Storms never come when you want them to. We had a horrible storm here in Austin, that lead to the worst flooding I have ever seen here. I was desperately hoping that the rain would go away, not only for my sake, but for those whom lost their property or had it damaged. (I live on the side of a hill and was in no way even close to getting flooded.) However, I remember a time when I would have prayed for a flood, even one of Noah’s Ark proportions.
I used to work in sales for a moving company that was run by a couple. (That no longer exists.) It was the stupidest place that I ever worked. Often I would show up for work and the boss would be passed out drunk on the back couch. The movers would be running around out front of the building in what looked like the USO scene from Apocalypse Now. The owner got hit with a DUI and got a breathalyzer put on his car, so at night he started driving the moving truck to the bar. When he finally went to jail, which was inevitable, the bar he frequented called the office and told us that he owed them a thousand dollars! In all my years of drinking I have spent an untold amount at bars, but I never owed a bar money, nor even knew it was possible to owe a bar that much! Onetime the female boss disappeared for days on a drug binge. When she returned, I actually saw a coworker fire his own boss, only to have the male boss get soft and allow her to return. None of these stories even tell the half of it. Insanity went along with daily defeats. All they seemed to talk about around the office was American Idol, except when they were occasionally mentioning the Bible. Anyway, as you can imagine it was not the greatest of work environments. One should never be in the position of trying to meet sales numbers for drug addicts that believe in angels.
One day I showed up for work and the business next store had burned to the ground. All of the workers stood in the field next door and looked at what was left, and what was left was cinders. I remember looking out the window wistfully, hoping that I too would some day be blessed with such an event. Floods, plagues, and fires became the stuff of Tuesday morning daydreams. Sometimes I would let my thoughts go into the realm of fantasy. I remember one day thinking how great it would be if a werewolf came through the front door and just started dismembering people. I was willing to go down too, with whatever horror came through that door, as long my imaginary werewolf friend took out my bosses first. Hey, what else is there to think about when one is facing skull crushing boredom and mind numbing stupidity?
So whenever you here a politician talk about the nobility of the small business owner, I call bullshit. I’ve seen things. Small business owners, like everyone else, are a mixed bag. Some dream big and treat their workers well, and some DUI moving trucks in endless circles around town.
Anyway, I hope my fellow Austinites are able to recover from the flood. My parents home in Pennsylvania have faced minor flooding before. I know even a little water can be an absolute nightmare to deal with. I wish that upon no one. But there was once a day when I did wish it upon myself…
“I wanna dream lover so I don’t have to dream alone” – Bobby Darin