I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about raising the minimum wage, which hasn’t changed since 2009. I also haven’t changed since 2009, and why would I? My life is suh-weet! Who needs change? Not me! And certainly not America.
Every morning I wake up to the alarm on my RIM BlackBerry Storm, alerting me to the start of another bomb-ass day. Sure it’s not connected to anything because it no longer has technical support, but who needs their phone to have internet or the ability to call someone? I don’t!
I pull up Internet Explorer and check the showings for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. None. How about Avatar? None. The Blind Side? Still none? That’s surprising because that movie will forever be heartwarming and not at all problematic. Sidenote: someone should start a company that sells movie passes for one low monthly price because that seems like a salient and well-crafted business idea.
No worries, I’ll just pick something up from Blockbuster after work. Where do I work? Frickin’ Toys R Us! The happiest place on earth. My friends are like, “Dude, those closed.” And I’m like, “Uh, not in my heart.” Because the world will always need someone selling overpriced toys inside a physical retail location that is 30-40 minutes away from people’s houses. I sit in front of the shuttered store every day with toys I buy on Amazon (that’s gonna be a flash in the pan) and yell at people driving by that I have something to show their kids. So far, this hasn’t worked. But I have Hope! Like Obama, who is still my president, which is really the only thing that people agree with me about.
After a hard day of making $0 (I would KILL for $7.25 an hour), I slide into Paul Thomas Cruiser (what I named my PT Cruiser), blast “Boom Boom Pow” by the Black Eyed Peas, and drive to my girlfriend’s house. She’s totally surprised to see me because, again, my phone doesn’t work and I gave her no heads up I was coming. I say, “Let’s order Papa John’s!” and she’s like, “Ew, no, that guy’s racist.” And I’m like, “This is the first I’m hearing about this,” and she says, “I can’t do this with you anymore. Get out of my house.” Now, I’m a pretty positive guy, but this hurts. Is it crazy to think I could find the kind of love Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy have? I also want to be with a woman who is beautiful and has super smart ideas about vaccines.
I head home to find my landlord, hammering an eviction notice on my door. What gives?! He says, “You paid $1,200 — rent is two grand.” I show him my lease, which clearly states the rent is $1,200. He says it’s from twelve years ago and “worthless.” I tell him no one making Seven Big Washingtons and One Tiny Washington an hour can pay 2K a month. He says that’s not his problem and I owe him $9,000 in back rent, and that I need to “give it to him.” I answer, “That’s what she said,” and he punches me in the face.
I pack up my stuff and drive to my parents’ house. My mom says, “This wouldn’t have happened if you had gotten a real job,” and I’m like, “I tried, but no one is hiring.” And my dad says, “That’s because there’s a pandemic and the economy is in the toilet,” and I’m like, “Pandemic? I think you mean Great Recession.” He says, “I can’t do this with you anymore. Get out of my house.”
I drive to a movie theater because, dang it, I’m still itching to see a flick! Since The Hangover isn’t playing, I order a ticket for Tom & Jerry. The cashier says, “That’s $12.” And I say, “No, just one ticket.” And she’s like, “Yeah, that’s $12.” And I’m like, “No, movie tickets are like seven bucks.” And she says, “Yeah, maybe in 2009.” And I’m like, “EXACTLY.” She gives me a strange look and says, “I can’t let you in without a mask anyway.”
I see a NOW HIRING sign on the window. Nice! I take an application and ask what it pays. “Minimum wage,” she says. “So if I worked here," I say, "it would take almost two hours to earn a ticket to Tom & Jerry?” And she’s like, “Not after taxes, nimrod.” Taxes! I’m like, “That doesn’t seem fair.” And she says, “I can’t do this with you anymore. Get out of my vestibule.”
I go back to Paul Thomas and stare out the windshield. I turn on the radio and Miley Cyrus’s “The Climb” is playing. I let the words wash over me. “There’s always gonna be another mountain.” I guess that mountain is Congress maintaining a dangerously low minimum wage to keep profits high for businesses. “Keep the faith, baby. It’s all about, it’s all about the climb.” True That.