The Problem

May 13, 2009
By josh gonzalez BRONZE, Yuma, Arizona
josh gonzalez BRONZE, Yuma, Arizona
3 articles 0 photos 3 comments

A fare, lean white skinned man awoke to the sound of his alarm clock at six in the morning. He did the usual morning routine: brush teeth, eat breakfast, get ready and go to work. He worked at a mom and pop store just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. He had a crush on the Secretary, Shirley Sekjik. She had a Russian background but she looked as American as an American can be. He thought, Man, today is really going slow. It’s as if all the clocks stopped in this whole store. I can’t wait to go home and watch that free HBO fight tonight, it’s gonna be awesome. Should I go over to Shirley and tell her how I feel or just let her be? Maybe she has a boyfriend or maybe even a husband?

He’s right, he didn’t have the guts to tell Shirley how he felt about her, but that didn’t matter to him right now; he just wanted to go home and watch that HBO fight. Then, the store owner came on the P.A; he called for a staff meeting in the board room at noon. Just then a customer came in and Jimmy greeted him.

“Hello”, Jimmy said.


“How can I help you today, sir”.

“Do you have any grandfather clocks here, preferably a cheap one”.

“Yes sir, the cheapest one we have in stock is $200 and is made out of pure oak”.

“I was kinda hoping for a cheaper one.”

“But sir, this is a very grand grandfather clock and can tell you the time for a whole century. And for only $200, this is a very good deal. Super Clocks wants to charge you $500 for the same exact one.”

“Oh my, that is expensive. Very well then, I will take this one. It is a very good deal, thank you kind man.”

“I’ll meet you at the register 5.”The man walked over to the register.

“Want some oak cleaner, it’ll take the dull spots and make the clock all shiny.”

“I guess, if I’m gonna pay for a $200 clock, might as well keep it shiny.” The man paid the $200 bill.

“Do you need some help putting that in your car sir?”

“Yes, yes I do. Thank you”.

Jimmy and his coworkers got a dolly from the back and put the grandfather clock on it. They then pushed the dolly to the car and carefully put the grandfather clock into the gray Tundra.

“Thank you, again”.

“Don’t mention it sir, have a nice day.”

“You too.”

It was noon, the staff meeting. Jimmy ran inside and quickly took an available seat in the board room. Jeffrey Clarks, the store manager, took center and prepared to speak. Jimmy thought he was going to hand out awards, boy was he wrong.

“There is no nice way to say this, so I’m just gonna say it. The store is closing.” Jeffrey started crying. “I’m sorry, I don’t usually cry. I’m just so frustrated that I couldn’t keep this store afloat. Shirley will be handing out your last pay checks from Clocks N’ Stuff, I’m so sorry.”

“You tried your best and that’s all that matters man.” A coworker called out.

“Thank you, but giving it all you got won’t get you through life, only money.” The store owner replied. He was right, only money got you through life. Jimmy got up slowly and walked over to get his last pay check. This time he wasn’t glad to see Shirley. He looked at the check, $500. This was good enough for a month, but what about the rest of his life. He hated working at casinos, he worked there once and that was all he needed.

Casinos were always filled with smoke and always smelt like alcohol. People would be so drunk, they would mistake Jimmy for a woman, and not that he looked like a girl or anything, that’s just how drunk they were.

I’m gonna have to. I got no job and I don’t want to impede on my friend’s lives by sleeping at there house, only if they offer me. I’ll schedule an interview tomorrow at a casino. It doesn’t matter which one, they’re all the same. So he called Ming’s Super Casino and Hotel and inquired if there was a job available. Ming said there was and he could have it. All he was going to do is take people’s stuff up to their room. Jimmy was grateful and said what time to be there. Ming said six o’ clock sharp. Just then the telephone rang; it was one of Jimmy’s friends, Greg.

“Hey, are you going to the new casino tonight, The Casa Grande. Grand opening at eight pm. What’d ya say pal, come on it’ll be fun.”

“You know I hate casinos, they smell too much like crushed dreams.”

“Come on, you’re acting like a little girl with a too too on, come on it’ll be fun, trust me.”


“Remember, eight o’ clock tonight, heehaw.”

At seven thirty that night, Jimmy got ready. He thought, if I have to work at a casino, might as well get used to it. Who knows, I might make some extra cash along the way. Jimmy put on his best flannel shirt and his best pair of shoes.

Jimmy left to the casino; it was a thirty minute drive, so he was going to be a little late. When he got close to the casino, he could hear music blaring and lights flashing. He gave a puff and went outside. Greg was waiting for him at the front door. Greg greeted him and introduced Jimmy to his girlfriend, Sasha. She was very nice and nice looking. They went inside and were all having a good time until Jimmy noticed a group of guys sitting around a table. He automatically knew it was poker. He knew how to play, so went over, sat down, got some cards and started playing. He put down a $20 chip as his starting offer, everyone else did too. He couldn’t believe it, a royal flush. He just won $200. The next game he put a $30 chip and won that game too. He went like that for five games, putting a higher offer every time.

All good things must come to an end though, on his sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth game, he lost all the money he had earned before and then some. Jimmy went home crying that night.

The next morning, he sold everything except his car. It was eleven when he realized that he forgot to go to his job. He didn’t call because he would be fired anyway. He made $100 on that garage sale; but two hours later, the IRS came and evicted him from his home because he wasn’t paying his bills.

On August 5, his house was auctioned for $150,000. Jimmy had bought it for twice as much. Jimmy was now homeless.

On the hottest day of the year, Jimmy laid down on the sidewalk for a nap. Unfortunately, Jimmy never woke up. Doctors had rushed him into the ER but declared him dead. He was 29, the cause of his death, sunstroke. His family came to his funeral and wept a lot. Nobody thought he would die this way, not this way. Greg went to the funeral and tried to solace Jimmy’s mother. They finally went home and looked at Jimmy’s baby pictures.

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