Now don’t get discouraged by the title. I know, it sounds cutter, but I assure you it’s not. See, you’re not looking at prison the right way. You’re looking at prison the way it’s been portrayed in TV shows like Oz or movies like the Green Mile. Bad prison.
Now, I’m thinking more of the Shawshank-version of prison, sans the rape. Hopefully. This is the kind of prison where you are afforded huge amounts of time throughout the day to work on hobbies. Do you like going to the gym? Perfect! Come use our weight bench for 4 hours a day, you’ll look like Barry Bonds in 3 months. Like playing chess? AWESOME! You have the next twenty years to fashion dull prison-yard rocks into majestic rooks, knights and bishops!
I’ve always held the notion that if I ever got sent to prison for an extended period of time (I was framed. Obvi.), I would pick up one or two hobbies and spend all of my time every day practicing/studying said hobbies, thus putting me in a great position for when I am finally vindicated and let out. I picture myself on Larry King, “It was terribly unjust what the prosecutors did to me blah blah blah, but if it’s all the same to you Larry, I’d like to take a minute to ROCK YOUR WORLD WITH THESE GUITAR SKILLS THAT I PICKED UP IN THE JOINT!”
Now prison is uniquely suited to give you the freedom (maybe not the right choice of words) to learn a hobby and get amazing at it. However, as great as prison is, unemployment comes in a close second. My goal is to treat unemployment like prison, and get awesome at a couple things.
Now the question becomes- WHAT hobbies/skills/traits should I spend my time crafting over the next eight months? (Note: I’m arbitrarily assuming that I’ll be unemployed for eight months, it’s just easier that way.)
There are a few obvious qualifiers to get out of the way- for instance going to the gym and updating a blog don’t qualify, because it’s already my goal to do them, and I’m sure as shit not spending more than an hour a day on either one. Also, none of the hobbies that I take on can cost much money, since I don’t have any. If I did, I would be spending my days getting karaoke lessons from Biz Markie and learning how to fix helicopters. (I don’t know why I used that example, I definitely would not do that.)
So, here are some things that I have considered:
1) Studying a subject: I found a bunch of old economics and marketing textbooks when I was home last week, and got to thinking- I could spend my days learning the ins and outs of bear markets and bull markets, play the stock market, and get rich. However, if this fails, it’s unlikely that I’m going to get a great job in the business world simply because I read some textbooks that everyone with an actual business degree already read 5 years ago.
So that means I have to narrow the subject down to something unique, something niche, something that I could potentially parlay into a job, or at least talk about at parties.
If I decide to go down this road, my plan is to become a janitor at Johns Hopkins, then solve a question that some dickhead Fields Medal winner posts outside his classroom and become internationally famous.
2) Playing a sport. This is tough for multiple reasons, a) I have no one to play with. 2) I’m not remotely good at any sport and d) I have the athletic prowess of Helen Keller. So let’s put that one on the backburner shall we?
3) Do something to get on TV. I watch a lot of Travel Channel, and I know that I’d be a more entertaining host than half the dickbags they parade out there. Especially more than Andrew Zimmern. FUCK Andrew Zimmern. Maybe I’ll start challenging homeless people to random physical challenges, that’d make good TV.
Now there are plenty of other options, and I will undoubtedly update this, but in the meantime, I need some ideas for how to spend the next several days, months and years of unemployment.
Finally, I need a better signing off phrase than “til next time”. It sounds like I’m writing some shitty comic book. So I’ll work on that too.