Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sponge Bob Unemployment Pants

The recession is troubling our oceanic friends.

Not even Sponge Bob can evade the swinging axe of fiscal conservatism, as his fry cook job at the Krusty Krab was apparently extinguished with a whimper, just as our nation’s unemployment rate swelled to the jaw dropping 25-year high of 8.5%. Although The Bastard remains ill acquainted with Nickelodeon’s porous mass, his presence was observed at a recent job fair, wherein the undersea pineapple habitat was abandoned in a quest for career-furthering (and acne-inducing) opportunities in restaurant service.

At first glance Bob was unrecognizable when compared against his jovial television likeness, swaggering idiotically from booth to booth with nary a briefcase or resume in tow. Perhaps he was enjoying that aerodynamic freedom without the burden of trivial baggage, intending to let his experience speak for itself. Or perhaps he didn’t own a printer, noting their inclination toward shorting out underwater. Oddly enough, his skin was much darker than its familiar jaundiced tone, and his face resembled Flavor Flav in some weird manner of genetics-gone-awry. More jarring, however, were the guttural vocal inflections in the vein of Redd Foxx; those raspy junkyard growls, used liberally when herding aimless (and seriously frightened) job seekers into single-file formation, should they accidentally drift. In fact, my new friend seemed more interested in policing the sanctity of these lines, or in excitedly grabbing the free apples out of a wicker basket, than in the improvement of financial wellbeing. Nevertheless, his flat-billed cap confirmed the attendance of basic cable’s favorite absorbent square. Emblazoning the crown of that hat lay an ecstatic Sponge Bob in all his overbite glory, staring skyward while providing a vivid target for helicopter pilots, crapping birds, and rooftop snipers.

Interestingly, this gentlemen – clad in the casual fuck-all ease of a brown hooded sweatshirt and jeans – queued up in the same lines as your blog writer and other hapless (suit wearing) professionals. True, his conversations with company reps lasted anywhere from 15-20 seconds as compared with the average 3-4 minutes, but perhaps those moments were chock full of brazen intellect; using a commanding brevity when declaring his abilities to mastermind any operation, in any field of work, whether sporting a wife beater, spandex bodysuit, or tuxedo. On the other hand, he'd already demonstrated the futilities of common sense with a presumed: “Shucks, why use this fishbone to comb my hair when I can just as easily don a train engineer’s cap.” Certainly there was a less intrusive fedora hiding in the man’s lair. Or a brain buried in that soggy sponge. Somewhere.

On a more serious note, and as a frightening testament to our hardened economic times, the line for this job fair began at Seventh Avenue & 18th Street and snaked a lengthy trail toward Sixth, before rounding the corner and twisting uptown. While slogging to its tail end, the faces of my unemployed brethren sharpened purposely into focus, eye contact met for seconds at a time. These were people from all walks of life, from all industries. People struggling with mortgage payments and rent, those with children, with non-working spouses, those forgoing health insurance because of the prohibitively high premiums. Those who looked just like me. Or just like you. Rich and poor. Old and young. This was not a line of Wall Street crooks sitting on six figure severance payouts. It was a cross-section of society, a melting pot of victims sunk deeper into humility, punished by the greed of the powerful and the power of the connected. Although photos of Great Depression soup lines depict a more staggering hopelessness – where embarrassed men in tattered clothes, desperate only for food, struggled to maintain a last shred of dignity amongst their neighbors – present day events will no doubt fill their own textbooks. Every person waiting patiently on that line has a story to tell; a hardship, an inconvenience, or a tragedy. Make no mistake. Every one.

But still, suit or no suit, the rules governing job-seeking decorum generally frown upon the display of animated characters. Put simply, leave that stuff to your boxers or thong underwear and it’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” for the remainder of your fetishistic life. Of course, months from now when savings is depleted and morale suitably trashed, the ironies of chance could smack my own ambitions on their ear with one simple conversation: “What about that imbecile in the Sponge Bob hat? He seemed to possess some genuine out-of-the-box thinking. With a few weeks of training, he could be our next rising star.” Thus endeth my career.

16 comments:

Chris said...

I know I'D hire a guy with a Spongebob fetish. Or not. You're right, though, this economic crunch is hitting everyone. It's not just about the destitute anymore, the tenticles of poverty are far-reaching this time.

MVD said...

Well, if given the choice, I'd rather have the tentacles of poverty at my back, as opposed to the dreaded testicles of poverty.

Suldog said...

Hmmmmmmm. Seems to me there's far too much testicle talk going on today. Must be the weather.

About Tina said...

Spongebob is really creepy. Have you seen the movie? Though that dude has a good strategy to stand out from the crowd.

This recession has not hit Lubbock, Tx yet. There's a strange lack of compassion for other people here.

MVD said...

Hey Tina - And here I was thinking Grand Slam breakfasts at Denny's could inspire a collective empathy amidst your newly-adopted, neocon Texas community.

Jen said...

It is very scary out there. A life size Sponge Bob I'm sure made it even scarier. A good friend just lost his job on Thursday. It is everywhere.

growingupartists said...

Essential Bastard, I need your suburban advice. I'm tired of being beat up at every existing corner, hated on by people who I generously assumed were my friends. Should I resign myself to Dairy Queen dreams and Convenience store melodies, or should I continue to make fun of them because I can. I'm still not sure whom to trust in this crazy universe. Please start an actual advice column as soon as possible, as I am desperate.

Sincerely, a nobody and proudly so.

MVD said...

Growing Up Artists - A bit harsh, no? As long as you’ve got a working keyboard and sharp wit, a full throttle Commando-rant may be your best prescription.

That said, if you were thinking of resigning to "Dairy Queen dreams," I'd have to encourage a few Blizzards. The closest DQ to this abode is a tedious 50 minute drive. If you're living next door to one (or upstairs in their cone), take full advantage.

Bob said...

Dear Bastard,

I am become afraid for you...please come home...

Bob

bob said...

become = becoming, of course

AlpHa Buttonpusher said...

oh well..I laughed

blunt delivery said...

that was hilarious. one time i tried to buy LIFE at Walmart, and they don't even sell the real version anymore, just the spongebob one. i was like? it blowed. it doesn't even have kids.

MVD said...

Hey Alpha - If my misery has become fodder for your amusement, than clearly I'm doing something right. Thanks for reading.

MVD said...

BD - Who the hell buys LIFE magazine anymore? What is this, 1969? You trying to catch up on the moon landing?

AlpHa Buttonpusher said...

Well of course..what else?! *the amusement part..not the doing something right part* :P
*oooooh who lives in a pineapple under the sea?? SpongeBob SquarePants!*

Blogger said...

There is an incredible new opportunity that is trending online.

Big companies are paying people just for giving their opinions!

You can make up to $75 per survey!

And it is available to anybody from any country!

YOUR VOICE COUNTS: