Earning a living without working

by N.A. Booko

Pittsboro, NC – For the past two days I have done nothing but sit, snooze, snore and maybe nussle a cat. The rain did that. Why should i worry about not being out there trying to earn a buck? I learned long ago that trying to earn a buck doesn’t always result in you getting that buck. Sometimes the outlay of cash and effort to earn that buck never repays me, the lender.

photo by Keenan Barber

I shouldn’t complain tho. I haven’t been employed since 1962, by anyone other than myself. But man do I know how to choose employees! I always give extras that no other boss would dream of. All these folks on Zoom shows and brag they are not wearing pants; nothing new to me. I seldom ‘dress up’ to go to work. I ‘make do’ with clothing; especially work clothing. If a zipper goes on a jacket, a safety pin does the work. I once wrote, several years ago, a Chatham Chatlist piece entitled “Just How Safe is A Safety Pin?” It to me, was a real knee slapper.

What I like about being my own boss is that I can hop from one job to the next. Maybe plants one moment and mixing plaster for a mold the next. Sometimes those jobs get sidetracked and don’t get finished for months or even years. Unused plaster can go bad and so can my ambition and attitude. Sometimes I steal supplies from one project to complete something completely different. All in the name of making a living.

I drive a 1993 car. I can’t recall just how many million miles is on it, nor the actual depth of pollen build-up, because half of that composition is soot from traffic on highway 64. You would be surprised the number of times, in a public parking lot, someone, thinking they are very clever, writes with their finger, on my untidy van “Wash Me.” I can just see them at home, laughing and rolling on the floor imagining the humiliation they have caused me. Get real silly prankster; your ‘joke’ will be gone by morning with new layer of crud.

I did wake up enough this noon to make cornbread. I hastily threw it together and halfway thru the baking process, I realized i hadn’t put shortening in the batter. I realize that maybe some of my ancestors just mixed the meal with water and threw it on a hot rock. They survived and so will I. Looking forward to that best country meals: cornbread, boiled greens, sliced onion and buttermilk. Yum, yum!

This is not at all what I intended to write about, but it got so far ahead of my thinking, I lost track of the original idea.