What is a man without a trade? Simple. That man is me.

O’er a decade’s time, I have quartered backt for 11 distinct footballing squadrons. A newsboy learnt in the ways of complex mathematical formulae told me that accounts for nearly one-third of all professional football squadrons. Yet this wealth of experience is naught in the eyes of the footballing barons, who are wont to discard their footballers as though they were pleurisied cattle.

Pugilistic opportunities are barren as well. The fighting crowd is too enamored with the negroid, I fear, what with his obscene disregard for gentlemanly comportment, not to mention obstreperous conduct in the nickelodeon. When I go to watch grainy five-second reels of horses in motion, I wish to do it in silence. The negroid takes pleasure in ruining this experience. I personally have also fallen out of favor among fight promoters for reasons that are unclear to me. Perhaps because I continue to issue haymakers at opponents long after they are defeated and the bell has sounded. I thought this added to the appeal for the crowd. What man would not want bonus fustigation for his money? This is a puzzlement.

I am not one to speak woe of his station in life. Mine has been more markt by fortune than many. Take for example my poor brother, Sean Patrick O’Sullivan, who developt gout when whilst a wee boy. Mother O’Sullivan sought to get him a position with Thompson’s Preposterous Prepossessing Display Of Otherwordly Oddities, but Thompson himself curtly dismissed S.P.’s affliction as too commonplace and not nearly gruesome enough to titillate morbidseekers. Upon hearing this, Mother O’Sullivan took a shovel to Sean-Patrick’s face, in hopes of creating sufficient disfiguration. Her strategy was sound, but her execution too extreme. Sean-Patrick indeed suffert further disfigurement, but has yet to awaken from the coma. I pray for him nightly.

This positive perspective deflects thoughts from veering toward the morose, but it provides not for my vast family, who depend on my burly shoulders, burly torso and twice-burlied arms for their daily bread. “Wastrel!” they do shout, as they pelt me with stones and unemptied bedpans. “Do not come back until you retain gainful employ!”

Ah, but the search has been of great length but not of great fruit.

What solution remains? Beseech the priest for alms? This I cannot do. Pride is a sin, but it is the one sin I do not wish to conquer. What example would it set for my 14 young ones to see their father beg? Condemned they would be to a life of guttersnipery.

The old saw goes that idle hands become the plaything of Lucifer. Long I thought this to a lie spread by captains of industry for the purpose of getting workers to stay at their post that additional 22nd hour each day. But with these haymaking hands idle for such time, the truth has been revealt. A week ago, as I exited the local tavern, I espied a toff, gladly tromping about with vulgar displays of opulence. He wore a gilt monocle and strode with a cane, but I knew for a fact that this man had perfect vision and posture. Fripperies, these were. My face became rubicund with rage. It was then a low voice hissed, “See the toff? Of course you do. Beat him about the face until his ears bleed paper money.”

This I did. And it was not until his ears issut forth vast streams of blood, not money, that I knew. That was not the usual drunkard spurring me toward violence, but the urging of Lucifer himself. This startled me to say the least, and I was almost not able to take the toff’s money and expensive fripperies. But Lucifer bade me to grab those, too. The family was joyous when I came home with riches and fresh coddle. Had I only the heart to tell them how it was acquired.

It is a sad fate when haymaking hands are not allowed to be deployed for their intended purpose.