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Herbert’s New Profession

February 6th, 2018 · No Comments

We have here another excerpt from my upcoming collection, The Snowman Three Doors Down. In “Herbert’s New Profession,” our protagonist chooses a rather unlikely job to earn some extra money. Here’s how it begins…


My name is Herbert Shrike. I’m 75 years young now, as of my last birthday. I’ll be 76 soon. I retired several years ago, after working most of my life for Quonset Gas and Electric. I was in the accounting department. It wasn’t exciting, but it paid the bills.
And that’s getting to be a problem now. Believe me, it’s not easy living on a fixed income. Prices keep going up, even though they say inflation isn’t too bad these days, and it’s harder and harder to stretch that check to the end of the month. I never married or anything like that, so I don’t have kids to help me out when I’m short, like some people do.
Naturally, I started thinking about how I could supplement my income. I’m not too handy, particularly with the arthritis, and my memory isn’t what it used to be. Sometimes I can’t think of a word that I want, and that kind of thing. So I guess I need a job that doesn’t take too much skill or intelligence.
That knocks out a lot of possibilities. And you need to provide some kind of service. If someone’s paying you, they want something for their money. That’s just human nature, and is kind of basic to our economy. But after some thought, I came up with what might be a workable idea. Maybe I could become a prostitute.
There are pros and cons to the idea, of course. There are pros and cons to every idea. I’ll get the cons out of the way first, so I don’t have to dwell too long on the negative. I like to stay positive.
First of all, I’m a man. Most of the prostitutes I’ve heard about, from watching TV or movies, are ladies who sell their services to gentlemen, and I’m a gentleman who would be catering to ladies. But then, times have changed, and the relationships between the sexes are different now than when I was young. They’re changing all the time. Maybe it’s not as much of a problem as it seems.
Second, I might be considered too old for the job. I’m the first to admit it. Most prostitutes are much younger, and many people, both men and women, consider younger people more appealing. But there may be women who are looking for the experience and dignity of an older man. You never know until you try.
Third, I’m not conventionally attractive. Even when I was younger, ladies didn’t find me particularly handsome. I certainly didn’t look like the movie stars they always swooned over. I can’t think of their names right now, but I do know there wasn’t much resemblance. Objectively, I can’t say that I’ve improved with age. I’ve gotten thinner on top and thicker in the middle, which is what happens when you get older, and I think my nose has gotten even bigger. But I’m not deformed or anything, and I’m sure I’d be acceptable under the right circumstances.
Fourth, I’m not particularly experienced. I had sexual relations with a few women when I was younger, but not many, perhaps because I’m not conventionally attractive, as I mentioned above. Those relations were short-lived, and usually involved heavy drinking. And I’ve never actually visited a prostitute, so I have no experience as a customer in the business. I’ve seen a lot of movies and TV shows about them, though, so I do have some practical knowledge.
Those are the cons. Now for the pros.

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