Could You Be A Workaholic?

by : David Leonhardt



If you need to put on boots and grab a lap-top computer to relieve yourself at night, you might be a redneck workaholic.

It never crossed my mind that there could be such a thing as a redneck workaholic, until I read a column on “Are you a workaholic?"

“Did you read this?" I asked my wife. "Are you a workaholic? It looks just like those you-might-be-a-redneck jokes."

My wife studied the page. “Maybe it was written by a redneck alcoholic." She suggested.

“Workaholic, not alcoholic."

“How do you know the writer is not an alcoholic?" she demanded.

“I don’t. But the column is about workaholics, and it reads just like a series of redneck jokes."

“Well, maybe it was written by a redneck workaholic, then." She suggested.

“No way. There is no such a thing."

“Why not?" she wanted to know.

“Because workaholics sit late in front of computer screens and steroid-laced in-boxes, wearing $500 suits and $550 haircuts. Folks out here wear $19.95 jeans and occasionally wash their hair."

“But many of them do spend late hours in front of their computers," my wife pointed out.

“Like who?"

“Like you."

“Oh, yeah…"

“Being a workaholic is not just about computers and offices and taking out a mortgage for a haircut," she added. “Look at Buster."

“Buster?"

“Sure, every time he’s set to retire, he goes and buys another machine," she pointed out. “One year it was a backhoe. Another it was a dump truck."

“Wow, he must be desperate this year."

“Why?" my wife asked.

“Because this year he bought a whole combine…"

“Ooh, that does sound desperate."

“…plus a farm to use it on!"

“See?" my wife smiled. “You don’t have to live in the city to be a workaholic. There can be such a thing as a workaholic redneck.

“That’s a pity. Being a workaholic means missing out on a lot of life."

“That’s true, but it’s not just city folk who miss their kids growing up or are too busy working to help their wives clean the dishes."

I took the hint and picked up a drying cloth. “You mean that anyone can get caught up in work, and lose sight of what’s really important? Even farmers, moat diggers and the guy who sorts through the trash at the dump looking for the tastiest morsels to throw to the gulls?"

“I suppose so," she answered with that what-have-you-been-smoking look on her face. "Why not try to see if workaholic redneck jokes work?"

“Well, if you look forward to Christmas this year, because you might take the afternoon off from tilling the land, you might be a workaholic redneck."

“That’s the spirit," she encouraged.

I tried another, “If you’re drinking your morning coffee from a dirty mason jar from yesterday, you might be a workaholic redneck."

“Very good," she praised.

“If you stick family pictures to your backhoe window to remind you what they look like, you might be a workaholic redneck."

“Why not try one more, just to make sure?" my wife suggested.

“OK, if you bring your work with you to your son’s baseball game, you might be a workaholic redneck."

“Uh, OK…" she began.

“And if nobody complains about the smell, you might live in a town full of workaholic rednecks!"

"You got it!" she shouted.

I realized that I had spent way too much time talking about workaholic redneck jokes. There was only one thing I could do to compensate.

I tossed aside the drying cloth, grabbed my lap-top computer and rushed to the outhouse to catch up on a few hundred urgent emails.