Darkside of the Sun: Retirement expands to fill the time there is

Mike Corrigan

Mike Corrigan

By Mike Corrigan
BN Columnist
The trouble with being retired is that everyone you know suddenly thinks you have all the time in the world. Of course, this is not true, because, since everyone you know thinks you have all the time in the world, just their consequent demands on you take up the entire day. Some days, you don’t even get to do anything, so busy are you turning down invitations and fielding reminders of past commitments.
Take one day this past week, as an example. My brother called, waking me from my coma, to make sure I would be at his house at four o’clock the next day for a family holiday party. As I was taking a shower, the phone rang, and it was my old friend Frank the Crank, reminding me I “owed” him six thousands dollars, a little disagreement we have. My new neighbor called, to remind me I’d promised, in a fit of compassion, to shovel her dahlia bed out. Shortly after that, Bill McKibbin rang me up to tell the next HYPERLINK "http://350.org/"350.org meeting had been changed to the next day, and that I was to remember to bring the “special” brownies.
Then, the Barbados Tourism Commission called, asking me if I would be willing to answer a brief survey about my recent stay.
“No,” I said. “That wasn’t me,” I told them. “I haven’t had time to take a vacation in over 25 years.”
“But on Sunset Beach, the police found your passp-…”
“Sorry,” I said, “wrong number.”
Shortly after that, things got even more complicated and aggravating: the White House called, inviting me to their New Year’s Eve Gala, where they wanted me to read from a selection of my political satire, or at least knock out an off-color limerick or two.
“I’m sorry,” I told the president’s representative, “but I’m booked. I’m to attend the Grigsbys’ party that evening. How many times do I have to tell you people, my calendar is full this time of year?”
“We’ll fly you in at taxpayer expense,” the man offered.
“But, it’s Game Night at Greg’s,” I explained. “Why would I miss that?”
“The president will be entertaining in Hawaii, this New Year’s Eve,” the fellow said, making it sound like I’d just won first prize on Wheel of Fortune.
“Well, that settles it,” I told him. “Who has that kind of time, flying all over hell just to be fawned over by the president of the United States?”
“But, but…”
“Good evening, sir,” I said firmly.
To top things off, Wayne called to tell me this column was overdue, and why did I think they should hold up the paper just for me, a retired guy who has so much freedom now that I must think everyone has all freaking year to get things done, why can’t I even hit a simple deadline, who do I think I am, etc., etc.
So there it is, just one day in my very, very busy retirement. I guess now I’ll have to write a column about something or other. Maybe I’ll take the phone off the hook. This retirement thing is becoming such a hassle, I’ve a good mind just to stiff Frank the Crank, and end it all.
We always figured Mike was making most of this stuff up, but we’d never realized until now that he was actually living in an alternate universe.

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