The Popularity of Deadbeats

A lot of people are deadbeats. I don’t mean just in the legal sense like they don’t take care of their kids or pay what the government says they have to pay, I mean that in general, a lot of people are lazy bastards who not only put more effort into getting out of work than would be required to do the work in the first place, but who take advantage of others for whom this kind of lifestyle is unthinkable for reasons such as personal standards and brain chemistry.

I have a problem with deadbeats. For one, seriously, just get up off your ass and work. Even if you have a job that you go to every day, you still need to work while you’re there. I get that nobody wants to work, but the less you work, the more I have to work, and that’s not fucking fair. For two, I’m jealous. There are times when I wish I could turn off the impulses in my brain that drive me to work more and work harder, which, as far as I can tell, triggers the turning on of the impulses in my brain that say it’s okay to not care about money or health insurance or looking like a hobo squatting in a haunted house.

I also have a problem with the fact that not everyone has a problem with deadbeats. In fact, there was a time when being a deadbeat was not only encouraged in popular culture, it was a sort of fun lifestyle that endeared a person to their family and friends. This time was the ‘90s, and as evidence, I present the following sitcoms:

Step By Step – This show was about a blended family living in the suburbs of Detroit. Frank was a construction worker/contractor with three white trash little assholes, while Carol was a work-from-home hairdresser who spoiled her bratty kids with what seemed like a really sweet alimony check every month. They got married, moved in, and hilarity ensued. Until Frank’s nephew Cody showed up and started living in the driveway, that is. Yeah. The guy lived in the driveway. In his van. And no one in the neighborhood said a word. This leads me to believe that the Detroit suburbs were a hotbed of unreported sexual offender activity back then, and if not, then at least the guy who played Cody got arrested a bunch of times for beating on women.

Family Matters – Someone tell me how a working class family on the South Side of Chicago could afford to have three kids and a mother-in-law and an aunt and her kid under the same roof. Mother Winslow I can understand – she was old and feeble – but Aunt Rachel needed to get her ass out there and provide for herself and her kid, Richie, who may be one of the ugliest children to ever be cast in the “cute one” role on TV.

Blossom – Another widower show, because apparently producers in the early ‘90s hated women enough to kill them off instead of giving them an iota of sympathy as divorced caregivers. Blossom’s dad was a commercial composer or something, and for the most part, he raised Blossom (a genius) and Joey (an idiot) well. There was, however, an older son named Anthony, who was an alcoholic drug addict who, if memory serves, maybe lived outside for a time? I can’t remember. I know he lived in the house but not in an actual bedroom, and for some reason I am most comfortable thinking that he camped out in a treehouse.

Wings – While Joe was the responsible older brother with enough of his shit together to start his own airline at one point, younger brother Brian was a fuckwit who dropped out of Princeton and, when recruited by NASA, basically told them to go fuck themselves. Brian is incapable of holding a job and once ran off with Joe’s fiancee. And then showed up to work at Joe’ airport. And Joe let him. And I was a little bit attracted to Steven Webber on that show, so maybe I was partly to blame for this.

Perfect Strangers – Neither of these men were gay and it’s not like they lived in New York and so couldn’t afford the cost of housing. Balki needed to get his fucking green card and get to work.

Saved By the Bell – For that one episode where Zack semi-dated a homeless girl who lived with her dad at the mall. Also, Kelly’s big dumb Polack family had like 14 kids and you know they couldn’t afford that.

Full House – I saved this one for last because Full House is the granddaddy of all “it’s cute to be a deadbeat!” shows. Danny Tanner is a widower with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder who lives in one of the most expensive homes in one of the most expensive cities in the country. He somehow affords this lifestyle by hosting a local morning talk show, and even though he’s apparently balls deep in cash, he still makes his oldest daughters share a room. Stephanie, DJ, and Michelle aren’t the only ones living with Danny, though, as his former brother-in-law (I say former because his wife is dead and that’s the law) still shacks up there even though he has no real job outside of occasionally painting houses (I think) and performing in a rock band that never fucking plays anywhere or records until years later. At first, Uncle Jesse has his own room on the second floor full of acrylic furniture and porno magazines (these were never shown but you know I’m right). Later, he and Becky get married and instead of moving into their own house – which they could ostensibly afford because Becky hosts the same show as Danny, although perhaps this is an instance of Equal Pay disparity – they move into Danny’s attic. And then have two kids. Which means there’s a family of four living in an attic room with no kitchen or outside access. Basically, the third floor of the Tanner house is The Diary of Anne Frank without the Nazis.

But no discussion of Full House’s deadbeatery would be complete without discussing Uncle Joey, who besides being Canadian isn’t even related to the Tanners at all yet lives in the basement. Joey is jobless for some time before he gets a job hosting a kids’ show, which means he carries around a fucking beaver puppet all the time. Yeah yeah, Mr. Woodchuck, what the fuck ever, okay? He is a single man living in someone’s basement. That man gets no credit. Eventually Joey and Jesse write jingles together, which is perhaps the second hottest ’90s television job (after being an architect). Despite their success, neither moves out of the house.

I can’t even with these fucking people.

About erineph

I'm Erin. I have tattoos and more than one cat. I am an office drone, a music writer, and an erstwhile bartender. I am a cook in the bedroom and a whore in the kitchen. Things I enjoy include but are not limited to zombies, burritos, Cthulhu, Kurt Vonnegut, Keith Richards, accordions, perfumery, and wearing fat pants in the privacy of my own home.
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3 Responses to The Popularity of Deadbeats

  1. abbireads says:

    Thing 1 – Uncle Jesse was an exterminator by day, badass by night. Until the jingle gig came along. (We didn’t get SBTB at my house, but oh man, did we watch Full House reruns.)

    Thing 2 – “Basically, the third floor of the Tanner house is The Diary of Anne Frank without the Nazis.” This sentence seriously was the cherry on top of an awesome night.

    Thing 3 – So does that make Joey the Dr. Dussel of Full House?

    • erineph says:

      Re: Jesse being an exterminator. All I remember is the white coveralls and a hat that went on top of his hair but not actually over. I suppose my memory just assumed house painter. Have mercy.

  2. Robin says:

    ahahahah!!! I’m dying!

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