Tuesday, January 16, 2007

It's a hard life

A few weeks ago, when I got home from the office, my wife mentioned that Morgan was feeling 'bummed out'. In the place and at the time I was a kid that exact phrase had certain overtones I felt were inapplicable so I requested enlightenment as to what feeling 'bummed out' meant.

It seems the little princess had spent three and a half hours that day at some social welfare agency filing paperwork and being interviewed for benefits available to the unwed mother.

In return for her time the state will give her approx $150 a month in cash, approx $250 a month in food stamps and pays the entire cost of health insurance for her infant.

In the scheme of things this isn't an enormous amount of financial assistance. I'd be guessing at the cost of health insurance given that I let Sonya worry about those details. That's pure laziness on my side of course but I do hide behind the flimsy excuse of being a newcomer to this society and of course 'we do things differently in Australia'. But at a rough guess we're talking maybe $7000 a year which is hardly a living income.

As I say, not an enormous amount, but I couldn't help feeling bemused at the thought of the little princess being 'bummed out'. As I put it to Sonya, 'Strewth, I'd put in three and a half hours work for seven grand.' On the other hand, I haven't spent my entire life imagining the world owed me a living.


Monday, January 08, 2007

The trouble with dead Presidents

is that they choose the most inconvenient times to die.

According to Andrew that is! Case in point. Former President Gerald Ford died the day after Christmas. And Andrew was indeed saddened by the news, when the realisation sank in that he was already in his Christmas break and would not get an extra day off school! From Andrews point of view it would have been far better had he died either two weeks earlier or two weeks later. I'm pretty sure considerations of how the former President himself might have felt about the matter didn't occur to Andrew. And I fear I made him feel worse when I pointed out that Former President Reagan had also died during a school break.

As Andrew himself expressed it; 'Why do I get all the bad luck?'

A few months ago, when my citizenship oath ceremony was fast approaching, Mom broached the idea of taking Andrew along, on the grounds that it would be 'educational'. I was all for the idea but Andrews only comment was 'cool - that'll be a day off school'. Call me hard hearted if you will but if the only reason he wanted to come along and see me take the oath was to get a day off school then as far as I was concerned he could damn well go to school instead! Which he did!

Poor bastard!