CHARLEYWORLD: ‘Occupy My House’ Getting Off To An Ambiguous Start

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BY CHARLES MEMMINGER – Inspired by the entire “Occupy Wall Street” movement I decided to get involved at a micro-level. There are people across the United States and around the world occupying various plazas and parks at a macro level and addressing the big issues, like “Uh, man, we should get rid of money and share everything.”  But nobody’s addressing the issues closer to home, my home in particular.

So I organized “Occupy Memminger Hale Rancho Estate” and showing up in my kitchen was a huge, relatively peaceful and sleepy mob made up of myself, two lovebirds and the cat, Mac. I don’t know what the birds and cat were protesting against but I quickly scrawled a sign that said, “Where’s My Coffee?”


My wife, the dirty capitalist, had awakened early and snuck off to her capitalistic job to make her capitalistic filthy lucre without having even started the coffee going. How selfish is that? The birds, cat and I make up 99 percent of the household but we are controlled by the 1 percent autocratic ruling class (i.e. my wife).

Like a heartless sweatshop owner she even had the nerve to leave her own dictatorial note on the dry marker board by the refrigerator: “Please empty out the dishwasher, sweetie! XOXO!”

Just because I’m semi-self-unemployed and work at home doesn’t mean she has the right to control the whole household and boss me around. I’ve got rights. Human rights. And one of those rights is to wake up to a steaming pot of fresh coffee. Just as my fellow Occupy protestors believe that government should pay their way through college, buy them a car and distribute wealth from the top one percent of the population to the slackers, er, I mean, less fortunate human beings at the bottom of the humanity pile … I believe I’m morally entitled to have some coffee made for me by the richest person in the household who flaunts her wealth by gratuitously paying bills and buying groceries.

I decided it was time to publicly address the grievances of the 99 percent using, what I’ve learned from watching all the Occupy protests, “the human microphone.”

“Mike check!” I said.

“Mike check!” I echoed.

“Mike check!” I said.

“Mike check!” I echoed.

“Listen up, oh oppressed masses of the household!” I said.

“Listen up, of oppressed masses of the household!” I echoed.

“ There’s no freakin’ coffee this morning!,” I said.

“ There’s no freakin’ coffee this morning!” I echoed.

The birds were preening themselves, ignoring my stirring address. The cat was wrestling a dust ball in the corner.

The human microphone doesn’t work so well with just one human, I discovered. Until last week, I didn’t even know what a human microphone was.

It’s an Occupy Wall Street deal, where someone on stage says something into a bullhorn and the crowd repeats him sentence by sentence. The idea is that the bullhorn isn’t loud enough to reach the whole crowd so the crowd repeats whatever the speaker says, piece by piece. It’s a strange and somewhat creepy thing to watch. It’s sort of an “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” school of public speaking. It’s also pretty tedious and annoying, especially, when, in my case, you are by yourself and you have to repeat everything you say.

I decided to let the world know via Twitter and Facebook that the Memminger Hale Rancho Estate had been occupied out of solidarity with the “Occupy Wall Street” movement and sat back and waited for the TV cameras to arrive. I was still waiting, sitting in front of the TV unshowered, unshaved and still in my underwear when “the man” returned home from her cushy, overpaid corporate job.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

“Protesting,” I said.

“Protesting what?”

“Whataya got?”

“So you’ve been sitting around in your underwear all day doing nothing?” she said.

“No,” I said. “I’ve been sitting around in my underwear all day protesting man’s inhumanity to man and the fact that super well-off of the household is keeping her boot on the neck of the unworking man. I’m part of the Occupy Movement and will be to the day I die or someone gives me a Porsche 911 Carrera. And I’ll tell you this … that right there would have sounded a lot more impressive if it was echoed word for word by a mob of fellow protestors.”

“You’ve lost your mind,” she said.

“You’ve lost your mind,” I echoed.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

“What are you doing?” I echoed.

“Are you doing that human bullhorn thing?” she said.

“Are you doing that human bullhorn thing?” I echoed.

“I stopped by McDonald’s and picked you up a cheeseburger and fries,” she said.

“You got me a cheeseburger and fries?” I said.

“I think the human bullhorn is broken,” she said.

“Where’s the cheeseburger?

“You get it after you take a shower and put away the dishes,” she said.

Now, I’m as devoted to the cause as the next Occupy Whatever person but I had been protesting all day. I was bushed, smelled stinky and I was hungry.  And no TV cameras had shown up. I had noticed watching CNN all day that a lot of those Occupy Wall Street people would sneak away from the parks and streets they occupied to have a beer at the local pub or slip into the nearest capitalist pig corporation Taco Bell restaurant. So I decided it was okay to take a break from protesting, clean up and have a cheeseburger.

“I’ll be protesting again tomorrow,” I warned the oppressor.

“What a surprise,” she said. “What a surprise.”