Thursday, March 11, 2010

It's pick your own title day.

It is no secret I've been disjointed lately. I'm just frustrated how disconnected people in my State are from reality. Still, I have to do stuff and interact with people. As much as I don't want to right now.

I'm out running an errand.

If no one else is waiting - I will shoot the shit with "this guy" while I'm picking up some stuff. I've talked to him a bunch of times and we usually wind up talking about his kids. He isn't even my favorite person to have casual conversation with because he almost always talks about his ex-wife and how she is screwing him. Whatever.

I didn't feel like talking today, so I was going through the motions. I don't even know what triggered it. I think I might of done something simple like ask him how he was doing. He responded with - I've still got a job and a roof over my head. Not like a lot of people.

Still making small talk - I say, yeah people don't have as many opportunities now, right? He said something along the lines of - they need to suck it up. Which, on some level I agree with. Yet, I don't think 12.5% unemployment makes it so easy to be flippant about it. I'm somewhere in the middle.

For some reason I just felt like poking him because I knew he had kids. I said something like "we will see how things go when all those teachers get laid off". Knowing full well, this is a trigger conversation for almost everyone in California. I would have been better off saying god loves to eat babies.

This is where the conversation spins on a dime. Oh yes.

He starts - "I don't know why the government is letting that happen. They should do something about it"

Which of course, sets off my evil internal dialog. Externally I say - if we don't have the money shouldn't they be laid off?

Him - Well, they should do something else. Education is the most important thing.

Me - They could always cut the pensions of some of these people.

Not shockingly, he doesn't like this either. Then he went onto complain about there being a 150 kids in a classroom. Which could be the case eventually, but for now is complete bullshit.

So I asked him - is that how many kids are in your children's classes?

No, but I only had 20 kids in my class - he says.

My evil internal dialog is screaming at me to keep poking him.

I say - really? How old are you man? When he tells me - I reply with "you are only about 10 years older than I am. You really only had 20 kids in your class? Because I had 35. We all turned out fine.

He starts stepping back his figure. Well, maybe it was 25. But it wasn't 35 - he says. Which made me ask if the kids were getting better jobs because of the small class sizes.

Then he started telling me how his kid was already thinking about college. Which was good in his opinion.

You know it is the most important thing. Sarcasm mine.

He goes on - I've been trying to get him to go into sports or sports casting.

My internal dialog keeps saying, poke him. Poke him! Because, I don't know what bullshit degree you need for sports or sports casting.

Me - Soooo. No math or science?

Some of you may have become completely bored by now. I'm telling you. This is the good part. This is what the man says to me. I shit you not.

Him - Yeeeeaaah. But, sports will always be there.

At this point I had to stifle my reaction. It was somewhere between shock and laughter.

I'm not going to tell you that I was a good student. I wasn't. My family had exactly the same attitude. Though not with sports. You can see from my poor use of the English language, I suck. But I know the importance of math and science! When I became an adult I had to work really hard to work in a world of people intensely into math and science. You see all those people still employed?! They probably know a little math and science. Just sayin'.

Anyway. I went on to say that if everyone went into sports and sports casting there wouldn't be any jobs there. Good looks and athleticism won't keep you forever. He went on to say that that area was the only way to get a good paying job. But.. he added - his daughter was going to be a teacher.

I'm guessing that guy is going to avoid me the next time I'm in there.

I got into my car. Turned the radio up to the highest point without blowing out my speakers. Took a couple of deep breaths, and drove away.

This is after all... California.


  1. That reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where George Constanza decides he wants to be a sportcaster and Jerry had to point out that these jobs were taken by professional athletes.

  2. I like this part:

    "Me - Soooo. No math or science?"

    "Him - Yeeeeaaah. But, sports will always be there."

    I guess Math & Science are just fads that will be out of style in a few years.

  3. Oh, yes!
    You could then follow the Sarge model of "YEAH SPORTS!".
    Sports, more sports, be excused from your important classes because you're so good at sports, to play more sports. Sports scholarship? Sure! Oops, your knee blew up? So sorry. Night manager at local supermarket. Air Force. Living in a tent for 6 months in a hostile area of Asia.

    Well, at least he's got a reliable job, so it turned out well for him. But this would be the reality for about 80% of those kids who only do sports right?

  4. Oooooh! Injuries! That's right. Damn, I wish I remembered that when I was giving that unwanted PSA. Because, I'm a helper. (eye roll) I totally forgot about that.