School’s Out for Summer

As an aside before we begin, I have to talk about the title of this post. Do you have any idea how many times I’ve tried to incorporate Alice Cooper lyrics in one of these, then changed my mind at the last minute? ANY IDEA? Now it’s finally happened! I can’t tell you how fantastic I think Alice Cooper is. I even considered writing a post devoted entirely to a list of things I desperately need to tell him, but there are so many of them. A few years ago on his radio show he made an ocelot joke that still makes me laugh out loud. So funny, love him.

Hell Is

I’m not here to talk to you about Alice Cooper, though. (I wish I was. I really do.) No, I’m here to talk about something that has never hosted The Muppet Show. Something that has never  had a cameo in Wayne’s World. Something that has never stayed in the same hotel as me in Kansas, or inadvertently gotten me out of a parking ticket. (Alice Cooper did all those things, guys. ALL OF THEM.) I’m here to talk to you about unemployment.

School is indeed out for the summer, meaning I am unemployed until the last week in July. I should welcome this vacation with open arms. I should sleep all day, blog more, read more, and work on developing sexy, sexy skin cancer. I should be grateful for such a relaxing, lazy opportunity, and I would be except for one small, teeny tiny thing, which is this: I would really like to continue eating for the next two months. It’s just this weird thing I do to survive or whatever.

It has come to my attention that unless you’re in the opening number of Aladdin, you usually have to pay for food. I know, I know, it’s absurd. Unfortunately, this has all boiled down to one salient fact. I need to find a job. I’ve been unemployed for four days (I know! How do I do it? I’m so brave!) and I am really starting to freak out. I’m in this 6-hour panic cycle, you see.

The 6-Hour Panic Cycle

Hour One: I apply everywhere, then start to think too much. How hard can finding that summer job be? An ice cream shop? I’ve always wanted to be a fat kid! A pet store cashier? I once recorded a radio spot about Pooper Scoopers! A bouncer position at a bar with a requirement about having to lift more than my body weight? Maybe the rules are really more like guidelines! Everyone will try to hire me! I’ll be beating employers off with a stick! I will never want again!

But do I really want to suggestively sell coffee at a Starbucks in a Safeway? What does that even mean? What if it’s something I’m ashamed to tell my family about? What if it ends up being the kind of debacle I blog about? There’s no way I can be a bouncer, either. In fact, I can’t do any kind of bouncing. Last time I was in one of those jumpy castle things I got a truly gory nosebleed. I should have been pickier!

Hour Two: I cheerfully reassure my relatives that I won’t starve to death, while frantically checking the phone to see if potential employers have called. Yesterday I told my grandpa it’s ok if I don’t get a job because it means I’ll be really skinny by the time my next paycheck comes. He didn’t think that was funny, so then I had to spend 20 minutes telling my grandma all the places I’d applied to in a cheerfully upbeat tone. She didn’t seem convinced, and I blame the following sentences for that. “Yes! I applied at a tire store! I’m gonna sell tires! I bet Vin Diesel buys some tires from me! It will be great!” The other thing that may have worried her could have been the way I repeatedly checked my phone to find that no one had called. No one wants me. No one, no one, no one.

Hour Three: I accept the fact that I will be unemployed forever, then get really hungry and realize that won’t work. It can’t be that bad, right? I have money in savings. Maybe I’ll just eat less than I usually do and avoid bars and movie theaters for the next two months. That’s doable. I’ll just chill out in my apartment. Maybe I’ll be the stay-at-home roommate who makes snacks for everyone when they get home from work. It will be ok. I have two jobs waiting for me in late July. I can do it.

But… what if my car breaks down (again) and I have to get its weird Swedish parts replaced (again), and there goes all my food money? What happens then? There’s no point in having a working car if you can’t afford gas and have no reason to drive to the grocery store.

Hour Four: I worry that no one will ever hire me anywhere, then start to wonder if prostitution is like Pretty Woman. Then I remember my teeth aren’t as nice as Julia Roberts’, so it’s probably not. I have no skills! I’m really good at alphabetizing things, but any semi-literate schmuck can do that. I’ve spent the last two years busting college students for drinking on a dry campus or stuffing envelopes for Congressmen, and I’m not sure those abilities translate to other jobs. I’m incredibly sarcastic, so if anyone is hiring a snarky 21-year-old with a bad dye job for anything… pick me, pick me!

On the other hand, I could follow my grandma’s advice and find a rich fella to marry. Who needs to finish school? Where does one find rich, marriageable men outside of Jane Austen novels? Does being called a “gold digger” hurt that badly? (My grandma’s actual advice was for me to marry Prince William. She was understandably crushed after the wedding.)

If only I’d had braces as a child!

Hour Five: I Google pictures of Richard Gere and think about maybe looking for more jobs, then spend money and panic some more. Looking at Richard Gere is enough to temporarily distract me, but being on the internet always makes me think that the job listings on Craigslist are only a click away. Maybe there’s a new post. Maybe I’m actually qualified for this one. Maybe I should look at Richard Gere’s hair some more until I feel better about things. You know what definitely makes me feel better? A candy bar! You know what makes me feel worse? Realizing I just spent 75 cents I could have been saving and crying into the empty wrapper.

Hour Six: I fall asleep mid-freakout, having stressed myself into exhaustion. I wake up within 30 minutes with a new lease on life, and the vicious cycle repeats itself.

At the moment, I’m deep into hour four and full of despair, so I made a plan for when I’m homeless.

The Plan for My Inevitable Homelessness

Step One. Go to Florida and use my remaining money on a one-day ticket to Disney World.

Step Two. Hide in one of the attractions. Ideally, the Hall of the Presidents, where I can pretend to be an animatronic Founding Father to escape notice each night. If I’m looking particularly grungy, the Haunted Mansion will also work.

Step Three. Scavenge trash cans for food with a friendly smile. Follow the employee dress code by ensuring I have no piercings or visible tattoos and a clean shirt so I can fly under the radar in the day time.

Step Four. Take care of personal hygiene by running through the fountains every few days or riding Splash Mountain.

Step Five. Ride the Indiana Jones ride, because I wasn’t tall enough to do it when I was five and it was closed when I was nine and it is a LIFE-LONG DREAM.

Wait. This is pretty much a list of things I want to do at Disney World. Aw man, I’m not even qualified to be homeless.

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