Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Eddie was always a slacker. But, like his friend Darren, he picked up bar tending jobs here and there. As he got older, Eddie discovered musical theater and put together a plan of action. He'd head South, stay at his parents house, pick up some work and move to Texas where he'd open up a community theater. Not a bad plan for a guy who didn't hold on to jobs very well in the past.

In New York, they say if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. I'm not so sure of that, considering I'm under-employed myself, but Eddie seemed to think that since he didn't make in the Big Apple, he could make in Pensacola, Florida. He stuffed his bags with his few possession and at the age of 44 moved in with Mom and Dad. This is the sort of thing you hear about here in Brooklyn, where grown Italian men move in with their parents and suck them dry.

Listen, I don't knock anyone these days for moving in with their folks, considering the current recession. Not only that, for the first time in a long while, his friend Darren said Eddie was motivated to give his life a jump start. But it didn't quite work out the way Eddie wanted down there in the hot and humid Florida panhandle.

Darren says Eddie was banging on doors trying to find work, but like New York it wasn't so easy, even in the depressed Gulf coast town of Pensacola. While sitting on a folding lounge chair and a bottle of beer in hand, Eddie realized he had unearthed what he thought was a gold mine in his Mom's backyard. Worms!

Furiously, he'd dig holes all over the yard, putting the slimey creatures in jars and cans. You see, the Pensacola Bay and Gulf of Mexico aren't far away. So he figured, he'd collect the worms and set up a little roadside stand. Now, several weeks after his arrival in Pensacola, Eddie is selling worms.

I'm not sure how Eddie's doing with his new business, but by all accounts, buying worms aren't cheap. They sell for between $15.00 and $35.00 a pound. Most people who buy them in bulk are using them for composting purposes, so I'm not sure if fishermen use a different or even cheaper sort of worm. I always thought a worm was a worm. But, who knows, maybe some day he'll collect enough worms to open up his own bait and tackle shop.

This story is both funny and sad. We know the funny part, but the sad part is that in backyards all across the country, the unemployed are literally digging for work, some of them, like Eddie, happen to be digging for worms.

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