ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

A self-described creative from our town’s cosmopolitan French Quarter told friends over Easter that he’s bored with his agency job and is on the hunt for a “side hustle” so he can finally get enough money together to buy a home in a part of town he feels a low-level executive like him deserves to own property.

But when a periphery member of Sammy Peal’s friendship circle, the boyfriend of a work collegue, suggested the Army Reserve to the 29-year-old, he fell silent.

He knew it made sense.

A person like him, with no tangible skills outside complaining about things and people on Twitter and telling art directors he wants more from them, could make substantial cheddar in return for a few weekends a year.

Sammy did the maths in his head, albeit slowly.

The money would be completely tax free. Fifty or sixty a year. It’d only be a few short years before he could park his slippers under his own bed in his own two-bedroom apartment on Rue de Putain.

“Nah, it’s good. My mate Rob is in the Army Reserve and he reckons it’s grouse,” said Sammy’s friend’s boyfriend.

“Like the other weekend, he got to go to the Hunter Valley but instead of doing all that stupid shit like play golf and visit wineries, he got to let guns off in a paddock and throw grenades into a giant pit. He reckons it was mad,”

“He said next time, they might even let him machine-gun something. But they do have to do shit like walk up and down mountains with a big fuck off bergen on their back for no reason other than to occupy them for a day or two. They go camping too but they don’t have all the mod cons that you’d expect like they’re sleeping on the ground under a bit of plastic,”

“But yeah, man. It’s all tax-free but you might have to get deployed somewhere or have to clean up after a flood or something but fuck. What else are you good at? Any cunt can whore themselves out as a ‘creative consultant’ but it takes a special kind of person to lean on a broom after a natural disaster until some Warrant Officer yells at you,”

“I’m thinking of doing it myself.”

A long pause followed.

“Do you blokes want another $11 Heineken schmiddie? Fuck this pub sucks,” said the boyfriend.

Sammy just nodded, despite it being his round.

More to come.


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