Kabuthunk's Grand Adventure

-Note: Never actually happened. It was a bad time in my life-

I've been getting a lot of resistance from people when I even slightly mention not returning to plumbing. And it makes sense from their perspective. Here I am, without debt or savings, and not immediately *jumping* at every single temp job I can possibly find. They spent every daylight hour of their adult life giving hour after endless hour to company after company, all to achieve everything that they've now achieved.

Well first off, let's get out of the way that, for all intents and purposes, all of my friends are better-off than me. They have connections, or got well-paying jobs, and managed to talk to the right people, and say the right things, and are now sitting in big, fancy houses, with multiple cars, and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of house and vehicle debt. But that's besides the point for the time being. I don't care about their big houses, in all honesty I would be perfectly fine staying in a small apartment for the rest of my life. I neither need nor want large, spacious rooms to fill with expensive furniture and surface-coverings. I'm a minimalist. Y'know those pictures where they show an almost entirely empty room with a small table in the middle? Yeah, that's more my style. I have my few small collections of knick-knacks and thingies, and the various stuff I've built over the years, and that's really about it. A handful of tools, a handful of clothing, and a handful of creaky furniture that's hovering around the decade-old mark.

Well, most of that is unneeded, really. If I hang out with others, 99.9% of the time it's not here. Why do I need a pile of chairs, and plates, and glasses, and tables, and shelving? I walk around this place, and all I see is dust covering the things that I rarely touch.

So, I don't need much, fine, fine, good. Why am I not becoming a plumber? I was so gung-ho for it, and I was damned good at it... so why am I throwing this away?

Here's where I attempt to give *my* perspective. If you've already written me off as a lunatic who's running off to die, please at least humour me and follow along with an open mind, rather than a dismissive one.

Why did I become a plumber in the first place? The answer to this is simple. I chose that career because it gives me the greatest opportunity to help the most people I can, in the best possible way I could come up with. The delivery of clean water and the removal of waste is one of the most vital things required for human life. To become a plumber would be to dedicate my life to helping others, not myself. I've ALWAYS been that way... I would FAR rather help other people before I help myself. I've done that my entire life to this point. As long as I can get by with what I have, and if there's a way that I can help someone out, or do some random acts of kindness to just cheer others up, that's what I'm going to do. That is what I want to do in my "idle" time... help others. Thus, plumbing... more specifically residential plumbing, where I am *directly* helping people with their water problems... is what I would be willing to do with my life in order to survive, until I die. I don't want to order people around for a living, I don't want to draw up plans for vast, complicated water systems, I want to make sure people have access to the basics required for human life.

Now let's take a look at my first foray into plumbing. Let me begin by observing it from a monetary point of view... MY point of view. If you have your own personal views on the plumbing industry, or construction, that's fine... but let's look at it through my eyes. So, let's see how well Kabuthunk did when she jumped into plumbing, did a damned good job, worked hard, and got laid off. Ignore that part for now, let's look at the working part, where full hours were common. Y'see, that's the best part about having crawled out of debt. Once all of your worldly expenses is broken down to exactly two numbers, it's VERY easy to see where your money goes.

And y'know what I saw when I was plumbing for months? Those numbers going down. With wages as they are, and gas prices as they are, and car insurance as it is, and living expenses as it is, and all that is required to begin a career in plumbing is simply a money-loss process as of present. To begin plumbing, in a manner in which I wish to become a plumber (residential plumber), in the present economy, I have to be willing to slide into debt for several years, until such time I find a place or get enough experience that I begin to receive a wage that will begin to achieve savings. Either that, or move into a miserable hovel of a room for unthinkably low rent for several years, and more-or-less remain even until I achieve savings. I have to be willing to put myself into poverty for years in order to begin my career as a plumber. And any other job, likely to pay minimum-wage? Well, whether you believe it or not, that would achieve essentially the same outcome. Living in a tiny hole in the wall, or slide into poverty until such time I can locate a plumbing job that appreciates me, and that I enjoy enough to spend the rest of my life doing. At that point, I either plumb until I die, or until my efforts are appreciated enough that I can retire.

And if anyone even THINKS of suggesting that I strive to get promotions, and into leadership positions to get more money, so help me gods I will SLAP you as hard as these chainmailling, plumbers hands can, and smile while doing it. The absolute LAST thing I want to do with my life is strive for wealth in a position where my job is primarily ordering people around. I'm not willing to dedicate my life to becoming what I hate the most, sorry.

Oh, and if anyone says that I deserve to live in poverty because of this, I won't slap you. However, I will think mildly less of you as a person.

Now let's look at some generalities. Whether you agree with these or not is irrelevant, but continue following along with me here. The economy is shit, I've been laid-off from every job I've ever had, and both my parents died from brain cancer. The current age of retirement is 67, up recently from 65. Given all of these points, let's take a look at the possible outcomes for the future:

1. The economy stays approximately the same, with global starvation levels remaining approximately level, and dramatic, unprecedented changes do not occur. In this situation, I continue getting laid off from place to place, staying at or near poverty, and work until I die.
2. The economy begins to slowly improve, even if only where I happen to live at the time, and/or I luck into a job where my hard work and skill is appreciated. The company itself performs well enough that I become good, well-known, well-paid, and all that good stuff. I work until I retire.
3. The global monetary system completely shits itself, and the dollar becomes worthless. Gold and/or Bitcoin skyrocket in price. I win.
4. Something entirely different from any of the above, that I have no way of predicting.

So, breaking it down as such, we're left with, for all intents and purposes (given I can't *actually* predict the future), I will either work until I die, or until I no longer have to work and retire.

So why in the hell would I be in a rush to do either of those? To me, rushing to begin EITHER of those paths seems like sheer lunacy. No, I will go become a plumber when I'm ready to die, not before.

Now let's take a look at expenses. Where's all that money go?

It's not like I was throwing my money away on stupid shit... for the past year, I've been minimizing my life more and more. Buying less, eating out less, getting fewer and fewer luxuries. For months now, I have been teaching myself to live on fewer and fewer things. But being smart about it. Eating out? Pfft, pointless expense. Fancy cheeses? That shit's like $8, fuck that. Go out for coffee? That's like... $1.50, so I do that about once a month now. Potatoes, rice, low-priced vegetables, and sometimes a meat of some sort. Alcohol? Pfft, THAT shit's crazy expensive. No, that's... that's very high up on the 'luxury' list. Intoxicants in general are expensive, that must be minimized as much as possible. My average day is a cup of coffee in the morning, and a glass of my sludge... juiced vegetables and fruits, blended with peanut butter, banana, and anything else blendable. Pure, healthy energy paste. Dinner is often potatoes or rice. I normally don't bother with having more than one dish, that just creates dishes to wash, and uses more food. Casseroles can easily be made with a can of cream of mushroom soup, rice, and whatever else. Kopytka is very cheap and filling. If you cut out the luxuries, feeding yourself can be very inexpensive. In all reality, the vast, VAST majority of your money goes to where you lay your head down at night, and how you get from point A to point B. After all, despite eating like a peasant, I was STILL losing money.

A tent is shelter, and a bike is transportation. Both, once initially obtained, are free. Which brings me to the culmination of all of this.

Kabuthunk's Grand Adventure

I have camping supplies, a lack of debt, and a meagre savings. I have survival skills, and a desire to create art. And finally, a means to do so.

The adventure will be as simple as it is grand, if at this point my life proceeds as planned. I plan to bike across Canada, and climb a mountain. I have no clue which one yet, I will have months to decide. Maybe years. But my goal at this point is more or less that. Minimize my life down to a trailer that can be pulled behind my bike, travel across Canada, and climb a mountain in BC. I suppose I could do the Appalachians... they totally get shafted in the PR department. The Rockies get all the glory, and the poor Appalachians are all but forgotten. But I digress... presently, I plan to travel West. Likely following (at least to begin) the Trans Canada Trail.

SO, there is much to do. Think I'm batshit insane? Oh, don't worry, I've got camping equipment. Survival skills? I grew up on a gravel road, off other gravel roads. For YEARS, we grew and ate entirely our own crops. I lived there into my 20's! I've lived without plumbing! Kill an animal for food? Shit, pheasants and fish exist, as do slingshots, ball bearings, and fishing tackle. As does the wonderful technological and nutritional marvels of modern society.

Oh right, THAT whole part. Yeah, we still live in modern society, remember? I've got a GPS, compass, spare batteries, spare EVERYTHING, and a tightly-knit family of siblings that has offered me a safety net if all else fails. Hell, for the past decade or two, I've been meticulously building this camping kit which, including tent and basically several weeks of survival food, is less than 40 pounds! For my entire adult life, I have been designing the perfect survival kit.

Seems a shame to let it go to waste, using it only camping a few weekends a year.

SO, given everything that I have, what do I need?

Aside from the continued acquisition of knowledge... a trailer. THE trailer. The most ultimate trailer, custom-built and designed by myself, to act as the perfect survival trailer, explicitly designed for my supplies, and my art. That a few hundred bucks worth of supplies can build.

Aluminum tubing is light, cheap, and strong. In the process of minimizing my life, I will be ridding myself of most of the material goods that I currently possess. There's not many, but lots of the shelving and such can be re-purposed into building this trailer. I'll be selling off my DVD collection, and a handful of other things to acquire money, and eliminate the need to store things as best I can. A box or two will go to friends or siblings, but the rest I plan to sell. Most of my crafts will be travelling with me. After all, I'm the owner and proprietor of Thingies and Stuff after all (thus Kabuthunk's, rather than Kabutroid's... Kabuthunk is was artist name at the time of typing this. Now I just go by Kabutroid all around). On the Trans Canada Trail, in summer (yeah, I'll be starting my leave in summer, if all goes well)? Oh, I'm sure I'll run into some people that might buy the wares of a travelling artist. During the course of this adventure, I will become one with nature, and create art from it. I will finally be what I've always wanted. Free.

Oh, and of course, document my travels here on Zebeth. In what manner I can, with free wifi in nearly every town, and with a laptop and smartphone travelling with me. As will a cat, by the way. I've always been a cat person. Just need to find a nice, scrappy outdoor cat, that can hunt for mice, and will share an adventure with me. I'll have cat food of course... I see myself as equals with the cat. If I eat, the cat eats. If I don't, the cat eats. Will the cat run off? Who knows, maybe, I can accept that. I wouldn't expect 'em to though... companionship, comfort, food, and shelter? Oh yes, the trailer will have to be designed as an emergency bivouac tent, so we can dive into it if a sudden thunderstorm comes up. Much of the time though, I expect to be travelling slow enough that I'm either walking, or going at a slow enough pace. Where am I rushing off to go? Maybe I reach the mountains in 2016, maybe not. If I need to winter somewhere, I will do what is needed. If I need to wash dishes for a while somewhere, that's fine. I've dealt with problems as they come up my entire life, I'll just do it again.

I think I'm about ready for a grand adventure.

My fellow Zebethians, I have been doing a lot of thinking lately, and for all intents and purposes, I've decided what I want to do with my life.
Create art. Not work for some company that doesn't appreciate me, not slave away at temp job after temp job trying to make ense meet, not even becoming a plumber or journeyman.
The main problem that arose is how to achieve this. Work hard from job to job, until I manage to luck into a stable one, keep saving up and living off of nearly nothing, in hopes that I can one day retire and create my art after that?
That's nonsensical! I will either work until I die, or until I retire. Why in the hell would I be in a rush to do either of those things before I've even LIVED?
Thus begins 'Kabuthunk's Grand Adventure'.

Most sprites are property of Nintendo, who are awesome and and amazing and stuff, and also this is a parody and also it's free and stuff.
Comics, ideas, Kabutroid, and other custom content owned by KatieLynne Jackson. I'm pretty easygoing, and really don't mind all that much if you make content based on my content and stuff. Just don't go impersonating me and we're cool.