I am not an innovator. I am not an entrepreneur. I know this because I just spent the last hour watching Russian slap-fighting videos. For those of you that haven’t seen these videos – they are exactly what they sound like and they are freaking amazing. The lightweights and middleweights aren’t all that entertaining, but when you get to the big boys. Oh man. Some 400lb Russian farmer with hands like shovels knocking out some other massive dude with a vicious slap… True sportsmen.
Having secured a job that doesn’t actually start for a few months, I now have a few months with tons of free time. The way I choose to spend this time is very telling. Trips to the gym, morning soccer and drinking at the local pub, long walks with the dog, cover-to-cover newspaper reading, …….. half of my day consists of gallivanting around town, the other half is just a pure waste of time.
The other day I walked to my Aunt’s house for lunch and then walked back. That’s a 90 minute walk each way. I didn’t bring my phone or a watch. On the way back I picked up a beer and a bag of crushed walnuts, sat down on a park bench, and split the bag of walnuts with the pigeons while enjoying my beer. Then I finished my walk home. When I got home, fatigued from my big lunch and long walk, I took a nap. I’ve never felt like more of a badass in my entire life. There were two things on my agenda that day: 1) Jack 2) Shit. I’m telling you, if you want to truly relax, clear your schedule for an entire day or two and ditch the phone. You know what feels fantastic? Not knowing what time it is because such information is completely and utterly irrelevant.
A more respectable and ambitious character would see this moment as a unique and unrivaled opportunity to pursue some business interest, learn a skill or trade, maybe get a part-time job, etc. I however view this as a unique opportunity to behave like a middle schooler on summer break while in fact being 20 years removed from middle school. Plus, we had a name for these ambitious types back in the day…….. Nerds.
In all seriousness, this little window of time has given me a preview of retirement. I am completely comfortable doing nothing if there are people around me to hang out with, good weather, and enough disposable income to enjoy local hotspots. I’m somewhat impressed but also concerned about the folks that retire and then still try and hang on to work via some sort of part time consulting role. Either that or they get really involved in the neighborhood and run for city council or something. They miss the structure of a proper workweek, they feel like they still have more to give to society, etc. etc. F that noise. I’ve been working since I was 14 so that I could one day be financially secure enough to fritter away all of my time and money. No job, no volunteer work or community organizing, no watch, no phone, only friends, family, alcohol, newspapers, and assorted nuts.
The only thing I might do in retirement (if and only if I have enough money in the bank to fail spectacularly and still preserve a decent nest egg) is open up a Vodka Bar. I will be curt and curmudgeonly toward my customers and take no guff. “Can I get a Mojito please?” Get the fuck out of my bar. “Do you have a food menu?” No dice, we only serve nuts and olives – things that make you want to drink more. “Can I pay with Apple Pay?” Hell No! Does it look like I’m running a data center over here? “You’re mean, I’m gonna write a nasty yelp review about this place?” Good! Wieners who read and write yelp reviews are the exact type of people I DON’T want at my bar. Last but not least, do not be alarmed Thursday nights when large groups of heavy-set, Slavic men descend on the bar. Thursdays will be amateur slap-fighting night.