Saturday, March 5, 2011

Woogie! Woogie!

All over the nation, it seems that we poor government employees are under attack. It seems that suddenly, almost everyone resents that teachers have recession-proof jobs that are fairly well paid and involve very little physical labor.

I don’t blame them-I love my job. Who wouldn’t? I am, basically, paid to read books and tell stories. All my work is indoors, with nothing heavier to lift than the occasional dictionary or atlas; and my office is located in what looks like a park. Hell, the library is only about 100 feet away. I’ve noticed that very few of my academic friends are especially religious.  For myself, I’m a practicing born-again pagan. Evidently, it is a little hard to sell the idea of an afterlife to those who already live in heaven.

I have no experience with other government jobs, but I suppose that most of them are pretty good, and all of us that are lucky enough to have one should be grateful. While the rest of the country has faced a recession, government employment has gone up; the federal government alone has hired over two hundred thousand new employees in the last two years. At this rate of increase, pretty soon, we will have to run a commuter train into Canada for the second shift.

One of the more common complaints about government employees is our pensions. In general, while they are much better than the private sector, we have been a little less lucky here in New Mexico. One of the state’s investment advisors spent some of our money on fancy homes, fast cars, and faster women. Bernie Madoff wasted the rest of the money. Still, our state pension plan is probably sound enough unless the popular protests of Wisconsin find their way south to New Mexico.

So, while I am not exactly worried, it seems only prudent to have an alternative plan. I toyed around with the idea of starting my own state, but it seems all the good places were taken. Since that first option is out, it would seem the only possibility left is losing your mind. Insanity as a retirement plan seems eminently sane

Mind you, I’m not going to use this plan myself, but I think it might work out fine for you. Should you need an Emergency Retirement, here’s what you do. Go to work, bright and early, and sit at your desk while you have a cup of coffee. When you are completely relaxed, take off all your clothes and leave them folded neatly on your desk. Carefully insert a pencil (eraser end first) up each nostril. Then run up and down the halls of your building yelling, “Woogie! Woogie!” Keep this up until you are physically restrained.

Once at the hospital, answer every question with either “It was in accordance with the prophesy” or “Would you like fries with that?” Refuse to answer to your own name, but insist that everyone call you King Shirley. While you will probably not be successful, it will undoubtedly enhance your performance if you occasionally attempt to lick your own eyebrows.

For your efforts, I figure you will get about a six week vacation at the local psychiatric ward. The food is not exactly great, but during group crafts you should be able to make key rings for all of your friends.

For some reason a disability retirement pays more than a regular retirement. This pay is not subject to income tax. And you immediately qualify for Social Security (which also pays more than a normal retirement). If word of this gets around, the halls at work might start to become rather interesting.

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