Mother always said I’d never amount to anything, and it looks like she might have been right about that (but not about the bed wetting – dry nights for three weeks straight now, Mater. In your face!). For the second time in as many months, I have been made redundant. And lest accusations start being thrown about willy-nilly, it wasn’t the result of gross incompetence; not this time, anyway. No, in both instances, the business failed quite dramatically with little or no help from me, other than that presumably provided by whatever voodoo curse I’m currently labouring under (note for posterity: chicken blood, though tasty, is a woefully inadequate cure for bad ju-ju).
But I am not one to sit idly by and bemoan my fate, no sir! Nor in the final accounting shall it be said that I spent my days jobless upon the couch, debating the pros and cons of dwarf marriage with Jerry Springer. I may be as employable as Shane Paxton and possess considerably less charm, but dammit! I have experience (paper route), education (purchased over internet), and passion (lie)! Do not heap me in with the bludgers, pensioners and other human dross (not to stigmatise the unemployed, or anything). I am, let us be clear, an Ideas Man, a Man who is prepared to take his destiny in both hands, shake it like a British nanny, and make it his terrified, snivelling bitch.
Or at least, this is what I told the duty-harpy at Centrelink, whose doubting beak dropped open in what I can only assume was unalloyed admiration as I delivered this very speech verbatim from atop her desk. I was sick and tired, I told her; I had had enough - of slaving under the yoke of Whitey, of acting as mindless wage-beast for The Man. No, from this day forth I would serve only one master, and that would be myself: I intended to start my own business. Of some sort. Best not to get too definite about the particulars at this early stage. But I would of course require some sort of allowance until, you know, I’d gotten on my feet, made a cool million, etc. Um, please?
Stifling a respectful snort behind a dainty talon, the harridan informed me that I would need to submit a detailed business plan along with a diary of steps taken towards gaining relevant experience in my chosen field before she would even consider the intricate process of filing, reviewing, losing, finding, re-reviewing and eventually declining my application. I am of course only too willing to bend over backwards and think of England for those fine, dedicated douche-bags at Centrelink if it means there’s a buck in it, but to pre-empt the inevitable rejection of my nascent business (whatever it might be) I have shown uncharacteristic enthusiasm, and embarked upon not one, but three ventures. I submit them here for your approval before letting Centrelink eyeball my early steps towards commercial success.
Business Venture 1: Rogue Vigilante Crime-Fighter.
After successfully hiring a butler (kidnapped old Mr Parker from down the road) to act as confidant and installing him in my crime-fighting lair (crawlspace under house), I worked out for an entire hour (am now totally buff), before utilising my mad sewing skillz to transform an otherwise innocent bedsheet into a rather natty cape. Hollywood may be an infallible guide, but unfortunately last night’s heroic vigilantism didn’t quite go as planned – i.e. was spent standing around in the rain waiting for crime to be perpetrated. It wasn’t. However, I did find a homeless drunk on the way home early this morning. Technically guilty of vagrancy, he received a gallant drubbing at my hands. Zero profit, but hell of satisfying: these are early days, so small steps people, small steps.
Business Venture 2: Legitimate (ahem) Businessman.
An afternoon spent at Dimmey’s and Forge’s has seen me kitted out with the requisite jogging suit, large orange sunglasses and jovially sociopathic attitude towards my fellow man that marks your successful mobster. Dressed for success, I have already carried out three rather lucrative shakedowns; yes, they were all on primary school kids, but $2.75 and a marble is nothing to be sneezed at. If I’ve learned anything from my considerable research (Sopranos, Godfather’s 1 & 2, Donnie Brasco, Mickey Blue Eyes), it’s that the mob is run by vain, petty, stupid thugs: since none of these terms does not describe me, I am obviously the man to bring Melbourne’s ailing mafia community into the 21st century.
Business Venture 3: Prostitute.
Unsurprisingly, no clients so far, but whoring has its definite advantages. Besides being able to re-use the rather attractive tights from my Rogue Vigilante Crime-Fighter outfit, the oldest profession in the world offers the chance to meet new and interesting people up close (extremely so), and the happily ergonomic opportunity to work while lying down. Or sometimes on my knees. Or, you know, maybe occasionally hanging upside-down from some sort of leather harness ($10 extra). Plus, not to put too fine a point on it, it means I’d get to have sex. And I’ve always wondered what that would be like.
How can Centrelink refuse even one such proposal? Tremble before the mercantile might of this budding captain of industry, Trump and Murdoch.