The Born-Again Loser
By Julie Elizabeth Mignard
I guess you’ve heard about the born loser. You know, that guy who got caught stealing penny candy in 1959. He was in juvey by the time he was 10 years old. It’s not that he was any worse than most of the guys his age. It was just that he got caught every time he stepped over the line. So Joey Dee was 21 when he decided he’d had enough of the bad side and he repented of wrong doing and tried very hard to be a good person. He met a good person girl who slept every night with pink foam curlers in her hair and she believed in him as being a good person. He bought her a tiny ring and they got married. Now his life was Joey and Annie.
But somehow Joey and Annie never became winners. OK, they weren’t bad people, Joey tried to be a working stiff and Annie tried to be a housewife with sparkling clean floors and a bouncing baby or two. The baby never appeared and the floors faded until there wasn’t any sparkle left.
One day Joey came home from his work at the gas station and found Annie gone. She left a note. “I am sorry Joey. I just don’t love you anymore.” Once again Joey was a loser. A born-again loser. It was just his fate. After the divorcé of course he got fired at the gas station. The rent was due, his car was already repoed on account of it was from a pay by the week used car lot.
Joey was down the road drinking in a nameless beer joint when he met a guy who said Joey needed a tattoo. So Joey decided to have a “Born Loser” design on his left bicep. Except the tattoo guy was drunk too. So he ended up with “Born Looser” on his arm. It was pointless trying to join the human race. Joey became a vagrant. The other vagrants called him Looser because of the tattoo. So after awhile he even lost his name.
He had been a bum for fifty years when he got herded onto a bus with all the other old vagrants in a city wide homeless clean up. The bus was old and stinky, just like him. By the pre-dawn dark the next night while all the passengers slept the bus was backed into a shipping container on a dock somewhere and left running while the container was sealed. The ship went to China where the contents were recycled. He became fertilizer. All except for his tattoo. It became a lampshade.