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What would you do if you didn’t have to work?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on September 7, 2009

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Photo of Zach Rothschild

“I would definitely travel everywhere I could.”

Photo of Lucia Maltez

“It depends. If I’m poor, I would probably be doing nothing. If I was rich, then I guess I would write.”

Photo of June Armstrong

“I would volunteer and read.”

Photo of Jason Ash

“I think I would probably go back to school and study art history and philosophy.”


RoeDapple 8 years, 9 months ago

Zach, do it while you're young...

Lucia, writing can make you poor...

June, two words "Audio Reader"

Jason, click heels together three times and say," there's no place like home, there's no place like......." Then go buy a powerball ticket....

BigPrune 8 years, 9 months ago

I would lay around and eat bon-bons all day until I looked like Jabba the Hut.

monkeyhawk 8 years, 9 months ago

"I'd spend my summers in rural Alaska and my winters in Puerto Rico."

I'm with you on Alaska - probably the most magnificent place I've been, but I would take Costa Rica, Grand Turk or the Caymans for the winter.

jonas_opines 8 years, 9 months ago

I took my pup on our daily morning walk in the pretty fog just a bit ago. Coming down the trail to the street I saw in the trees this fabulous spider web, that was so large and perfect that I had to take a quick picture of it with my iphone. Then. . . I noticed another one, not far away, and another. Then I noticed that web streamers literally stretched from that tree through about 4 others, and out and across the path to a fence that had a substantial web built into it, about 30 yards from the original web. Then I noticed two more giant webs as I walked the block back to my house.

Now I'm kind of afraid to go out again. I think Shelob's moved into our block or something.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 8 years, 9 months ago

jonas, I had a similar experience while out at Clinton Lake with family, years ago. We had made our way to a hilltop, just before sunset. With the sun at our backs, we all casually strolled downhill to the water's edge. However, upon turning to return, with the sun now streaming through the foliage before us, we discovered that the hillside was literally blanketed with spider webs. And, not just any spiders, the biggest honking monsters you've ever seen. Well, the kids were mortified and had to be carried back up the slope, parents gingerly placing each step. Funny how different the return trip was from the carefree romp down the hillside, once we became aware of the reality at our feet.

I think the density of spiders (and other nasties) in the environment is dramatically higher than generally is assumed. Ignorance, if remiss, can be bliss.

number3of5 8 years, 9 months ago

I for one do not have to work. For that matter I cannot work at a job. I cannot drive, I can't spend much time sitting in one place or standing. Life is a constant pain. I do however spend my days working at things that I need done. I sweep my floors at least once a week. I mop once a month. I do my own laundry. I cook and wash dishes as needed. I spend time crocheting, sewing, beading, baking if I have the energy, and other crafts. If I do not feel like doing anything, than I don't. My husband does it all for me. He even waits on me if necessary. Life, when you do not have to work is not all fun and games. Believe me.

jonas_opines 8 years, 9 months ago

Vertigo: I liked that story a lot. Didn't watch the movie, I heard early on exactly how they bombed the ending and figured it wasn't worth it, even if the rest was done faithfully.

Like the movie of Secret Window/Secret Garden with Johnny Depp, off of, I believe, Four Past Midnight. Perfectly done for 98% of the movie, and then the end totally blows the whole thing. I was really kind of mad.

kansasfire911 8 years, 9 months ago

In the words of Office Space, I would do absolutely nothing.

bakeru 8 years, 9 months ago

Who says writing makes you poor? I write for a living and do quite well. If you want to write, write!

RoeDapple 8 years, 9 months ago

Investigate every seam in the padding in this room to find a way to escape this zoo...

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 9 months ago

I think spiders are cool. I still think Shelob was scary, and there were the huge spiders in the trees that Frodo had to fight. The Mist is a great story, but my family saw the movie and went away disappointed about the ending. I don't know why they had to change it. I also hate the way movies have to show Christians as total idiots. End times, indeed! I don't work now, so I update my web page, write short stories, sew, watch MSNBC and any sy-fy/horror movie on cable. Also, right now I am reading the prequel trilogy to the Foundation Series.

jonas_opines 8 years, 9 months ago

Irish: In my story (that I'll write after my thesis), at the start the character, who is a 10 year old girl, is talking to her friend about trying to find some really big spiders, but can't because her parents won't let her go into the deep parts of the forest in her backyard where the really big spiders live.

Later, in the otherworld she winds up in, they get transported into a tree city by gigantic spiders, and while her companions are initially terrified, she is patently delighted.

puddleglum 8 years, 9 months ago

where's marioni?

I would do my normal routine, because nothing could possibly be better: wake up to my alarm clock playing reveille, eat sour cream and butter bagel, spit on english flag while saying 'that one is for bunker hill"....mount my trustworthy horse I named liberty and beat back the dirty democrats with my 1861 cavalry sword-they are always down by my gates with their hands held out-begging for some of my many dollars. Ride carefree to work-with the wind blowing on my powdered wig; insult the toll gate worker for having a handout-type of job just sitting there collecting us hard-working peoples' monies for a road long since paid for. Fight off all remaining Indians between here and the capitol building. Look at myself in the mirror "you are one dashing fellow" invade all crack houses in topeka-riding my steed at breakneck speed. Jump my horse over the capitol building, visit the fallen monument to capitalism a.k.a. white lakes mall and pretty much all of downtown topeka...shed a tear for the fallen. Buy some toilet paper at wal-mart, made by the good peasants of mexico or something like that-ride on top of the ford dealership's cars exclaiming "you are the enemy-government motors will prevail!" laugh at the Chrysler dealership. Mock the govenor. Taunt the house speaker "give me coal plants or give me death" Ride my horse back to Lawrence on US-40 (no toll) stop at stoplight at 6th & stoneridge drive, let the one car cross the street. go 200 yards and stop at stoplight at 6th & congressional, let the one car cross the street, have a nice game of bridge with the other drivers who are stopped at intersection, spit on wal-mart. go 200 yards and stop at stoplight at 6th & wakarusa. Watch empty city bus go through intersection. make origami newspaper and write-in snarky comments.... proceed east to MY stoplight at 6th & folks. Eat a cheese cracker-turn left and return to my palace/zoo whatever you wanna call it. relax.

sgtwolverine 8 years, 9 months ago

I'm assuming this question is asking what I'd do if I was financially secure. If so: I would do what I'm already doing now -- photography -- but without worrying about using it to pay the bills.

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 9 months ago

Jonas, I like your idea. I would like to go to Hogwarts and meet Hagrid who got Aragog as a baby from a stranger in a pub. I love the scene where they have to follow the spiders to find the truth about the chamber of secrets and Ron moans, not spiders, I hate spiders! Like Hagrid I like spiders, and dragons and hippogriffs. Rawling got to live her dream job.

beatrice 8 years, 9 months ago

After traveling and playing for a while, I'd probably end up getting a job.

mom_of_three 8 years, 9 months ago

If I didn't have to work, I would keep my house cleaner, cook more, bake more, spend more time on my hobbies - reading, crafting, photography, and go to college full time. I would have more time to volunteer.
Now, if I was wealthy and I didn't have to work, I would do all of the above, and then spend more time traveling.

jumpin_catfish 8 years, 9 months ago

Another way of putting the question is: what would you do if you were a liberal politician or a communist hanging out at the Bourgeois Pig.

Answer is: you would screw up the country like never before.

jonas_opines 8 years, 9 months ago

autie: He jumped in on the conspiracy theory blog to rant and rave about the US not being a democracy, then left. That was earlier, so he might be back by now.

puddleglum 8 years, 9 months ago

those darned communist down at the bourgeois pig. went to an art show there last night and it was really cool..big american-made 18-wheelers lookin like andy warhol or something. certainly not communist, nor smelly catfish either

Patriot2 8 years, 9 months ago

Wow. I become President! I run my campaign with others peoples money. Make promises to my constitutes, depending on who I talking with at the time. Promises that I have no intention of keeping, for the purpose of getting their money. Then travel the world telling everyone how horrible this country is, while apologizing to them for saving “them” from communism………. Oh, wait that’s already being done now…………

yankeevet 8 years, 9 months ago

Tournament fisherman; ranger bass boat; hoorah...

tomatogrower 8 years, 9 months ago

Travel, read, garden, read, volunteer, read.

Katara 8 years, 9 months ago

A little of this and a little of that, probably. Dabble here and there, most likely.

Mixolydian 8 years, 9 months ago

Is it just me? I love to travel and will go to any country at the drop of a hat.

But I need a job and the money that comes with that job in order to travel.

If the question was "what would you do with a million dollars?" travel would be right up there (after the obligatory Office Space answer.)

Stuart Evans 8 years, 9 months ago

I think I'd lay around downtown all day playing some sort of instrument and wait for the local taxpayers to come along and give me someplace to live.

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