Jim & JackSubmitted by Murphy1844 at 2008-01-06 23:00:39 EST
Rating: -0.62 on 8 ratings (8 reviews) (Review this item) (V)
Jim wakes up to the sounds of roosters cock-a-doo-ee-dooing.
His wife cooks breakfast every morning. Eggs, flour pancakes with sweetened tree sap, fresh, lean hunks of ham, and biscuits with churned butter. Jim and his wife eat their breakfast on a strong oak table that Jim built two springs ago. They sit across from their two daughters and look at their faces and talk to them. They talk about the food, they talk about the weather, about what they're going to do today, and they talk about playing with the animals.
After breakfast, Jim pulls his suspender straps over his powerful, lean shoulders and he puts warm gloves on his hands, and then he walks out the door. He slept well last night and the fresh food in his stomach is turning in to clean, pure energy. He'll need it. There's wood to cut.
Jack's alarm goes 'BAH, BAH, BAH, BAH, BAH' at 6:10 in the morning until he smacks the snooze button. We wakes up nine minutes later, slips his feet in to a pair of discount slippers, and brews coffee in a cheap, Coffee-Mate, coffee maker. He thinks about upgrading his coffee maker, he thinks this by himself, standing alone in the kitchen, to one of those ones that grind the beans for you. That step could save him a lot of time in the mornings. Maybe he could put the beans and water in the coffee maker every night, that way, in the morning, all he has to do is PUSH A BUTTON. Wouldn't that be something, he thinks.
Jack sips his coffee and checks his watch all the time, then leaves for work. He gives himself a few extra minutes to go through the McDonald's drive-through so he can buy some bacon and egg McMuffins. A few months ago, he decided to cut out the greasy hash browns because he thinks his ass is getting fat.
Eating and drinking and driving, Jack thinks about upcoming bills he needs to pay and prioritizes each in his head. A check from his employer will be automatically deposited in to his Wells Fargo checking account once every 28 days. At the top of his internal list is the electric bill. Paying this is a snap because he set up an online one-click bill payment feature with his bank. Jack makes a note in his PDA. It says "pay electric bill."
As Jack finishes the note, his two sons are waking up to the sounds of their alarm clocks. As their alarms sound, Jack's wife, Jackie, covers her face with a pillow. Her psychologist says that sleeping too much is a sign of depression. Her name, the shrink, is Joy, and Joy suggested that Jackie, Jack's wife, read a book about depression. After reading a chapter entitled, 'Living Under a Blue Cloud,' Jackie thinks that she is depressed because her feelings aren't validated like they should be. She blames Jack.
Over here again: Jim, strong and lean Jim, sharpens the edge of his axe with a sharpening stone and rubs off all the burrs with a strip of heavy leather and grease. He will need a nice edge to last through the morning. When he finishes, he will slip the glove off of his right hand and run his thumb across the blade. A sharp, satisfactory blade will sink through enough wood to keep his family warm for three days. It will then need to be re-sharpened.
As Jim grinds the blade, Janice, his wife, rubs butter fat in to her skin to keep her hands soft for the cows. The cows like her, she thinks, when she milks them with soft hands. She imagines the cows imagining her doing what she is doing right now, and in the cow's imagination, they appreciate the extra effort that she is going through. She visualizes Dixie, her favorite milking cow, turning her big head around and winking at her. This thought makes her laugh at herself.
Ok, back to Jackie, Jack's wife, the depressed one. On her agenda today: drive to the pharmacy to fill a prescription drug called Effexor. Effexor is the brand name of a drug called Venlafaxine HCI, which is used to treat depression, anxiety, post-traumatic-stress disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder. These fancy labels categorizing problems of the mind are created by smart doctors and published and standardized in a reference book called the DSMIV. This stands for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (4th edition).
Our character work through the day, and then they return home to their families.
Jackie... sleepy, moody, irritated, Jackie, is exhausted from her trip to the pharmacy, so she orders a pizza to be delivered and plops her ass on the couch in front of Wheel of Fortune. Her mother told her that she should never feel obligated to cook for men. She calls men "flipping Patriarchs" and then reminds Janice that she could use another word if she wanted to.
Wandering back to Jim, the wood-cutter. At the table, he compliments his wife on her lentil beef stew and cornmeal rolls.
She takes a long gulp of milk and smiles. They are warmed by the flames of a real fire.
And then we have Jack, the McMuffin-man. When he return home he simultaneously walks through the door, notices the pizza on the counter, grabs a slice, drops his suit-case on the floor, and walks to the den. Inside, he labels his behavior is "efficient." As Jack is paying the electric bill in one convenient click and chewing on pepperoni, his mind wanders back to the simplicity of a coffee maker that DOES IT ALL. "Gosh," he muses, "how do they do it?"
Their thermostat is set to a comfortable 72 degrees Fahrenheit.