The master misfit

Job-seeking has never been more funny than in the case of a chap I used to know years ago. This fellow swam into my ken a few days ago while I was seated in a friend’s shop talking to him. “My God, is it really you!” I exclaimed when he accosted me, for he had changed completely from the boy I used to know as MM (short for master misfit). “Fallen on evil days, sir,” said this specimen from behind the forest of hair covering his face.
“The last time I saw you about five years ago,” I reminisced, “you had got a job in a barber shop. Now to look at your forest of hair one would think Veerappan was hiding somewhere in it and you never saw a barber shop in your life.” “That barber fired me the next day.” “Why?”

“I nicked a customer’s face while giving him a shave and followed it up with another cut. As the boss had warned me that for every cut I made five rupees would be cut from my wages I tried to cut my losses by joining the two cuts with the razor. As the customer was howling and the boss was attempting to murder me I had no option but to run for dear life.”

When both my shop-keeper friend and I had finished splitting our sides with laughter I asked MM what he did after that. I realised that trying to become a barber was a mug’s game (continued MM). So I got a job in a laundry shop. Everything went well for sometime, as I was still learning the ropes. Then the boss gave me a shirt to press.
When I burnt the shirt in one or two places the boss lost his shirt and came at me with raised fist. The next moment I was off like a jack rabbit, touching the ground only once in two minutes. If I had not bumped into a bullock-cart two miles from starting point I’d still be running.

“Now that I have run into you I hope my troubles would soon be over,” he said. And mine would be about to start, unless I am damn careful, I told myself. “Let me be your cook,” he offered. “No deal,” I assured him. “You’d end up setting fire to my kitchen, if not the whole house. The only safe place for you would be in the middle of the Sahara desert.”
“Or the Arabian Sea,” suggested my shop-keeper friend. “All he’d need would be a brick tied round his neck before entering the sea.” “No, on second thoughts, it would be cheaper to get him into a home for the destitute,” said I, on the crest of a brain-wave.
And, thank God, that’s where he is at the moment of going to press. As he is still there after one year without setting fire to the place, I am sure that he has at last found his niche.

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