Consider The Son

by Eli Hopkins

Please, come in. Take a chair, son.

No, not that chair, that one is only for guests, which I'm pretty sure you already knew. Take the other chair, the one made from burlap and razor wire. Is that your resume? A little thin, isn't it? Yes sir, a lot of white space here. And I can't help but notice several gaps in your employment history, could you explain that? You claim to be seeking a long-term position in this family, but how can I believe you when you've never even held down a job? What have you been doing for the last ten years? 

Let's discuss your references. I see that you've put my name here. Clever boy, using your father's name to get ahead. Weak spirited, but clever. Of course what else could be expected of a poor urchin such as yourself? It's a marvel you've survived as long as you have, given no advantages whatsoever, and very little food. Even now you have a hungry, mystified look about you, as if you would climb across this very desk and take me by the throat for a mere crust of bread.

I just so happen to have a crust of bread right here. Ah yes, there's the look I've come to know and disrespect.

Why don't you tell me about your strengths? Why do you deserve to become a part of this family unit, aside from blood relation and whatnot? It says here that you have a “strong work ethic” and are “willing to go the extra mile”. That's beautiful poetry, son, but you've lost your attachment to reality. Don't forget, I've watched the evil you've done to the lawn for years, not to mention the chaos you've made of the woodshed. Don't you remember me showing you how to properly stack the wood?

If I were to offer you a position, I would need utter confidence in your ability to carry out any task, no matter how grueling or dangerous. And I've got to be honest, the ten years you've been alive have convinced me that you will never have the killer instinct I demand in a son. All I've seen is a spineless weakling that can't drink, can't smoke, and cries for its mother on a daily basis. What kind of impression do you think that will make down at the Rotary Club?

Like I said, you've had ten years to get your affairs in order, and I just haven't seen the effort I was hoping for. Therefore at this time I can't in good conscience allow you to be officially recognized as my offspring. Come see me in two weeks and I might have something for you.

In the meantime, rake the leaves, scrape the gutters, and mow the pasture before there's too much snow. And you better dismantle the volleyball net and finish building the fence before that lightning gets any closer. If you do a good job I might even let you sleep in the house. How would you like that? How would you?