Guest Commentary

Illegal aliens are keeping me from getting a real job!

There's been a lot of brouhaha about Mexicans lately, and as regular Weekly aficionados will tell you, I've chimed in, even before it got trendy. Basically, my position has always been that we should give this half of the country back to them, since it was theirs in the first place.

Well, hold the bus, because I've changed my mind. In fact, the wet side of the tamale has hit me upside the head but good. There's something that's been bothering me: I've been consistently unemployed for as long as I can remember.

I've attributed this to all kinds of things: lack of motivation, general lack of ambition, the fact that I majored in philosophy in college. However, having indulged in hours of media coverage both local and national, I've had an epiphany: The reason I'm unemployed has nothing to do with any of these things.

The reason I'm unemployed is illegal aliens. And I'm not talking about rogue Canadians.

Clearly, I would have a job if not for them. And there is plenty of evidence for this. For example, on the way home from getting my nails done the other day, I drove by a house getting a new roof.

I could actually smell it before I saw it. There was a nasty vat of smoking tar on wheels in the driveway. But that wasn't the troublesome part. The troublesome part consisted of four suspiciously swarthy persons on said roof hitching up their pants, theatrically wiping the sweat from their brows as they swabbed the gunky shit all over the place. What might my life be like, I wondered, if I were I so gainfully employed? All that bending, sweating, scraping, spreading and averting of eyes from the fumes would save me hours of time in the gym. Spreading tar probably burns more calories than even the stair machine! And not only would such employment save me my monthly Curves fee, think of all the money I'd be able to put in my pocket at day's end. Next time I got my nails done, I might actually be able to tip the poor woman doing them, thus avoiding entirely the unpleasant and disturbing suspicion that the reason my nails keep chipping and breaking is that she soaks them in kerosene-scented toilet water.

A similar thought occurred to me the last time I was driving to Las Vegas. As anyone who's made the trip will tell you, it's boring as hell, but that doesn't stop a person having to get out of the car once in a while to pee. As I squatted behind a roadside shrub, T-shirt pulled up over my mouth and nose, lest I breathe in noxious pesticides, I watched those migrant workers picking strawberries. I imagined them out in the hot sun hour after hour, bending over those shin-high spiky plants, and realized that if not for them, it could have been me out there picking those strawberries. Perhaps, it occurred to me, if I had some real physical work to do--some backbreaking, soul-destroying labor instead of hours spent sitting around trying to remember the ancient Greek word equivalent to the Latin word "epiphany," only without the religious overtones (it starts with an "a," I'm almost sure of it)--perhaps then I'd develop some character. Perhaps I'd rise from the fire like some phoenix reborn instead of losing both my shirt and my dignity in Sin City. And think of the money I'd save on tanning parlors. I know; they say spending hours in the sun isn't good for you, but those strawberry pickers looked plenty strapping and healthy to me.

And then there's Esmeralda, the woman who cleans my house. Every other week, she comes clanging around, loaded down with buckets, mops, feather dusters and her Mexican radio, disrupting my life such that if it weren't for the fact that without her, I'd live in pure unadulterated filth, I'd fire her noisy ass. I mean, just the other day, as she fished a wad of soapy, congealed head-and-otherwise hair from the bathtub drain, I'm almost sure I heard her mutter, though my Spanish is poor, "fucking filthy gringos."

So here I sit, day after day, unemployed, falling--nay, plummeting--further into both moral degradation and sloth because all the good jobs, all the truly meaningful jobs, are already taken by personas Hispanicos.

What is this country coming to?

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