Friday, June 27, 2008

#415 Foot in the Florida Room

#415 Foot in the Florida Room

You have to admire some guys. They really do live for their hobbies and do their jobs just to pay the bills. All of the "life coaches" tell us we should find something we love when we look for a job, and then work won't be work. They are, as usual, wrong. Find something you hate. And forget about it at the end of the day.

Foot O'Brien was saying that, sitting at the table in his Kew Gardens "Florida Room," which seems like a strange name for a room in Queens, but that's what it is. Foot got the name Foot by changing his previous name, from Inch, which drew a lot of laughs at closing time. He got the name "Inch" from the Danny Kaye movie about the guy who wrote fairy tales. It had a song about inchworms measuring marigolds. Foot measures stuff, too. He's a business accountant. A bean counter who refuses to eat beans and doesn't really much care for counting.

"See any accounting crap around here," he asks. "No computer. No spreadsheets, no ledgers, not even a (expletive) pencil!"

Foot doesn't bring the office home. He doesn't even have a calculator. But he DOES have a typewriter. Actually, that's not quite accurate. He has a who load of them. Some of them are pristine and shiny. Some are dusty and old. Some are in pieces on a workbench. That's what Foot does. Foot restores typewriters.

For whatever reason -- and if you ask him why, he'll tell you "because it makes you ask me why," which is not a real answer, but it's all you're going to get. He's been doing it for years. It's what he does. Used to be, you had a problem with your typewriter, Foot was the go-to guy. Almost no one uses the things anymore. So no one goes to the go-to guy. Which is fine with Foot. He never cared about your problem. He cared about the machine.

He can look up when each of the typewriters was built. Not just the year, but even the DAY. He's a guy who does his job to pay the bills, leaves the office in the office, has a Florida Room in Queens and has forgotten more about typewriters than Smith or Corona ever knew.

If you ask him -- and often even if you don't, he'll talk your ear off about typewriters. Just don't ask him about pencils or beans.


--Another incident of nuke plant workers sleeping in their chairs. It's tough to sit there all night long staring at steady meters, but this is a health issue. Causes atomic piles.

--Some states facing a budget deadlock are preparing to furlough some workers. They're called "unessential." Why does any state have ANY unessential workers?

--Talk about prices! A gang stole an orchard full of Japan's special "Bride" peaches, worth thousands of dollars a bushel. Either that or Japan has been invaded by an army of invading squirrels.

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.(R)
(C)2008 WJR

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