Next Stop, Retirement

Next Stop, Retirement

I plan to live to be 100, but I have a feeling that Channel 8 may not keep me quite that long. After 30 years in television, I need something very low stress when I retire. I need a job where I don't have to be creative every day. The pressure is killing me.

I considered Walmart greeter. Very little stress, but a friend told me that he once saw the Wal-Mart contract and there's a reference to being nice to people every day. Yeah, right, I'll sign that.

Toll booth collector seems pretty low stress. And it gives you a chance to meet lots of people without running the risk of ever establishing a real relationship. On second thought, that's too much like television.

Well, I've finally made my decision. I'm going to be a tour bus driver. Here's why:

A tour bus driver doesn't really have to know anything. For example, our driver on a Nantucket tour told us the city was founded when the Pilgrims (or was it the Puritans?) were looking for cranberries (or was it strawberries?). The point is that I really don't remember one thing she said, although at the time, I remember looking at my wife, raising my eyebrows, and saying, "Wow, that's very interesting."

That's the great thing about being a tour bus driver. You can make up the wildest stories and people will believe anything. And no one will remember it anyway. I love a job where there's no premium placed on the facts. My boss gets real picky about this correctness thing. When I retire, I'm getting out of the accuracy rat race.

Another reason I'd be a great tour bus driver is that I have no sense of direction. The people on the bus have no idea where they're going. That's why they took a bus. They know nothing about the area. That's why they need a tour guide. So when you're lost, you can make up some outrageous story about how in this very isolated area, hundreds of miles from food, water, and medical treatment, three Catholic nuns saved the island of Nantucket by staying awake 72 straight hours to man the lighthouse with only dried cranberries to eat.

I told you I'd be good at this.

Most tour guides are retired grandparents. I remember very little about the history of Nantucket, but I do know from my driver that Adam is four and finally potty trained, and Erica is only two but talking up a streak. Most senior citizens don't really like driving a bus, but the lure of a microphone and a captive audience at 65 mph is not something a doting grandparent can turn down.

I have two other qualifications. I can drive a car like Linda Blair with my head completely turned around. And most important, I can tell the same joke three times a day, 50 weeks a year, and still laugh at it.

Yes, I'm a natural. I can't wait to start. See you on the bus. I promise I won't drive over 100 (years, that is).