Career Development Revisited

Coming back once more

Career Development Revisited

SON is in the basement working with a crystal radio kit. DAD comes down the stairs.

DAD (booming): Hey Son. How are ya?

SON: Doing okay, Dad.

DAD: How's school treating you?

SON: I don't always feel that great about it, Dad.

DAD: Oh, you know, it's hard getting adjusted to living in this new town.

SON: It just seems the kids don't like me.

DAD: Oh, I get the same thing at work. All the guys are hesitant about newcomers.

SON: How do you deal with it?

DAD: (questioningly): Have you ever heard of a tea room, son?

SON: No. What's that? I thought you liked coffee.

DAD: Ha ha ha ha ha. Sure. No, a tea room is something else. How can I explain.... Well, basically, a lot of the guys and I go meet some other guys at Perkin Park.

SON: Oh, so sort of a get-together.

DAD: Yeah. And I've taken on the job of, "coordinator." I'm actually called the "Watch Queen."

SON: (questioningly)That's neat, I guess. What to you do?

DAD: I keep things moving and make sure there are no arrests. And the guys really appreciate it.

SON: Arrests?

DAD: Yeah, for...uh, littering. We bring along a picnic.

SON: But what can I do at school?

DAD: Well, lots of things. Have you ever used drugs?

SON: Huh? Gosh, no. Drugs can kill you.

DAD: Well, I'll tell you, maybe you should. You meet lots of kids that way. But even better, you could sell drugs. Nothing illegal, just whippets and amyl nitrate. If you sold, things would change.

SON: Really?

DAD: Sure, and since you're underage you wouldn't be tried as an adult--it could be all set up. Let me do the talking. I think it could be great, and you would have more money to save for that HAM radio set.

SON: That does sound good. But isn't it illegal to sell drugs?

DAD: It was illegal to declare independence from the colonies, but our country did just that. Breaking the law is in the spirit of capitalism. You need to study your history, son.

SON: Gosh, I guess so.

DAD: Well, I'm glad we had this little chat.

SON: Me too.

SON: And I worry a lot about color. Like, remember when we re-did my room and I insisted the red was off and had a tantrum?

DAD: How could I forget?

SON: The other guys aren't like that. And they give me a hard time.

DAD: For what?

SON: For being the director of all the musicals. I used to think they were jealous, but it's something else.

DAD: Like what?

SON: Like...I don't know. And I've been, uh, having weird feelings whenever I tackle somebody in football.

DAD: Son, look, I don't know if we ever told you, but do you remember Donny?

SON: Sure, I used to play with him when I was little. I liked him a lot.

DAD: Do you remember anything else?

SON: No. Should I?

DAD: Well, he was about thirteen years older than you. He was your brother.

SON: My brother?

DAD: Yep. And we loved him so much I couldn't tell you. But one day, he started to tell me a lot of the same stuff you told me. He tried to get us to buy ferns for his room.

SON: Really?

DAD: Yeah. And you know what?

SON: What?

DAD: I had to kill him so he would not bring shame to our family.

SON: What?

DAD: I'm sorry, son. At our social station, we can't tolerate deviants.

SON: Dad, what are you talking about?

DAD: You're my son, but we are an important family and I have political aspirations. I won't have any son of mine as a cum-gobbler.

SON: Dad!

DAD: (Pulls gun from vest and shoots SON in head. Blood covers model trains.) What a shame, what a god-awful shame.

MOM: (Yelling down stairs.) Did you have to kill that little faggot, Father?

DAD: Show some respect, Mother. It's a shame to waste another one.

MOM: They're all better dead, in my opinion. Supper's on.

DAD: Call Cal down at the station, tell him I just killed our son, that I thought he was a robber. Sound distraught.

MOM: Can't we eat first?

DAD: Nope, they'll get the time of death. Supper'll just have to wait.





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About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.

If you have any questions for me, I am very accessible by email. You can email me at ford@ftrain.com and ask me things and I will try to answer. Especially if you want to clarify something or write something critical. I am glad to clarify things so that you can disagree more effectively.


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© 1974-2011 Paul Ford


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