Aug 6, 2006

The Life of Riley

There is an old-time phrase, "the life of Riley", which means living the easy life. There is some dispute about the origin of the name. Some think it is from a 19th century song, others a poem and still others think it refers to an Irish coin called a Riley. The idle wealthy were said to be living on their Rileys, kind of like our dead presidents. In fact there was a radio program and later a TV show of the same name. The show was play on the phrase. The actor William Bendix played a character, Chester A. Riley. Riley was a working stiff in an aircraft plant. Far from a life of leisure, Riley lurched from one calamity to the next. He was a hapless goof. Kinda like me. As I have previously written, the lovely Mrs. Sneed and I have 3 children, daughter Sneed, older son Sneed and younger son Sneed. For a couple of hicks we have done okay as parents. Daughter Sneed has a Master's degree and is about to get her second. She operates her own business. Older son Sneed has a doctorate and is a successful medical professional in the government service. Younger son Sneed has battled major medical problems throughout his life, but has continued his trek toward becoming a college graduate. All three responsible adults and good citizens. Plus no one has had the right to remain silent. In a fit of youthful enthusiasm, we decided to adopt an older child. We reasoned that we had so much, that we should give back to society. What a couple of morons we were. We went through a lengthy process to qualify as adoptive parents. After this process we waited and we were finally contacted about a 6 year-old boy. We met him and decided that he could fit in our family well. We were oh, so wrong. In fairness to the system they never promised us a rose garden. From the beginning he was difficult. He was not able to bond with us and he didn't learn from his mistakes. He had learning difficulties, so school was a problem for him. During his school years I arranged for him to go to summer school each year, in hope that he could catch up. He never did and eventually dropped out of high school. He always gravitated to the lowest rung of the friend scale. As an adult, he started off okay but by age 23 he was on the decline. Today at 26 he is a total disaster. He is homeless and a drug addict. He admitted to cocaine addiction, and we stongly suspect he is a meth addict. Over the past three years I have given him about $12,000. Most of it was before I wised up to the fact that he was an addict. I thought I was helping out his family (he has three kid he doesn't support). I have been what you call an enabler. This guy pesters me relentlessly for money. I mean every day, sometimes several times a day. He showed up on at my office Thursday. I went down to where he was and we had a short discussion about why I wasn't giving him any money. On Friday morning he called me asking for $40. That is a magic number in the drug world. We had a big blowup on the phone, ending with him telling me that I am a flop as a father and me hanging up on him. A short time later he appeared at my doorstep, with a meth whore in tow. We had a Jerry Springer moment in front of the house, before they beat a retreat. The lunatic has now managed to get into a hospital where, with acess to free phone service, he is calling me relentlessly to tell me how I have failed him. I am such a bum, how can I live with myself? Well, for one thing, tomorrow I am taking time out of my very busy schedule to get an order of protection against the guy. Then I will being calling the cops everytime I hear from him. Geez, what a pain, my cell phone is ringing again, I will be right back. It was him again. Still my fault he is a wreck, plus he is pissed that I called the cops about him Friday. Let's review the evidence. We took him out of foster care and gave him a permanent home. We gave him all the educational and social opportunities the other kids got. We tried to make sure he got a high school diploma, to the point of escorting him to school. We gave him thousands of dollars to help him keep his family together. He used drugs, lost a bunch of jobs, lost his family, lives on the street and presently has four outstanding warrants for his arrest. Yep, its us. Merle. P.S. Should this blog stopped abruptly, you may assume the worst. Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong and sometimes just full of it. Tag:

1 comment:

Kurt said...

Boy, that is a rough one.

On a positive note, William Bendix is an all-time favorite of mine. Loved him in The Glass Key and The Blue Dahlia.