by Eric Miller
the branch of the family tree which was rooted
way back to William the Conqueror, Jayle Byrd
Mann thought he was very well hung, very well
thought of him did not bother Jayle Byrd at all.
It was his lifestyle that had him concerned,
because it was not living up to his pedigree.
Indeed, it was contrary to what his lineage
royal ancestors and his impeccable academic
credentials, Jayle Byrd was unemployed, locked
out of the good life, and locked into indigence.
Believing that he was overqualified for any job,
he did not look for a job, because he believed
that a job should come looking for him. But deep
down inside, he really believed that a man of his
stature shouldnt have to work at all. So,
his Ph.D. in Romance languages from Harvard hung
on the wall over the desk in his study, like he
hung from the branch of his family tree. He told
his wife that he didn't want to lock himself into
an inappropriate position, so he would keep all
options open, remain flexible, and be ready to
jump at the perfect job offer if and when it came.
It never came.
parenthood were supposed to have come after he
had banked some big bucks from a big job, and
since he only took menial jobs as a temp, and
because his wife had her hands full with the
twins, the balance in their checking account kept
dropping, and their health insurance got dropped
from his wife mounted, and his spirits plummeted
as he began to spend his days sitting on a stool
in a dark corner at a dingy bar on the far side
of town, across the street from the state prison.
He got to know the guards, many of whom seemed to
have the world by the, well you know. This, of
course, surprised him. After all, none of them
had his academic credentials.
that the guards, as state employees, had a good
salary, good health insurance, and a good pension
plan with retirement after 25 years. He learned
that he could have all of this by just taking a
job at the prison as a counselor for the inmates.
suggestion horrified poor Jayle Byrd so much that
he began to have nightmares of being incarcerated
for life with miscreants. Such a situation did
not suit his plans or his genes. However, it
suited his wife's plans and genes just fine,
thank you, and she dragged him by the hair,
kicking and screaming, to the prison's personnel
office where she signed his name on the bottom
line of the job offer.
Mann was now locked in with the locked-up, but
not locked out of the good life. And lo and
behold, he found that this unsought career was
not a hard sell, at all. Indeed, it was the key
to his success.