happily coasting

Looks like I’m mending.  Not quite 100% yet, demonstrated by just how tired work today made me.

I mean it’s nine o’clock at night and I’m already feeling an hour past bedtime.  I’m here listening to David Crosby’s stellar debut effort, If I Could Only Remember My Name. I think about hearing this album back in 1971 and thinking, “Dang, Crosby’s got it man.  Out of the ashes and here comes the phoenix.  This guy’s got the seventies locked; gonna wow us through another decade.”  How sad would it have been to then not see another album for something like two decades.

Two decades where the man buried himself in cocaine (don’t call it “crack” friends!, that’s for the poor folk;  freebase is puuuure!), made no records, and let himself waste away.  How disappointing to think what he could’ve made (no not the Stills collaborations, which are far from terrible… but the guy was freebasing his way through the studio time).  Anyway… Sharaun’s at volleyball and I’m listening to this amazing record and writing.  Here I go.

I read a story once  (or… did I? ) about a guy who placed a small text-only ad in his local newspaper that said simply:


And then supplied a PO Box address.  According to this legend, the man had received upwards of $10,000 in only the couple week’s of the advertisement’s run.

Actually, maybe I invented this story, glimpsed it in my mind’s eye during the fever-dreams the past few nights.  I mean, it’s not on the internet… anyway that I can find (via a totally non-thorough Google search), so maybe it is a creation of my head.  Either way, I think this little piece of lore is a perfect way to start this entry about my “exit strategy” (or lack thereof, or pining for, or creation of).

What is an “exit strategy?”  Well, in the context of today’s blog an exit strategy is that golden idea that’ll catapult me from a working man running the daily rat-race to a young, jet-setting, retiree.  Hey!  You!  Don’t confuse this exit strategy with a “lump sum,” with a windfall, with a lottery bag with three or four dollar signs on it.  That’s not what I’m trying to say.  Sure, money, recompense, clams, that’s a component of an exit strategy I suppose.  But being rich isn’t.  I’m not looking to “get rich,” (I wouldn’t kick rich out of bed, still) no… more like get done… get by… live.  The exit strategy will put me in some happily-coasting phase of life, where the family’s needs are met and we can enjoy each other and enjoy life and – I think most importantly – get me out of a cubicle.

How you gonna do it Dave?!  How ya gonna?  Huh?!

Gather ’round… here it comes: I. Don’t. Know.

Doesn’t matter though, because I finally know where I want to aim.  If you’re a parent today I’m talking Silly Bands or Squinkies.  If you’re my age but don’t have kids yet I’m talking slap bracelets and M.U.S.C.L.E men.  If you’re something like a fine wine I’m talking about the pet rock and those rigid dog collars that make it seem like you’re walking an invisible dog.  Since the dawn of the industrialized age men have been dreaming up stupid little ideas and then sending a set of fabrication specifications to China to get them manufactured out of rubber or plastic or metal so thin it’s stacked atom-by-atom.  Maybe they pay $1 for 500 of their widget, maybe that much for two or three time more (think about the raw cost of a Silly Band).  They then bring ’em over here to the land of the exploitable “everyone’s parents have money to burn” children.

I’m getting on this bandwagon.

Oh, and the end of the “LAST CHANCE” story?  Apparently the man was convicted of mail fraud over his little advertisement. Seems unfair to me, as getting rubes to send in $3 for a promise of nothing isn’t much different than someone paying to see a bearded lady or shrunken head at the midway, but I guess there might be a moral there somewhere.  And, anyway, Sharaun (and my conscience… that too) wouldn’t let me get far with an “exit strategy” that involved dubious ethics.  I’ve got to stick to the straight and narrow and just get it right.


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