Chasing that paper would be an overstatement—any forward momentum was exhausted years ago. I’m now, more aptly, loitering for that paper, spending my days hunting for loopholes, distractions, and excuses to tell disappointed family members.
I know money is needed for things like rent, heat, and motor scooter gasoline. I’m just trying to get to those ends without performing actual work, really anything requiring time in an office, a W-2, or real pants. Life is no longer a series of alarm clocks; rather it has become a string of bathrobes and inquiries to the local Department of Human Services.
The DHS, or whatever your state calls the place where poor and lazy people alike go for free money and healthcare, was my natural starting point. I unleashed my inner Clay Davis while applying for any and all government programs (1); I will truly take any motherfucker’s money if he givin’ it away.
The bureaucratic minion at the counter looked me up and down; I knew she was shocked by the juxtaposition of my inquiry and near-flawless appearance, but I figured there had to be a disability technicality (2) lurking somewhere on my seemingly perfect body to qualify me for free money. Yes, I assured her, I would proudly wear the distinction of “averse to reading,” “pre-obese,” or “gout-riddled” if it meant government checks being regularly sent.
DHS, I’m not impoverished; I’m just being rational. I’d rather fill out paperwork for free money than job applications to go work for money. I was committed. I even considered investing in one of those infomercial Free Money books (3) from that question-mark-suit guy. Maybe, I thought, I could make an actual career out of exploiting government grants and handouts.
Money in the meantime was my next question. Luckily our apartment was brimming with filth. Returnable cans (4) beckoned and the roommates each happily paid me ten to watch as I ate expired food unearthed from the refrigerator (5). America loves its freaks; I was just cashing in through rancid cheese and congealed sushi.
Still savvy, I sauntered out the door, stifling vomit, eager to show more initiative than the local drug addicts in removing copper pipes from dumpsters and abandoned homes (6). Unfazed by junkies’ garbled threats, my pipes and I were off to the scrap yard to keep living this tax-free dream.
I was tired. I needed to sit down and, naturally, I found a comfortable recliner inside a blood plasma center (7). Sit for an hour with a needle in your arm while watching an old Law and Order and get forty dollars? Yes, please, Land of Opportunity! I kept my eye on not working during the hour, popping my pre-paid phone out and calling to try and set myself up as a Nielsen family (8). The TV was going to get watched anyways; I might as well get paid something for it.
Dizzy from a lack of plasma and a natural, fun-employed high, I lumbered back home ready to troll Kickstarter, Craigslist, and other Internet avenues for lonely or idealistic people to hustle (9).
If all else fails, hit the sperm bank and do what you do best (10).