The jobs bogeyman 

Every time I hear some right-lurching consumptive hack up another commode-clogger about “jobs” these days, I think back to one dark, snowy January night in Michigan, circa Footloose.

(“Michigan? Jobs? Huh?” — I know, I know. Stay with me a minute.)

My buddy Butch and I were out, uh, loitering, basically, and we scored some choice ice-grenade hits on a moving target: Militia Dale’s camo-and-bondo F-150.

Dale was big, mean, illegally armed, usually drunk, and, so, best avoided. He’d also been to jail, like, lotsa times, according to Butch. So when his pickup whipped a U-ie and four-wheeled it right across the library sidewalk after us, we ran like Pamplonians through the alley for Otto’s back fence.

Now, Otto’s mom Nancy was even bigger and meaner than Dale. Also, usually drunker (and, so, even better avoided). Good thing was, she was never home. And Otto had a ’77 Ford LTD, so Butch and I figured we’d have Otto land-yacht us around a while, maybe find Dale, and handle the problem Ollie North’s way: by lying.

No dice. Otto was leaving for a date when we popped up from behind the dog coop. Despite having pilfered a sample or nine from his mom’s special cabinet, Otto grasped our situation immediately when Dale’s 4x4 thundered past and we ducked again. “Ish … uhlocked, guysh. Don’ geth shoth … ”

Well, that was the plan, anyway.

We weren’t inside five minutes when the clacking valve train on Nancy’s Cordoba hauled that old beater into the driveway (and, by the sound, into the garage wall). The house was pitch dark, but we knew the porch was junk-choked and the back door didn’t work, so we had one option: a shin-bruising scramble upstairs toward Otto’s sneak-out window.

We eased it open while Nancy staggered through the front door. Butch scissored over the sill to the porch roof as she whizzed and flushed. And behind Johnny Carson’s monologue, I’d just managed to get one leg over and out … when Butch ass-crashed down past the gutter like that ski jumper on Wide World of Sports. Only way louder.

Things went downhill fast.

“Hey! Whoooseupthere! I goddagun, goddammyou!!!”

I don’t know much about the long-term effects of lead paint on fertility, but I can say that after the emphatic nut-barking I took from that windowsill, I remain childless.

Later-measured height of the branch I cleared when I Sundanced off the roof: 14’9”. Value of the kid’s snow fort across the street where we hid: priceless.

We peeked out when the yard light came on, and there was Nancy, scared sober (no small achievement, that), semaphoring a flashlight and a .44 Automag all over and yowling for the cops like a scalded muezzin.

We felt terrible. And just as we got up to go ’fess up, Dale roared up and dismounted with a fistful of Glock.

Uh, oh. What to do?

Butch knew. He mashed a snowball into his cheek, and hollered, “Hey, you guys seen a couple of Mexicans? They iceballed us up the street!”

Very helpful, Dale was. “They hit my truck, too! They’re in this house! Let’s get ’em!”

I took Nancy’s howitzer, Butch took her Rayovac, Dale chambered a hollow-point, and we vigilante’d from cellar to clerestory looking for … us. I don’t know why Dale looked in drawers (though I do know why Butch searched Nancy’s special cabinet). But we didn’t find ourselves.

By the time we emerged, Nancy’d found footprints, and without a single glance at my size 11 Chuckies, she declared the caper solved: “Damned big feet, for Mexicans.”

Anyhow, our economy’s sputtering — 2.4-percent growth last quarter — and now here’s PortaJohn Boehner, squeaking at Obama about jobs like some schoolyard bully: “Where’s all the big jaaahhhbs, O-baaaama? Where they aaat, huuhhhh? How many’d yer fancy stiiiiimmm-ulus creeaaaate?” Or something.

This, from the midwife and savior of NAFTA and CAFTA in the House? Seriously?

Newt Lite knows where he sent the jobs. But he’ll skate. Because nobody fathoms the quarter’s abominable increase in imports: 28.8 percent, the ugliest jump since 1982 (or, since my half-gainer at Nancy’s).

As for the Senate, Mitch McConnell’s slick like Butch. His spin on jobs? “The Mexicans came’n stole ’em!” So, he says, we should end the 14th Amendment’s birthright citizenship for, er, those job-stealers. Meanwhile, he’s preventing votes on more jobs bills.

Unreal. Nine-point-five percent unemployment (sans extensions), the nation’s freaked like Nancy, and Boehner and McConnell create … one big snow job?

Wow. Well, mind the footprints everybody, I guess. •


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