Daily Archives: August 5th, 2010

Of Gerbils and Men

Happy birthday to me!

Our G.R.I.P.E. scientists have been hard at work making another exciting gerbil discovery. But first, an update.

The gerbil code-named Farley is 22 years old, still lives at home, has never held down a real job for any significant period of time, has a medical marijuana card for his “sore back,” and was recently approved for food stamps.

Farley has had a few jobs in his four-year “career” since graduating high school (a rare feat amongst gerbils) but the outcome of his employment is always the same: He either quits or gets fired after an amazingly short period of time.

Farley was recently hired as a dishwasher at a local restaurant. Apparently the chef was not too impressed with Farley’s work ethic. One day the chef asked Farley to “pick up the pace.” Farley, not one to be known for a lack of self-expression, replied, “Get off my back.” Witty gerbil repartee!

The chef was not to be outdone. “I guess this is your last day.” Farley couldn’t agree fast enough. Yet another job burned through and in record time.

One thought struck me: When you are not responsible for your own food, clothing and shelter, an interaction like the one Farley the Ex-Dishwasher just had isn’t quite that impressive. It would be a lot more meaningful if he wasn’t living at home and his entire existence was on the line. That sort of mundane reality is something that is left for the rest of us non-gerbils to deal with. Take me, for example. When my boss whips it out and says, “Kneel down and get to work,” I don’t have much choice. My mommy isn’t going to feed me and tuck me in at night even if I lose my job. It’s either the job or nothing else. So I do what I gotta do to survive.

All good things must come to an end, and so it will probably be for Farley. Someday. Maybe. I say maybe because sometimes the universe can work in strange ways. Instead of ever having to learn responsibility Farley just might inherit everything from his parents and never have to work a day in his life. He’ll go from birth to death and never have to learn about the real human experience or any kind of responsibility. It might just happen. And if it does I’ll have to learn to live with it. Like my dad used to say, “Like isn’t fair. Who ever promised you that?”

On the other hand, if the shit does hit the fan and Farley someday has to sink or swim, I just pray to God that I get to be there to see it!

And now on to our discovery…

The Gerbil Birthday

This is a day set aside for someone who has lied to you, stolen from you, broken your stuff, treated you like shit and owes you lots of money. Even though the gerbil has avoided you like the plague (except when favors are needed of course) as the celebration day approaches the gerbil is suddenly around more often and on his best behavior. There is less anger and in your face angst and fewer “do you want to see me swinging from the end of rope!!!” comments. The day itself is celebrated by making the gerbil a special dinner, providing a celebratory dessert, and giving the gerbil gifts.

Starting today our scientists will be watching with the utmost interest to see how the gerbil’s behavior may unfold during the next few days. A quick revert to “gerbil normal” behavior is expected.