If You Wish To Be Wealthy…

Sell medicine to the sick and fun to the healthy. It used to be possible to become rich selling food to the hungry but now that the larger corporations have taken over production and distribution there is little point in opening a local deli.

Leaving aside the sale of better health to those who are poorly…and a complex thing that is, too…we come to the idea of selling fun. Making other people happy and fulfilled is the goal and a grim business it is, too.

This was illustrated at a trade show I’m attending this weekend. For the 4-wheel-drive vehicles  and adventure accessories. It is by for the largest exhibition I have seen, both in area of display and amount of money that was asked. Also a very adventurous thing since it is being conducted on some of the most gruelling times of the year – 40º + yesterday. However, that did not deter the customers…because they wanted to buy things that will be fun to have and to go places that excite them.

I will not be wealthy because of it – I’ll submit a modest account for giving three lectures over three days – but then I won’t spend any money amongst the fabulous exhibitors either. It’ll a profitable and enjoyable thing to do and may give rise to more paid gigs in the future.

Moral of it all is that if you want to follow the money, follow the fun. That’s what people will fork out for.

I Want A Job As A Test Pilot

A test pilot in a toy factory. Or a book store. Or a pin-up studio. Something with dignity, intellect, and a big tray of cakes for morning tea.

I did health care until I didn’t care anymore – I’ve done retail sales until they took sharp things away from me and started making soothing noises. I’ve done studying until I couldn’t see straight. I’d like something different.

” Oh “, I hear you say, ” You’re retired now. It is time to take a trip around Australia towing a caravan or go to the Greek isles and look at tourists. Or potter in a garden. ” Do these two fingers mean anything to you?

I like to think of it as retyrement. A fresh set of treads and an opportunity to do burnouts at the lights. Old enough to know better but not inclined to pay attention to the voice of reason. It is partly the reason that I write these weblog columns and entirely the reason I write them the way I do. I detest a day without doing, and I am getting to the point where I am not that fussy what or who it is I do…

It is just as well that I realise the need to be canny with money – if I were flush with cash all Hell would break loose. And the funny thing is, I would not have as good a time with unlimited spending as I do under the current regime. There is comfort in frugal endeavour and delight when it actually succeeds.

Note: I would accept employment in a suburban bank, as long as I was allowed to serve at the window and actually be there when people started to queue up. I detest the modern bank that has no serving officers in the teller’s cages. I’d love to bring back the old days of face-to-face cheque and passbook work.

Becoming Immature – An Older Person’s Guide To Life

We are often told that contact with the young keeps a retired person in touch with reality. That it helps them to recapture their youth. That it is golden door to eternal happiness.

This is what is known in technical terms as a crock of shit.

Look closely at the youth that you wish to emulate and observe their behaviour – perhaps when they are lying on their bed looking at a screen. Reflect that their phone may be mobile but they are not. And that a goodly portion of their disposable income is disposed of to the telephone company.

Then again, watch them as they walk or drive around the town looking at that screen in an effort to find electronic signals that indicate Japanese cartoon monsters. Here again, money is spent by them and received by someone else. It does not flow back again. There is the occasional reward for the older observer when the screen addict runs headlong into a light pole or a Toyota.

Look at the social media and observe the anguished and tangled love lives of the people who post there. Would you willingly dip your toe, or any other portion of your anatomy, into those troubled waters? No.

So what direction should you go in your search for happiness? If becoming a  re-tread twenty-something or a thirty-something is unattractive, should you aim for middle or teen age again? Lets see:

a. Teen age. Turn on Triple J radio or any other station aimed at the teen market, put the wireless on full volume, and listen to it all day. You’ll only need to do this for one day to conclude that the teenage years are best left to the acne’d.

b. Middle age. Well, you are closer to that now than to teenage, so you can use your own memory. Was being 40 a lot of fun? Were you the apple of your own eye or just the pip? Do you want to be a wage-slave again, remembering that wage slaves have wage slave-drivers to contend with? Thought not.

Go further back. Go to your childhood – to the time before you were 12 years old. Find the things that you liked to do and the dreams you had for the future…and either do them again or actually achieve them this time. You’ve got money now, and experience, and can separate the wheat from the chaff. And then make something of the chaff.

Actually, most of the cereals your physician advises you to eat are chaff…

You’ll find that nearly everyone will leave you alone when you are having this sort of fun. Either you do not come into their control radar or you look so weird that they are nervous about making eye contact. This can be the case particularly if you have determined to be a new old bike rider and have invested in lycra. Also slow exercises in the park making strange noises.

The rewards will come when you realise that you actually are having fun and that it can be done on the cheap. And no-one rails at you to get out of your comfort zone. In fact you can tell THEM to get out of your comfort zone and most times the cops will back you up. Just no shooting over the lawn.


The Little World – Applying For A Fun Licence

” This is a free country, isn’t it? ”

Fine words, and perfectly appropriate at the polling booth or in the public bar, but hesitate before uttering them in your local hobby shop. Because the answer may turn out to be ” No “.

I’m driven to this conclusion by looking at the goods on offer in the shop. Fine models, glorious kits, magnificent engines, and more trouble than you can pack into a Gladstone bag. In many cases you may be free to purchase the fun, but you will be forbidden to have it…or at least you will need to go a’begging to someone for permission to play somewhere.

If that sounds over the top, consider that here in Perth – the most isolated capital city in the world with hundreds or thousands of kilometres between us and other cities – we need to go to one special secluded spot on the outskirts of town to fly a toy airplane. We need to go 20 kilometres to sail a toy boat, and we can go to Bunbury or buggery if we want to run a toy car.

Noise, pollution, disturbance, wildlife, public nuisance,etc. etc. Councils jealously guard their parks and schools jealously guard their ovals, and woe betide the trespasser. The drone flyers have it even worse as they are the bete noir of everybody. Doesn’t stop the hobby shops from trying to sell lots of different drones, but when it comes to clubs flying them…?

So far the toy train people can escape most of the contumely and control as their layouts are inside, and on their own property. If they take them outside they can be harassed for creating an attractive nuisance or for spoiling the council’s view of what the garden should look like.

The toy soldier, car, and doll collectors also escape most of this problem…but this is probably only because the police and council haven’t figured out an angle that can either fee or fine the collector. Have no fear…they are probably working on it. They already have a stranglehold on the militaria collectors who just want to trade old muskets.

I am not going to worry too much. I’m sure I contravene a number of regulations by collecting toy cars and taking pictures of them and a zealous enemy could put in so many council complaints as to make the hobby miserable, but collecting enemies could also be a lot of fun.

Particularly if you pin them to a board or press them between the pages of a thick book.