Believe it or not, this column is about unemployment.
Having just completed a three-month contract assignment, I recently returned to the world of unemployment. I was not looking forward to full-time job-hunting again, particularly because recent state layoffs have begat more people roaming the streets than the first 20 pages of Genesis. [Begat is derived from the Latin begat, begare, begavi, begorrah, meaning, “to do the Biblical nasty.”]
The first few days back at home are liberating – sleeping late, staying longer at the gym, feeling refreshed. Soon, though, you’re back in the quicksand. Most elements of employment pursuit are drudgery with a capital “UDGE.” While sloshing your way through endless “how to ace the interview” articles, you answer the phone with bated breath, hoping for a positive lead of some kind.
Of course, the call is always some well-intentioned relative with a brilliant gem of advice you hadn’t yet considered. My favorite? “Make sure you proofread your résumé.” “OK, Dad, I’ll do that just as soon as I finish using my hair dryer while standing in the tub.” Not finding a job is not nearly as discouraging as being reminded that you’re a deadbeat every 34 seconds by your loved ones. Those who are currently working can’t seem to remember how much fun hitting the proverbial pavement was. Although apart from a nice fresh coat of Jennite Driveway Sealer, proverbial pavement is the best kind. Except for those pesky weeds. I recommend an industrial-strength weed-killer such as…sorry, where was I?
Ah, yes, drudgery. Rejection letters. Unanswered phone calls. You want to know the most exasperating thing about a career search in the 21st century? The porn.
A few months ago, a friend told me she was frustrated because she was receiving unsolicited pornography in her email box. This is a problem? Let me tell you something, pal, when I was a kid, we had to watch Benny Hill and pray that some buxom Brit would accidentally get a cocktail olive caught in her cleavage. Manufacturer-to-you porn, without even dialing 1-900? Jackpot!
Now that I’ve registered for all the popular employment sites and my email address is everywhere, I understand the frustration. Spam. A room full of Vikings could not eat this much Spam. This is not 2 a.m. Skinemax erotica, where the genitalia are bumping in what seems to be a fairly arbitrary region. We’re not talking about what Chandler Bing called “good old-fashioned American girl-on-girl action.” We’re talking Animal Farm. When I read the George Orwell novel in high school, I thought it was a little twisted. Old Major and Squealer talked in his novel, but they did not fraternize with Catholic schoolgirls.
And I’m only referring to the subject lines of these emails.
Which brings me to Tuesday, Jan. 21, at 12:24 p.m. ET. After spending all day Monday firing off email applications and placing networking phone calls, it’s a reasonable time to finally get a response to an employment query from one Allison I. Frickson. As pseudonyms go, it’s not E. Jack Yewlate or Heywood Jablome. Thus, there is a brief glimmer of hope, and I treat myself to a fleeting image of me pressing a shirt for the perfect interview.
That is, before I glance over to the subject line:
INSANE DADS MAKING SEKS WITH THEIR DAUGHTERS
We’ve already established that I’m not the kind of guy that blushes easily. If I go by what I learned in catechism, I’ve done some things that will earn me a little Purgatory. But let’s just count how many steps overboard this little electronic bundle of sin goes, shall we?
Right off the top, you’ve got your incest. If you’re not incensed at incest, it’s time to see somebody. How Ms. Frickson and company are getting away with this should be everyone’s first concern.
Drilling down a little further, however, we notice that these are not just regular dads fornicating with their kids. They’re “insane dads!” Oh, I feel much better now. Is Allison telling me it’s OK because they’re mentally unstable, or providing her own moral commentary? Or perhaps we are to imagine the fun loving, President’s-Day-sale, “our prices our insane” kind of crazy?
Now we get down to the nitty-gritty: “making seks.” If you take the time here, you’ll understand how deplorable these people are. Many of us who’ve been offered lower mortgage rates and free magazine subscriptions have used anti-virus software to filter out some of the junk mail, setting up the program to automatically delete anything that includes obvious junk phrases like “gambling,” “FW: FW: FW: FW,” or “Aunt Maggie” (at least at my house).
The first word those of us with kids filter is “sex.” These spammers did not simply break from a lunchtime chat room to shoot off some Internet graffiti. Hell, they even know the difference between their, there and they’re. Most adults don’t. So their not only striving – just kidding … so they’re not only striving for perfect grammar – someone actually took the time to tell Yuri in Programming that if he spells sex “S-E-K-S” he can blast his incestu-porn right through all the despamming parameters. The “making” portion is the coup de grace. Even if you had the incredible foresight to set your email filter to delete correspondence containing the phrase “having seks,” they’ve got you.
Of course, I may have been too hasty. Perhaps a “sek” is some kind of decorative wooden table or antique clock and these mentally ill fathers are simply spending quality time with their little girls working on craft projects. I’m going to look up “sek” in the dictionary. Maybe I can get a job making some.