Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Like The Little Drummer Boy, But Way More Caffeinated

Since April of 2009, my Day Job has been in a 17-bed halfway house for recovering alcoholics and addicts. I had some concerns when I first applied for the job--but one of the things that has turned out to be the most bothersome for me never even crossed my mind.

I work forty hours a week with an ever-changing cast of men of all ages* from many different backgrounds who have provided me with some of the best material a writer (not to mention a blogger) could ask for--humor, drama, philosophy. It's like working in a laboratory of human nature and five or ten times a day, I think, "Don't forget" that comment or that moment or whatever. But using that material (here or elsewhere--unless it's straight fiction which I have never really written), presents an ethical dilemma or two. It's like being a kid in a candy store, but your stingy and slightly sadistic Aunt Nancy took you there "just to browse."

All that said, I think I can safely share this comment without violating any Federal laws or my own ethics.

Tonight, a few of the younger guys were a little rowdy as they walked down the hall and the one bringing up the rear was playing air drums quite enthusiastically. As he passed, he said to me, "You know what we need around here? Drum kits..."

I said, "Yeah, that's exactly what we need because we could use more chaos and noise."

Then with a devious grin, he says, "Yes, yes, we need drum kits and...energy drinks!"

*In my time there so far, our youngest client has been 18 and our oldest 72.

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