What's Next?

A few posts back I ventured into the topic of hobbies for us "men of a certain age" to take up once we retire. I received feedback from several of my peers: 

"Are you actually thinking of retiring?"
"I'll never retire."
"Who can afford to retire?"
"Retirement's for wimps."
"Don't retire--start a second career."

All of these thoughts run through my mind as I get closer to that magically arbitrary age. That last one though, the one about a "next" career, what would that look like? I started thinking of things I've seen old guys do, and how that might work out for me as a second career. Here are a few that come to mind:

Wal-Mart® Greeter


Well, lets see, I don't like Wal-Mart® and I don't like greeting.

I'm a tested and confirmed introvert, and way too cynical and judgmental to stand and watch Wal-Mart® shoppers come and go all day.

Even if I did love greeting, the blue vest is a deal killer for me. I do like coffee though, and I have nothing against green aprons, so Starbucks® could work.


You know those old, former-whatevers that they line up four and five wide across the TV screen on the news channels, all talking at the same time, which is fine because no one cares what they're saying anyway.

This could work. I have a lot of opinions no one wants to hear; about stuff that doesn't really matter at the end of the day.

Am I qualified? I have held office. I was the Sergeant-At-Arms of our high school Spanish club. I work with this girl who's dad was in the CIA and protected a former president. I marched in Nixon's inaugural parade--not as a protester, but as a drummer in the band. (I did, however, wear a "Humphrey-Muskie" button under my uniform.)

“My friends tell me that I have a tendency to point out problems without offering solutions, but they never tell me what I should do about it.” ― Daniel Gilbert, "Stumbling on Happiness"


I really enjoy strolling through flea markets, estate sales, vintage shops, etc. Great stories are always told there. You know, the ones that start, "Remember when..." I love it when someone picks up an old catcher's mitt and talks about summer games on the vacant lot down the street, back before mosquitoes carried the West Nile virus, before the sun caused cancer and before perverts were everywhere, snatching up little kids.

So, I think I could really enjoy having a traveling shop of vintage stuff, like the haberdashers of old. If you're not familiar with the origin of the term, I found this on the WWW:

Its meaning down the centuries has been as diverse as its origin. When it appeared, in the thirteenth century, it meant a trader in a range of goods. According to early chroniclers, these included: “glasses, daggers, swerdes [swords]”, “mousetrappes, bird cages, shooing hornes, lanthornes, and Jews trumpes [Jew’s harps]”, and “bookes, pictures, beades, crucifixes” etc.


What would be really cool; if I could figure out a way to monetize this blog deal, like that Pioneer Woman has. Best I can tell, the secret to her success includes: sharing recipes, selling recipe books, and writing children's books about a dog-character named "Charlie The Ranch Dog."

Grumpy The Retired Dog.

Grumpy The Retired Dog.

Let's try it. If you'll send me $7.95 I'll send you the recipe for my award-winning chili AND my crowd-pleasing shrimp boil. But wait! There's more! I will put your name on the list to receive a First Edition of my children's book about "Grumpy The Retired Dog" who spends his days lounging, eating, scratching himself and silently passing gas that is bound to be destroying the ozone.

This book is not yet written but I'm thinking I'll call the first episode "New Tricks--It's not that I can't learn them, it's just that I have all the tricks I need already."