Chapter 87

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Today, I woke up at 6 a.m. and drank a cup of freshly brewed coffee. Then I read the paper while taking a nasty shit. There was another protest in Seoul. Seoul could very well be the protest capital of Asia. Thousands of construction workers are angry because foreigners are taking their jobs. According to the law, only 70,000 foreigners should be employed in the construction industry. But the powers that be have hired more than 300,000 swinging dicks. It's tough to make a buck these days. Sadly, I've realized for several decades that I'm a financial failure. I've just learned to accept my shitty fate.

I'm back in the house. The Dragon Lady even cooked me breakfast. She gave me a piping hot bowl of oatmeal. I was thankful for the vittles. My wife runs hot and cold. Right now, her hormones seem to be in check. But that could all change in an instant. Nevertheless, it feels good to be under the same roof with both of my sons.

I drove Rice-Boy Larry to school in my clunker. We listened to Band on the Run by Paul McCartney. He loves that tune. So do I. They don't make music like they used to.

I ran to the morning devotion. One of the teachers from Taiwan sang a psalm to all of us. Her voice was magical. She gave the prayer a real Oriental flavor. Note to self: Is it OK to say Oriental these days, or is that a racist term? I'll have to look it up on Google.

I talked to The Principal.

I said, "Sir, I'm leaving my job to move to China after this semester."

He was taken aback. "Have we done something wrong?"

"No. I'll be making a bit more money in my new gig. Plus I can get rid of my cars."

He nodded his head in agreement. "Things aren't cheap."

"To make matters worse, my wife no longer wishes to work. I can barely afford meat these days."

"Does your new place of employment have a high school?"

The Principal has a dream of opening an international school for Chinese Christians in our city.

I said, "That's what I was thinking. This new place supposedly has a vibrant middle school. Maybe I could tell the parents about you."

The idea excited him.

"Keep in touch. I could fly there and tell them myself."

I like The Principal. He's a good guy.

I told all the classes about my plan to leave after the semester. Ironically, the student who took it the hardest was Crazy Bev. And who can blame her? She will no longer have a teacher to punch in the face when she's on the rag. Oh well. God bless the child. I'm not easy to get along with, either.

Even Mr. Lipps came for a visit.

He said, "Tell me the real reason you're leaving."

To his credit, he loves my current school with all his heart. He believes that he built the place from the ground up. And he's probably right. The man is a tireless worker.

I said, "I have nothing but fond memories for this institution. But it's getting harder and harder to make ends meet. In the future, I plan to live like a humble poet."

He frowned. "What does that mean?"

"I will never own another car for as long as I draw breath. And I'm only going to spend $250 a week for food and entertainment."

"You think you're going to get by on a $1,000 a month with a family? I find that hard to believe."

"How so? I won't have any bills to speak of. No rent. No cars. The only things I will have to pay for are electricity, internet, and cell phones. I envision a pleasant future. I'm going to save $1,500 a month until I'm sixty."

He left the room smiling. Mr. Lipps thinks I'm a barrel of laughs.

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