Hola, amigos. How's every little thing? I know it's been a long time since I rapped at ya, but I've barely had a chance to catch my breath these days. Ron hooked me up with a job at the carbonics plant where he works. For a while, I was the guy that cut blocks of dry ice. It was all right, but I didn't know Ron was gonna be my supervisor. I was able to put up with that for about two seconds before I stopped showing up. There's no way that mallethead is going to tell me what to do. He even wrote me up for being late.
Now, ordinarily, I would be sorta down because I'm out of work, but for once, I've landed on my feet. I've got a new job as a roofer. I've never worked construction before, except for that time I mixed cement, but I'm no stranger to a hammer. That TV table I have? I built that myself out of plywood I snagged from a Dumpster when they were building that house next door. It even has a shelf for my GameCube. Right now it sags in the middle, but that'll stop once it settles.
The roofing job is all right. Sometimes we have to work right through the weekends, but then I get a shitload of overtime pay. I work with a bunch of college guys, but they aren't too uppity or wussy. We don't hang out after work or anything, but we joke around together. Their music sucks, but we take turns. It's pretty democratic.
The thing about roofing is that you're out in the hot sun all day, so you work up a thirst. Now, when I was carving dry ice, I was really cold all day, and then I'd go outside and it'd be really hot—so I was never thirsty, just confused. But since getting this new job, the number of MGDs I put away has gone up considerably.
It must help my overall disposition to have a job that doesn't suck ass, because I feel like I'm living a charmed life right now. Last week, after knocking off work, I was heading to the store to pick up my nightly beer. When I started up the car, the radio station was beginning a block of Speedwagon. It was lucky, too, because I was just about to call it quits on that station for playing way too much U2 (total ass). But then they go and play one of my favorites. That DJ must have read my mind and decided that Jim Anchower was the kind of listener he needed to keep happy.
Once I got to the store, I sat in the car until the end of the rock block. When I got out and walked through the parking lot, still feeling pretty good, I spotted $20 lying on the ground! I looked around to see if the guy who dropped it was watching me, but I didn't see anyone. That kinda thing doesn't happen to me. Usually, I'm the one losing money. Well, I took that $20 and turned it into beer real fast before the owner came back for it.
Once I got home, I cracked open a beer and settled in to watch Fear Factor. Since my beer was free, I had a little extra money to order a pizza with pepperoni and onions. When the pizza showed up, I opened the box and saw that they'd put mushrooms on it, too. Normally, I would've turned the other cheek, but I hate mushrooms. I was a little buzzed by then, so I called up the pizza place and chewed them out. They sent out another pizza, no charge. Since the mushroom pizza was free, I picked off the mushrooms, ate it, and saved the other one for breakfast.
It rained the next day, so I didn't have to work. Since I'm used to being outside now, I was starting to feel a little stir crazy in the house, so I went out for some air. I drove around and picked up a new pair of Terminator sunglasses and a one-hitter, the kind that looks like a cigarette. I'd been meaning to get one of those for a while. When I got back, there was a note on my door from my landlord saying that he needed to get in my place. My landlord is a king douche, so I was super happy to have dodged him. Luck is on my side.
Then, yesterday, the best thing of all happened. I busted my leg, so I don't have to go in to work for eight weeks! One of the guys left his tool belt on the side of the ladder, so when I was climbing up, I got tangled up and fell. I broke my legbone in two places. The doctor says I probably might want to consider another kind of work once I get healed up. Sounds fine with me. In the meantime, I'm on workman's comp, meaning I get paid for lying around the house and taking Vicodin. And it was the guy who left the belt hanging on the ladder who got chewed out by my boss. How sweet is that?
Add to all this the fact that my car hasn't been acting up at all, and you can see that life is sweet these days. Maybe the universe looked at me and said, "You know what? I think it's time to give ol' Jim a break." Which is good, because before that I was getting shafted left and right. The only problem is I can't drive for a while, so I need Wes to drop supplies off for me. It would be better if Ron would do it, but he's pissed that I left him high and dry at work. After all the shit he put me though, he needs to chill the fuck out. I'll give him a few more days to cool down before I ask him again.
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.