Joe Bob Briggs

Drive-In Movie Critic of Grapevine, TX

I have a question.
Whatever happened to the 40-hour work week?
Didn't we fight for, like, a hundred years to force all the greedy capitalists to give us a 40-hour work week so we could have all this hammock time we needed?

I don't know anybody who works 40 hours. I know guys who work zero hours and I know guys who work 80 hours. I don't know anybody in between.

And the guys who work 80 hours are proud of it. They're not complaining. They're ready to sign up for 80 more.

If you say to 'em, "You know, Roger, maybe you could do with a little more slack time," they'll get mad at you. "Don't you see I'm under stress? I'm under pressure? I've got to work these hours."

Of course, one thing that's causing Roger stress is that Little Roger Junior is calling him up at the office at 9 o'clock at night and saying, "Daddy, are you coming home?" Puttin' more pressure on the guy to work harder.

Then we've got the old overtime issue. For some reason, back in the '80s, every company in America just flat-out decided they wouldn't pay any overtime. They just stopped.

Of course, they didn't say they stopped. You just got the message every time you went into Mr. Cardwell's office and said, "Uh, Mr. Cardwell, sir, I, uh, worked 12 extra hours this week."

And Mr. Cardwell would do one of two things. He would say, "Why don't you take some comp time?" Or he would say: "We don't like overtime here. Can't you get your work done during regular hours?" Which is illegal.

Or he just wouldn't say anything. He'd just glare at you. You weren't getting the message.

Overtime is old-fashioned. Overtime is passe. Overtime doesn't exist anymore.

But that's only half the problem. The main part of it is that these guys want to work 365 days a year. They want to go into the office on Sunday afternoon. They love taking business calls from Japan at 3 a.m.

So my question is this.
How come, a hunnerd years ago, every man in America believed that a 40-hour work week would be a great thing for our health? It would make us better people. It would free us up to hang out with the kiddos and write plays in our spare time.

And today, almost everybody believes the 80-hour week is good for you.
Do you get this? 'Cause I don't get it.
And speaking of things I don't understand, how did Denis Adam Zervos turn up in this column twice in three weeks? I just reviewed this writer/producer/director/editor/ singer's weirdbeard flick Romeo: Love Master of the Wild Women's Dorm, where he plays the biggest hunk in the history of UCLA.

And now we have Space Freaks From the Planet Mutoid, in which Denis saves the world from nuclear destruction by singing eight soft-rock songs about peace and love--songs so powerful they destroy a 10-foot purple-faced space-alien creature who goes around New York City encouraging people to mug one another.

Denis! Take a vacation! Please! I've heard of working cheap and fast, but this is ridiculous.

Denis plays a hunky ex-boxer and rock singer who, once again, is so handsome that all the women working in topless bars fight for his attention.

One night, while delivering a piece of jewelry for a local mobster, he's kicked into the street and accosted by a frizzy-haired girl in a punk wedding dress who says she's from another planet and has been searching for Denis for 212 years. She has a gift for him, and it involves going to his apartment and making the sign of the triple-finned lint-gobbler.

Pretty soon Denis gets a record deal, a New England tour and a new song called "People Need To Rock" that causes everyone in New York to stop fighting and start dancing.

Can this power be used to avert a nuclear showdown with Russia?
Denis Denis Denis. We don't have nuclear showdowns anymore. But I'm sure that, if we did, this would certainly be one way to deal with it. Bad rock 'n' roll will always make people drop their weapons.

Amazing. Truly amazing.
Five dead bodies. No breasts. Aardvarking. Multiple cheesy monster attacks. Gratuitous propeller bra.

Drive-In Academy Award nominations for...
*Tamela Glenn, as the outer-space sex goddess on a mission, for saying, "In this room I feel the echo of a thousand dreams."

*Harry Sando, as the sleazy gangster who tells his goons to "Make it painful, and get me a souvenir."

*And Denis Adam Zervos, the one-man army who fights off muggers by singing to them, for writing and performing a song called "Don't Wanna Be Radioactive," for saying "Love feels like a hard right cross to your stomach when you're not expecting it" and, in his big emotional moment, for teaching his outer-space date to dance while singing "I'm gonna sing to you, 'cause my heart is true."

Two stars.
Joe Bob says check it out.

Dear Joe Bob:
I'm writing to bring up the man-woman thing. Due to recent personal growth, I've given up the monogamy mode of being. I'd like to share the news of this fabulous way of life with as many decent people as possible.

This is a risky thing to say, because I don't know how many of your male subscribers fit into that category. (No offense, but I would not care to meet at least two of the males whose words appear in a recent "Joe Bob's Advice to the Hopeless.")

Are there any thinking male readers out there who can even imagine the value of nonmonogamy, aside from sex?

Keep in mind that I am not asking for partners here. I'm curious about how many guys' minds work like mine.

Sincerely,
Jean Hohl, Berkeley, Calif.

Dear Jean:
OK, the results are in, and here's the answer to your question:
Percentage of Joe Bob readers who are "nonmonogamous"--5. Percentage of Joe Bob readers who never have sex at all--85. Percentage of Joe Bob readers who claim to be "nonmonogamous" --100. Pretty pathetic, isn't it?

(To discuss the meaning of life with Joe Bob, or to get his world-famous newsletter, write Joe Bob Briggs, P.O. Box 2002, Dallas, TX 75221. Joe Bob's fax number at his trailer house is always open: 214-985-7448. Joe Bob even hangs out on the Internet: 76702. 1435compuserve.com)

Copyright 1995 Joe Bob Briggs (Distributed by NYT Special Features/Syndication Sales)

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