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Friday, May 6, 2016

I need a vacation from all this relaxing

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Jim Mullen
Recently a chateau in the south of France was robbed of millions of dollars worth of fine art while the owners were on vacation. I'm sorry they got robbed. But what were these people on vacation from? If you live in a castle stuffed with Picassos and Van Goghs and there are palm trees and a Rolls Royces in your front yard, let me explain something to you: you are already on vacation! What is the thinking here? "Gee, the stress of being too rich is killing us. Let's take a few weeks off and relax."

If you can afford fine art and a vacation from your vacation, you should be able to afford someone to watch your embarrassment of riches while you vacation. I'll do it for free.

Why is it that the people who need vacations the least are the ones who get the most time off and the most money to spend? I'm talking about you, baseball players. I'm talking about you, pro golfers. I'm talking about you, supermodels and actors. I'm talking about you, heirs of great fortunes.

"Well, school teachers get just as much time off as baseball players." But baseball players are paid to catch projectiles thrown at them. Imagine for a second that we paid teachers like athletes and athletes like teachers. Kids would want to become teachers. There'd be Pop Warner teaching programs, there'd be Teacher Little League, there'd be the World Series of Teachers and Teaching All-Star teams. The best teachers would be featured in advertisements and take home even more money. Then you could complain about all the time they get off.

I'm trying to remember the last time I took a vacation. I'm talking a real vacation, a relaxing week away that didn't involve Thanksgiving, Christmas or a funeral. My father's idea of a vacation was packing eight kids into a station wagon to go camping. We would go to Yellowstone. My mother would cook every meal and then try to find a Laundromat. She was doing on vacation what she did at home every day, only under battle conditions. I never asked her if she thought that was a vacation, but she was the first person I ever heard use the Robert Benchley line, "There are two ways to travel: first class or with children." It resonated with her, that's for sure. The good news is that while we were gone, we never had to worry that someone would break into the house and steal our priceless works of art. When we came home, they were all right where we left them -- on the refrigerator door.

Jim Mullen is the author of

"It Takes a Village Idiot: Complicating the Simple Life"

and "Baby's First Tattoo."

You can reach him at jim_mullen@myway.com

Jim Mullen
The Village Idiot