The recession is annoying Cranky. I had a nice freelance money job. But now that job isn’t paying me any money. So I ended up in the bizarro world of Craig’s List looking for some kinda job thing to bring in some dough. This is how my life turned into a Seinfeld episode.
I got a job working for Oscar the cranky old guy. Only Cranky would find a job like this. Luckily I am splitting the job with a model so we both can go on calls. And I tell him I can never come in until eleven because there are only so many hours of this I can take.
Here is my day:
Play one message from an unintelligible friend six times to try to figure out what the hell he is saying. Finally give up and play it for Oscar who immediately recognizes his fellow octogenarian’s garble and calls him back. Call the city to fight a parking ticket and use the term elder abuse to get out of it.
Then it is lunchtime.
Every day at 12:30 Oscar hands me a ten-dollar bill and says; “See if they have Matzo Ball. If they have Matzo Ball soup just take the Matzo Balls and put them in a different soup. I don’t like the soup the Matzo Balls come in. I don’t like the Jewish Penicillin.
Tuesday at lunch time: “See if they have the Matzo Ball…”
Wednesday at lunch: “See if they have the Matzo Ball….”
Thursday: “See if they have the Matzo Ball….”
After four weeks of this I realize that Morton Williams Supermarket hasn’t had Matzo Ball soup for the past hundred years, but I will never stop hearing the Matzo Ball speech.
So we eat our soup. As Oscar takes his last spoonful he starts to nod off and ends up taking a nap on the leatherette couch in his office with a sweater over his head. One day the sweater slips and I see his frozen face with unseeing eyes and mouth open. I think; “Oh shit! He’s dead! What am I gonna do? Who do I call? I’ve never had a dead boss before.” And then I hear a little snore and realize that Oscar sleeps with his eyes open which is one of the scarier things I have ever seen in my life.
After lunch comes the most important business of the day. Now we must go on match.com and send emails to women. Oscar pulls up a chair and looks over my shoulder at the computer while we do searches for women. I am so in the world of weirdos now I am beside myself. Yesterday he started yelling: “Find me more women! There must be more women! Can’t you call someone you know that uses match.com who can tell you how to find more women?”
Ah, yeah. I know how to navigate match.com. What I don’t know is how to get any twenty-eight to thirty-eight year old woman to write back to an eighty-year-old man looking for a date, a relationship, a wife and a NEW BABY. Ah, yeah. A NEW FUCKING BABY. Unhappy with his eighteen-year-old son, he has decided that he should get a new baby. And the way to get a new baby is to get a woman in her childbearing years to go out with you. Oh and she must be tall and thin. TALL AND THIN.
This shit is giving me nightmares. I keep seeing Oscar’s fungus finger pointing at pictures of young women. Is it worth the hourly rate? The Matzo Balls and match.com floating around my brain when I leave there? The listening to him pee with the bathroom door open? Or how about walking by the door of his office, as he is about to pee in the empty soup container from lunch because he is too old and tired to walk to the bathroom?
Seriously, the economy better get better because I don’t know how long I can take this shit.
Yesterday was doing match.com with Oscar dictating over my shoulder. It’s a good thing he doesn’t see very well, so he can’t see all the typos I will have to go back and correct later. So he is dictating a note to some beautiful young Brazilian woman. I am feeling sorry for her that she will get a response to her lovely picture and open it and find it is from grandpa. Anyway, he is dictating that he went to Rio once but couldn’t go to the beach because he is very fair skinned. Then he says his ability to meet women is small because he doesn’t like cocktail bars. Then he says he hates large groups of people because he finds most people are insufferable bores. While I am typing I think, “Way to go Oscar. Way to get a date. Sound like a complete misanthrope. Great way to make an impression- expose yourself as having the emotional intelligence of a bi-valve.”
And then it happens. Cranky has an uncontrollable laughing fit. As it is bubbling up I am thinking; ‘NO. STOP! DO NOT LAUGH! DO NOT LAUGH! HE WILL SEE YOU!” Which makes if even more funny, so I dissolve into a hysterical laughing fit in front of him.
Fortunately, he thinks of himself as a great writer and as I am laughing with tears coming down my cheeks he says; “It’s a great letter, right? What do you think?” “Huh?” I think, “Don’t ask me what I think! I can’t tell you what I really think.” And then it comes to me. I say, “You sound like Woody Allan,” and I am able to save the day. Thank you Second City Improv. Thanks for the skills to save my job with Matzo Ball man.