Shoes… part 3

The following is a work of fiction.
Pure fiction.
It’s sole purpose is give the reader a chance to try on another guy’s shoes.
Maybe see how a different opinion fits.
Or not.

You slip into the size 7 ½  fuzzy pink slippers at the front of the closet and tiptoe down the short hall to the living room, trying not to waken the napping bub on your way. It was ironing day and lord how you hate to iron! But like every other chore in life, if you don’t do it, it won’t get done. So you turn the TV on low and get to work.


Your 1990’s soaps slide into a documentary on social security and entitlements. Well the ironing is almost finished anyway, and it’s this or afternoon cartoons, so you don’t bother changing the channel.


The documentary is almost exclusively about how many people in the US receive benefits without needing them. The baby boomer generation, in specific, when interviewed, mostly tell how they are entitled to SSI because they paid into the system their whole working lives and even if it’s not essential to their quality of life now, they earned it, it’s theirs, and they’re keeping it


The argument on the other side is how the Social Security system is edging toward bankruptcy and the entitlement-minded baby boomers are about to push the whole US benefits scheme over the proverbial edge.


Most of this is going in one ear and out the other while you concentrate on finishing the last two blouses, when the TV reporter introduces a former congressman (standing in front of a sprawling mansion you’d give just about anything to live in yourself) and you hear…

“… so yes, I was very lucky in business and live quite happily on a retirement of $9,000 per month, plus perks like full private medical insurance, and this is on top of the profits generated by tourists visiting my mansion (he gestures behind him and you drool again) which yields a decent income on it’s own. So really, the $1,800 per month I receive from SSI is completely unnecessary. But here’s the rub: they won’t take it back. My government says that because I served a couple of terms in the US Congress, I am entitled to this benefit and there’s no provision for cancelling it.  They’re going to keep sending me this check every month until the day I die, and all because I was an elected official, for a few years”.  


Wow. $1,800 a month for life because the guy was elected to some office job in Washington. You wouldn’t mind working in Washington. It’s got to be warmer than Alaska. Maybe tomorrow you’ll make a run to the library and see what you can find out about elected officials and long-term benefits.


You hang the last shirt on a hanger and think about how much more you’d like from life. The work here is hard. The land is hard. It’s beautiful and worth it, but it’s hard. You wouldn’t mind if it was just a bit easier, down the road, for your kids.


The trip to the library yields more than you’d hoped for. Not only was it true that certain benefits followed you throughout your lifetime, there was a stack of perks associated with being an elected official, and it looked like the farther up you got, the better the perks. And as luck would have it, a seat was just open on the city council of your little town.


You attentively read the requirements and full job description of a city councilman and excitedly make your plan. First step – the seat on the city council. Then mayor. Then, well, who knows how far up the political ladder you could go!. You make photocopies to take home to show your husband. You could do this! You weren’t afraid to try new things and you certainly weren’t afraid of hard work.


And after all, winning a small town election or two couldn’t be much different from winning a beauty pageant, could it? It was a popularity contest. Not rocket science.