I’m still reading Lolita, for book club, but I needed some light relief. Lolita is of course the classic novel of a loathsome and self-loathing pederast. An important book, a well-written book, but not an enjoyable summer read. Our alternative was a roman a clef about a family of incestuous hermaphrodites, so I am not complaining. But a nice little romance novel to read on our newly-painted porch before it gets too sweltering — just the thing.

Here is Brooklyn — or at least its ribbing. I have two more rows to go before beginning the body. I love the feel of this yarn. It is perfect Zombie Knitting — I can take it with me to the porch and work on it while I read the implausible adventures of a couple of consenting adults. Well, I am assume they will be consenting by the end of the book. At least they are both adults.

And the truth is that I have to go to work today, and must do the grocery shopping before that, so I will have little time on the porch today. Since it is supposed to hit 103 degrees today, it would be too hot anyway. Never mind, there will be other, cooler days.

A customer was in yesterday complaining about being bullied into working full time when she doesn’t want to. And the manager of the gas station near us is working 100 hours a week, because he can’t find workers to cover the shifts. #2 daughter’s employer is feeling a little desperate about her going back to school, because it is so hard to find workers.

This is because we have 2% unemployment, which is actually more than the official definition of full employment. A government official explained to me once that the government assumes that 3% of adults will choose not to work. They have small children, or are in school, or choose to be full-time homemakers, or are in ill health — for whatever reason, that many adults normally do not want a full-time job.

We have 2% unemployment in our region.That means that 1% of our people are working even though they do not want to. Someone has called them up and begged them to come work, and they have given in, against their wishes.

Now, we also have a median household income of $31,000 in the town where I live. Our region’s income figures are skewed a little by the fact that four of the ten richest Americans live here, but overall, the available jobs are not high-paying ones. It isn’t expensive to live here, and we don’t have a great deal of visible poverty. I just don’t want to give a false impression of universal prosperity. Still, anyone who wants work can have a job of some kind. Lazy people, drug addicts, folks who live in neighboring states, very old people — we have them all working here.

The result of this, from the employer’s point of view, is that we have to poach. We have essentially no unemployed people to choose from, so we have to find good workers who already have jobs, and steal them away from their current employers.

Thank goodness the Poster Queen is willing to work for the store as well as at her full-time teaching job.

Now I must set aside fantasies of porchy activities. I shall winkle #2 daughter out of bed and make her come to the farmers market with me before we both go to work. The peaches and melons are calling our names.