Hola, amigos. I know it's been a long time since I rapped at ya, but I been spending a lotta time quietly reflecting on all the things going on in my life. First off, I got shitcanned from my job driving people from the airport to the car-rental place and back. I was on lunch break one day when the guy who was filling in for me dinged a car in the parking lot and didn't tell anyone. The manager thought I did it, so when I checked the bus in for the night, he fired me on the spot, without even checking out my story. Man, that hurt. I was seventh in line for a promotion.
Also, I finally had to replace the gas tank in my car. For a while, the car worked fine if I only filled up the tank halfway, but then it got too dangerous. The car was leaking gas on the ground, so I had to worry that some jackass would throw a cigarette under it and blow me sky high. I would've dumped the car, but I'd just replaced the brake pads. I wasn't about to junk a car with new brake pads, so I sank another $400 into fixing it up. This'd better be the last thing that goes wrong with it for a while.
As if those two things weren't bad enough, my pal Dan died last week. That's some pretty heavy shit. I hadn't hung out with him much for, like, five years, but we used to be pretty tight. Here's how it happened. Dan was minding his own, sitting on his front steps, listening to The Rock, the No. 1 source for classic rock in the greater Midwest, 107.7 on your FM dial. They have these 20-song, no-commercial rock-blocks, and if you catch them a song shy or if they interrupt the rock for any reason, you can win $500 by calling in. The 20-song block is like a sacred promise to their listeners, and The Rock knows that breaking that oath will have consequences.
Well, the station was right in the middle of the 12th song in the rock block when the announcer broke in to say that someone had spotted a tornado on the west side of town. Dan got on the cordless phone and tried to get through to the station, since their rock block was broken. He should have won $500. Instead, the tornado picked up an axle that was laying around in Dan's yard and sent it through his chest. There's no justice in life.
Know what the funny thing is? When I saw Dan a couple months ago, he was talking about needing to get rid of all those axles. He was sick of his neighbors hassling him and the city threatening to fine him. If only he'd cleaned his yard, instead of just talking about it. Ain't life fucked up?
It just goes to show you that you never know when it'll be your time to go. One second you're on the phone trying to win $500, the next you have an axle through your lungs. Well, after hearing about Dan, I decided that Jim Anchower is gonna live every day like it's his last. No more wishing I'd drank that MGD, smoked that bowl, or punched that guy. It's all gonna be balls-out from now on.
First thing I'm gonna do, if I can get the money together, is buy myself a bag of weed big enough to last me at least a month. Then I'm gonna get all my friends together at my place to smoke up and eat pizza. Then, when we're full, we'll smoke up again and play video games. I'm gonna win every game, because I'll have the thing that no one else has: a new lease on life. After everyone leaves, I'm gonna go to bed and sleep as late as I want. Then I'm gonna get up and start all over again.
Here's another decision I've made: When the road calls me, I'm gonna listen to it. I spent the past year working behind the wheel, but still, I'd forgotten what driving was all about. From here on out, I'm gonna be one with the open road. It's gonna be me, my sweet ride—or whatever ride I have at the time—and a six-disc changer stocked with the best rock known to man. I'll find myself a nice, flat stretch of road with no traffic lights or cops, and I will fly.
From now on, if I want to see a movie, I'm gonna see it in the theater. For real. I'm not gonna sit around the house thinking it'd be a good idea to go see a movie, and then drink beer until I'm too tired to get off my ass. No, I'm gonna get into my car, drive to that theater, and enjoy the movie like it's the best movie ever made, even if it sucks. After the first movie is done, I'm gonna sneak into another one. I'll keep sneaking into more movies until the theater closes or some usher catches me. And, if I get kicked out, I'm gonna say I gotta piss and try to sneak back in again.
From now on, it's my way or the highway. If people don't see eye-to-eye with me, fuck 'em. I'm not gonna waste my time trying to talk sense to people if they're just gonna be ballbags. Unless they're cashiers and I have to buy food or something from them, in which case, I suppose I'll feel sorry for them, since they don't have an enlightened point of view like me.
Only one thing's standing in my way right now, and that's I got no income. I think I can stretch my final check a few weeks, but if I'm gonna live the dream, I guess I have to get another job. Ron said he might be able to get me a job at the carbonics plant where he works. That would be all right. Once I get enough cash socked away, I'm gonna live large. Oh, and also, I'm gonna start looking around for a new place that has a basement.
Jim Anchower joined The Onion's editorial writing staff in 1993 after several distinguished years on The Come Back Inn dishwashing staff. He comments on community-affairs, automotive, and employment issues. He attended LaFollette High School in Madison, WI.