I’m on strike! I’m on strike!

I really want to go on strike. I’ve never been part of a picket line before. Every once in a while I’ll pass by some workers who are striking against something. I’ll always want to shout out some support, some solidarity, but I never know what I should say. “Yeah!” That’s a thought, but I don’t think I’m making it clear enough who I’m supporting. Just saying “Yeah!” could mean anything. It could mean nothing. If I were in a car I would just honk. That’s really the best way to support a strike. You’re putting yourself out there without actually having to slow down really. But I don’t have a car, I’m always just walking. I could buy a horn, like a clown horn, but, no, that would be way too weird. And I’d just be walking on by, slowly. Someone would probably ask, “What’s with the clown horn?” and I’d be like, “I’m honking! Honk if you support the strike!” They might be like, “Oh, OK. Well. Thanks?” Maybe it would just detract from the cause. Maybe there would be too much attention on the clown horn and less attention on the issues. So usually when I pass by some strikers I just try to act natural. But whenever I try to act natural I feel like I’m making a really weird face. And my shoulders are like locked in a clenched position. It’s the opposite of natural really. And do the strikers find it suspicious that I’m acting so weird? Do they think I’m maybe a corporate spy?

One time I was walking by a strike and I actually did show some solidarity, I just went for it. I started clapping, like a semi-slow hard clap. And I nodded my head at the strikers. But whenever you’re addressing a large group of people, there’s always the problem of where you’re supposed to look. Where do I focus my eyes? I saw a TV show one time where one of the main characters was taking a public speaking class. I think whole point of the episode was that this character was afraid of public speaking, and so it was funny watching him get all bent out of shape in front of the class. But it must not have been that funny, because I don’t remember anything about the show, like what show it was, or who was in it. And also, it’s really hard for a TV actor to convincingly act like he or she is afraid of public speaking, which is essentially acting within acting. A movie actor could pull it off, like a really good actor. But, like I said, this show was probably terrible, and so the only actor they could afford was one who acted out the scene really poorly. Whatever, he was probably doing the best he could. I think the writers are really to blame. I mean, why were they writing such a role for an actor who clearly couldn’t handle it? Anyway, what I do remember from this episode was that the professor gave a tip, about addressing large groups, something about making eye contact with random people in the group, so as to engage better with the audience, to feel more engaged yourself. I think that was it. So I’m walking by this group of strikers and I started this slow, semi-slow clap. And as I started clapping, the whole group of strikers looked at me, because I was making noise, attention-grabbing noise. And I thought, shit, where do I look? I remembered that TV show and told myself to make eye contact with a few different people. So I started making eye contact with this one random guy. I was going to hold it for a few seconds and then move on to another striker. But this first guy that I made eye contact with just kind of pointed to himself and said, “Who, me?” And here I am, just slowly applauding this one guy, and I’m looking at him directly in the eye. And I was just like, “No. Well, yeah, you. You and everbody else. I’m applauding everyone.” And he said, “Oh, OK. Because you were looking right at me. Sorry. Thanks for the support.” And it was just super awkward and I wanted out of there fast.

I love everything about strikes, though. There’s like this whole different set of rules and cool things going on that only ever go on at strikes. There’s a picket line. And you’re not supposed to cross it. And people take it pretty seriously. I think that’s pretty cool. And there are always tons of refreshments. Every time I pass by a strike there’s always a table with water and donuts. And then there’re the scabs. And your unions. There’s just this whole awesome set of strike-related vocabulary.

You know, all of this talk about strike has really got my blood just boiling. You know what, that’s it. I’m on strike. It’s official. I’m officially on strike. I can’t take it anymore. I’m striking. I’m not going to stop striking until all of my demands are met. I’m going on strike and even if you meet my demands, I’m just going to make even more demands, and you’ll have to reassess the situation and realize that, well, his demands are just too high. There’s no workable solution. That’s exactly what a fat cat like you would say. No workable solution. There’s always a workable solution. And I’m not going to stop until you figure out a way to make it happen.

Was that convincing? Was that a convincing strike? I’m telling you, I would be great at this. Strikers should hire me to strike with them, to give their strike that little something extra. And I’ll make business cards. They’ll just say: Rob G. Striker. But wait a second. What happens if the strikers start taking advantage of me? What if they start paying me lower and lower wages? How would I protest? Could there be like a strike within a strike? Or a strike from a strike?

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