A lazy man's career track

Kevin Cowherd

March 06, 1991|By Kevin Cowherd

OUR SUPPORT group for the chronically lazy meets every other Thursday at St. Theresa's elementary school, providing Ty Harrington gets off his duff and gets us a key to the side door.

I missed our last meeting -- just didn't feel like getting off thcouch -- but they tell me it went pretty much like all the rest as far as bickering is concerned.

Sarah Mullins was supposed to bring the coffee and doughnutsbut then decided it was too much trouble, so there were no refreshments to speak of.

Then there was a problem with the seating. Usually we sit ofolding chairs, but everyone figured it was a hassle to pull the chairs out of the janitor's closet -- especially if they were going to make us put them back after the meeting.

So the group ended up leaning against the stage for two hourswhich apparently was pretty darn uncomfortable. At one point, Carmine Melello stood and said "This is ridiculous!" and went off to get some chairs.

But he never came back and, sure enough, at the end of thmeeting they found him asleep on a couch in the principal's office. Carmine, he just might be the laziest person in the group, the more I think of it.

My story is pretty much like everyone else's in the group, at leasI assume it is, not having bothered to check.

All I heard when I was growing up was how lazy I was and hoI'd never amount to anything.

In fact, the enduring memory of my teen-age years is my mothebarging into my bedroom every morning and yelling: "WHEN ARE YOU GETTING A JOB?!"

"HEY, HAVE A LITTLE CONSIDERATION!" I'd yell back. "IT'S 1O'CLOCK. PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO SLEEP!"

Let's face it, the last thing you want to do is get in a shoutinmatch with your mom, especially when you need her to drop you off at the pool hall later. But sometimes Mom was out of control. Just because she only needed eight hours of sleep, it didn't mean the rest of the world had the same biological makeup.

Perhaps the defining moment in my lifelong problem witlaziness occurred at the age of 17 while applying for a job as a lifeguard.

At first glance, the job looked to be right up my alley. I figured alyou did was sit in a big white chair on the beach with a whistle around your neck and a dab of zinc oxide on your nose while leering at the girls in their bikinis.

If a swimmer were actually in trouble, it seemed to me you coulalways turn to your partner and say something like: "Teddy, get that guy for me, willya? Yeah, in the red trunks. Just went under."

But during my job interview, the supervisor of lifeguards ruineeverything by announcing: "We're looking for people who aren't afraid of hard work."

And I thought: "Oh, God, not another one of these fanatics likMom."

Well, it turned out this guy was a real head case. Not only werthe lifeguards expected to jump in the surf themselves to save floundering swimmers, they were also expected to police the beach and pick up any stray bottles and cans. Plus you were expected to be on the job six hours a day.

To make a long story short, I didn't get the job. The lifeguarsupervisor said he didn't like my "attitude," whatever that means. (Someone told me later he got annoyed when I put my head down on his desk and took a nap, although my asking for two weeks vacation "up front" might have put him off, too.)

From there I drifted from one failed job opportunity to anothermarking a steady downward decent until I ultimately landed with a thud in a humor writer's position.

For a chronically lazy person, the job is a godsend, allowing onto engage in sophomoric discourses on the most juvenile topics, holier-than-thou posturing and all manner of wild and irresponsible accusations -- all done (this is the part I really like) with little or no research.

Getting back to the support group, however, it has certainlbecome a meaningful influence in my life.

At our next meeting, we're scheduled to discuss plans for a raffland dinner dance in the spring. This would involve group members going door-to-door and selling a minimum of six books of raffle tickets each, as well as devoting time and energy toward renting a banquet hall, planning a menu, hiring a band, etc.

Me, I wouldn't book a baby-sitter just yet.

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