Eddie the Thug, my unemployed and unemployable big, useless cat, would like to be considered for a position on the county road crew.
He is experienced in finding and removing, at least parts of, road kill, his most recent job involving the dead deer that hung around our neighbor’s mail box for the better part of a week.
Eddie was out there every day, doing his part to keep our streets clean, and he and a number of buddies worked every morning and evening until the human crew finally showed up and scraped off what was left.
“If you complain about high taxes, then you have to expect a decrease in services.”
I’m not sure where this voice is coming from. It’s in my head, but it’s not something I tend to say.
Years ago, when county property taxes were about what they are today, another man was in charge of road kill – something we rarely saw, especially near our mail boxes, because he was on top of the matter so soon after the car went over the top of the animal that we didn’t realize there was this problem with cars and creatures.
Not only that, but he was so quick, so efficient, and so good at what he did, he dressed the animals for meat consumption, preparing and wrapping the meat packets on his own time and donating the approved result to food banks and shelters in the area.
County residents were happy with our tidy highways; hungry people were being fed; okay, so the deer weren’t doing so well, but for the most part, we saw where our tax dollars were, literally, working.
But the man must have done something wrong – not with his job or anything, since he was doing that so well, but something along the lines of filling out the forms in triplicate with a blue pen instead of a black one, or backing into the county parking space instead of parking front first, or keeping the bin of paperclips on the right side of the telephone instead of the left.
As you know, these things make a huge difference in the efficient running of any company, and the reprobate who can’t get in line with the program gets in line at the unemployment office.
And so the deer, and the raccoons, and the possums, and the widdle itty kitties, pile up, while the forms concerning their existence are correctly filled out, in quadruplicate now, in the appropriate black ink, and Eddie’s picking up valuable work experience.
Lest you think that I’m picking on the public service domain, I’m not – actually, in this respect, government offices are learning from their private sector counterparts to “run themselves like a business,” and in pursuit of this, cull the ranks of the experienced – generally hapless, longtime loyal employees in their 50s – replacing them with new, less expensive, models.
Years ago, it used to be a red flag on a resume if you held down more than three jobs in 30 years.
“Looks a little flighty.”
“Jumps from job to job.”
But nowadays, three jobs in thirty years is an anomaly, and not necessarily because employees are leaving in droves by choice.
We are a nation of good, loyal, hardworking people. When businesses – private and public – re-recognize the value of those values, we will re-build more than just the economy.
In the meantime, what about Eddie, guys?
By golly, it sounds like he is doing the very best he can!
I so agree with your opinion in this article.
It’s been nice having him off the porch, diving at our feet every time we step out the door. But now that the deer’s gone, the temp position is over.
The above is one of my favorites, Carolyn.
I take personally (emotionally) the road kill, thinking that some little person is grieving for that itty bitty squished kitty, but do remember when my dad brought home a pheasant dinner, possibly one that he knocked off on the road before going out to retrieve it. My Mom said “eww”, but cooked it anyway. It was okay, I guess. I remember thinking “eww/”
Wondering if your great road-kill butcher man may have run amok of the USDA and lost his practice. Yes, maybe?
We are going to learn a lot of things in the next decade, in my opinion… lose a lot and learn a lot. Like how to chop wood, and how to keep chickens. And also how to barter services for goods with neighbors, and how to make homemade gifts. Some of you may remember with me how to coast the car down all hills to conserve gas! (That was when gas was 25¢ a gallon, but the WWII was on.)
Someone like “the other man” in your story could make a good nest egg by publishing a little book called Survival Food for ordinary folks who don’t know how to find roots and berries and fungi they can safely eat. ( There are a lot of such books currently on the market, and some are regional guides…worth having on your bookshelf.)
I specialize in taking “dead things” (i.e., rejected products) and making them live again for a new, useful and hopefully beautiful life. So the concept of making good use of wasted material is dear to my heart. It is interesting to me that we as a nation have been studying how to be “green” for several decades now, and we may find ourselves better trained because of this focus for the hard times ahead.
I see this as a sort of benevolent preparation and a bright light on what might otherwise sound like gloomytalk.
While I have no difficulty seeing a squished possum, I agree with you about someone’s beloved kitty. It’s so sad, which is another reason why I appreciated the evidence being removed quickly.
I like that you take the dead, rejected things and turn them into items of beauty. Recycling and living green were around a long time before they became popular, spurred on by poverty and necessity. Not trendy at all.