March, which gives me the chance to recuperate and scream in the shower. But, this year, everyone is changing their wedding plans. My boss has been inundated with calls from brides desperate to change everything at the last minute and get married in the winter. Why? Is it a financial fear? Is the world really going to end on 2012 and the rich people have been tipped off by God? No… It’s because all the shows and magazines geared towards brides have announced that fur is in. The magazines are talking about the winter wedding as the coolest thing you can possibly do. Consequently, I’ve found myself with multiple winter gigs. The first is this month — with a fur outfit being featured that was described by my boss as “something the White Witch would wear.” The cost of the gown, in addition to that 30k for the wedding itself, is 10k. A full fur bridal gown and headdress. And that’s real fur, mind you.
I’m horrified but, of course, I’ll do the gig, collect the check, cash it, and feel nothing. Fuck everyone, man. Just send checks. Hell, if Hitler booked an event I’d sign up for the job. Yes, sir, Mr. Hitler! So perhaps it speaks volumes about my employer when I say that I am, nonetheless, horrified. The house where the events take place is owned by a bleeding heart environmentalist group. And, yet, they turn a blind eye to the Real Fur Freakout Wedding? Of course, they’re also against wind power because it hurts the birds. And hydropower because it hurts the streams. And nuclear power. When you start to boil these environmentalists down, you find yourself with armchair liberals advocating “clean coal” and wearing $10,000 worth of seal fur.
Maybe I’d be a more conscientious employee if my employers weren’t such fuckups. The only thing that keeps me from lighting my various places of employment on fire is my debt, which I’m beginning to regret. Once, not long ago, I had no debt. I had a huge surplus. Why didn’t I mow down my bosses when I had the chance? Now I have to kowtow to their collective middle-management irrational madness all in the hopes of acquiring a few pennies that I then fling uselessly at the people and corporations who demand money from me.
Everything would seem hopeless and sad on these coming dark, wintry days…if it wasn’t for fur. At each wedding, I turn stealing booze into a cloak and dagger game. They store the booze in my office, so it’s not hard, but I like to pretend that people are after me so I slither through bookshelves, whip bottles out of crates, stash them in various places, or run down the hall pretending to shoot wildly over my shoulder at imaginary pursuers. The goal is to take at least $150 worth of booze per event and, as a consequence, I never have to buy alcohol. Which is the only excuse I need to deflect claims that I’m an alcoholic. If it’s free, I can’t be abusing it. Right? It’s been metaphorically plucked from the trees, given to me by God Almighty, who granted me with grace, cunning, and a woeful lack of scruples.
Come the deep winter months, though, things get rough. With the weddings ending around the first of November, I tend to run dry of the good booze by February. And that’s when you need it the most, because the sun only shines for half an hour a day, I’m trapped inside with the stink of death on me, and all of my fellow commuters have armed themselves and started to push each other onto the train tracks. Not an exaggeration — I’ve seen that happen seven times in a decade of commuting downtown.
February is usually when I’m reduced to the dessert wine, the weird collectible rum that tastes like turpentine, and my bottomless stash of “cannabis vodka” that my demented cousins from West Virginia bring me. Basically just unmarked bottles of homemade vodka with a bunch of marijuana seeds rotting away at the bottom. I do what I can to avoid that, and the “bathtub absinthe” available from the same suppliers, because I always end up in a woman’s dress down at the docks after a few shots.
But now there’s fur! Young brides can dress up like Tilda Swinton and walk around with a scepter made from the bones of Asian children and I’ll be able to keep myself in winter liquor. What would February look like with high class vodka and gin on hand? Enough beer to make me not feel bad about leaving half a glass when I lose consciousness in the shower stall for two days? Fine wine that doesn’t require chipping away crystallized sugar? What will February be like without bathtub absinthe and cannabis vodka? I’ll probably stand a chance of actually remembering the month this time around. I’ll be able to say, yes, February 2009! That was the month I sat around in the dark, making my own candles, kiting checks, avoiding family, wrapped in threadbare blankets, wishing for a fast and painless death. Ah! I remember it well!
Meanwhile, somewhere, as you read this, there’s an ugly bride dressed is seal fur admiring herself in a mirror that, miraculously, is not cracking when she smiles with her tiny animal teeth and giant, shiny gums. The universal mark of the uber-wealthy, inbred women of Washington.