Tuesday, July 21, 2009

TEACHER: Class, we have a special guest today—Bodie Peters’s dad is here! If any of you were in Mrs. Franklin’s class last year, you’ll remember that Mr. Peters came in to talk about his job as a real estate agent. But Mr. Peters is now what we call “in between jobs”, and he’s here to tell us how he spends his day! Can everyone say HELLO to Mr. Peters?

CLASS: HELLO, MIS-TER PE-TERS!

MR. PETERS: Hi, kids, great to be here. Yeah it is. I see a lot of familiar faces. Is that Kennedy Gallagher there in the back? Geez, it seems like just yesterday I sold Kennedy’s mommy and daddy their 4-bedroom 3-bathroom in Chadd’s Ford … What’s that, Kennedy? Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. No, honey, policemen ARE good guys. They have the bad-guy job of evicting delinquent mortgagors from their homes—but they’re still GOOD GUYS—you know, overall? Don’t be afraid of the police, honey.

TEACHER: Kennedy, please stop crying. It will be O.K. Mr. Peters, why don’t you tell us about how you spend your day now that you AREN’T a real estate agent anymore.

MR. PETERS: Sure thing. Of course. Most days I give a ring to the local firms to keep my name out there. It’s a waiting game at this point. Just have to wait it out. Or, I guess things might just fall apart and we’ll all be fighting it out in the streets. What do I know?

TEACHER: Mr. Peters, please.

MR. PETERS: Of course. Sorry, kids. I’m just a little edgy because I haven’t gotten a paycheck in 37 weeks. But hey, who’s counting. I like to focus on the positive, like thinking back on that two-week trip Bodie’s mom and I took to Hawaii. The market was on fire! Hey, Bodester, is that the shirt we bought you on the trip that you’ve got on? Lookin’ good, sport! You might want to chuck it in the ol’ washing machine though, I can smell that thing from here! Bodie’s mom isn’t much on doing laundry these days. The whole “out-of-work” thing has her pretty down. Yeah. But the doc assures us her new meds will kick in soon—just as soon as I get some insurance and PICK THEM UP FROM THE PHARMACY! HA! Oh, kids, that’s a little mommy and daddy joke. Drugs are expensive! And I guess that’s not really very funny. Wow.

TEACHER: Mr. Peters, have you had any interviews for work?

MR. PETERS: Excellent question. No.

TEACHER: Have you thought of looking for a job outside of real estate?

MR. PETERS: Not really. Definitely no. I did sell foreclosures for a brief time after I lost my job, but as I was showing my first property I was attacked.

TEACHER: Mr. Peters I really don’t think—

MR. PETERS: This old woman came out of NOWHERE and hit me with a waffle maker. The place was supposed to be vacant! I had to get stitches! That crazy old bi—

TEACHER: O.K., then! Thank you, Mr. Peters! Class, can you tell him thank you for coming?

CLASS: THANK YOU, MIS-TER PE-TERS!

MR. PETERS: Thanks, kids. And hey, do me a favor and let your folks know that at the Peters house we don’t wait around for the Super Bowl to get the pool action going—so if any of your parents are looking for the best odds in town—

TEACHER: Mr. Peters, it’s time to go.

MR. PETERS: Right. Thanks kids. Stay in school … it’s a jungle out there …


John Frank is a Chicago native who now lives in Ohio. His work has appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Paddlefish, The Big Jewel, and The Big Ugly Review, among others, and his essay “Guns in the Family” was nominated for The Best Creative Nonfiction, Volume 2 as well as the Best of the Web.

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