The Day After
I'm at my parents' house. Thank God my dad has a computer or I'd be bored stiff.
I decided to wait until yesterday - Thursday - Thanksgiving Day - to drive here. Then I overslept, I didn't get on the road until almost ten-thirty, and didn't get here until almost two. My parents and my brother had already eaten because my brother had to go to his convienience store job. He has a fledgling PR business, but with the economy, he's had trouble getting it off the ground. The economy here is even worse than it is in other parts of the country. This was traditionally an agricultural area until the late nineteenth century when a lot of textile mills started to open around here. These employed lots of people until the 1980's, when those jobs started to move overseas. But coincidentally, when the textile mills started closing, two big fiber-optic manufacturers moved in. Everybody who lost their jobs in the mills went over to the fiber-optic places for jobs. A couple years ago, with the tech-stock bust and 9/11, the fiber-optic places started laying off massive amounts of people. One major firm, headquartered in Europe, completely shut down all its operations in the US. This time, there was no new business moving in for people to switch to.
It was Bad.
It was like this:
"These days, when a man checks into a hotel, and asks for a room on the thirtieth floor, the clerk has to ask him, 'For sleeping, or jumping?'"
"I know so many men, if the market takes another dive, who will have to leave their sweethearts and go back to their wives."
These are circa 1930 jokes, by - if memory serves - Eddie Cantor.