As Occupy Wall Street Enters Second Month, Parents Rejoice
By Rachel Kurzynski-Guzman
(AP) – Joanne Kessler happily glides through the suburban home that she and her husband Edward share in Rockland County, New York. “Ed and I haven’t had this much alone time in over a decade,” she says, referring to the conspicuous absence of their unemployed thirty-one-year-old son Nick, who, over a month ago, left the bedroom he had inhabited since childhood to camp out at the Occupy Wall Street protest in Zuccotti Park. “It’s so very nice,” Mrs. Kessler confides. “I can get up in the morning and have my tea without hearing him blasting his music or watching TV after having stayed up all night playing video games. I can’t remember the last time there was quiet in the house. It’s bliss.”
“And the money, too,” injects Mr. Kessler. “Now we only have to buy groceries for ourselves. It’s saving us a bundle.”
The Kesslers are part of a growing phenomenon – parents whose adult children have finally left the family home to join the anti-Wall Street protests.
Barbara and Andy Rascone, whose son Ryan changed his name to Che Marxismus and ran off to join the Occupy Portland protest last month, told the AP that their unemployed thirty-four-year-old son’s absence brings them the financial security they thought they’d never achieve. “When we renovated our house in 2002, we built a wonderful guest house, with the idea that if we ever hit hard times, we could rent it out for supplemental income,” said Mr. Rascone. “But then our son came back from Portland State University with a degree in Transgendered Portuguese Poetry, and he just kind of moved in. And he never left. After the recession hit, we tried to get him to move out, or at least pay some rent. But he kept telling us that he was over-educated for the job market.”
Added Mrs. Rascone, “When he told us what degree he’d be pursuing, we thought at least he’d learn Portuguese, which might help him get a job at a company like Berlitz, or in the foreign service. But it turned out that the only three transgendered Portuguese poets in the world write solely in English.”
“He’d go on and on about how terrible it is that people can’t keep their homes in today’s economy,” Mr. Rascone recalls. “I kept telling him, if only you’d get a job and pay us rent, we might be able to keep OURS. But he’d say we weren’t being cool, and what could we possibly say in response to that?”
Around the country, as the Occupy protests have spread (they’re now in 232,000 U.S. cities according to MSNBC, although the Huffington Post puts the number closer to 850,000 cities), they have inadvertently spawned a waiting game among parents whose adult children have finally left the nest. Each state has different laws governing how long a tenant – paying or not – must vacate a residence before the owners can legally rent it to someone else. Parents across the country are nervously watching the clock.
“If the protest camps can be allowed to stay for just one more month, we’re golden,” says Atlanta resident Bradley Sheldon. His twenty-eight-year-old daughter Brittany, who now calls herself Tanya Lilith, has been out of the house since the Occupy Atlanta camp was created. “In another month, we can legally rent our basement to someone else. We already have over thirty potential boarders who want to move in. So, needless to say, we’re big supporters of the protest…may it continue for years.”
In Los Angeles, Dan and Sarah Schuster told us that their thirty-year-old son Jake’s full-time encampment at the Occupy L.A. protest has allowed them to finally clean his room. “He always talked about wanting to help the environment,” said Mrs. Schuster. “But when we brought in a professional cleaning crew to clear out ten years’ worth of filth from our son’s room, they found mold and toxin levels that required a Hazmat crew. Thank God we found out now. The crew told us that in another year, the filth was likely to spawn flesh-eating bacteria.”
Of course, not all friends and family of the Occupy protesters are pleased with the activists’ long-term absence from their parents’ homes. The lack of quality WiFi connections at various protest sites has gravely impacted the World of Warcraft community. One World of Warcraft user, who identified himself as Mordrid the Brigand, told the AP that the inability of many of his WoW comrades to find high-speed Internet connections was severely affecting his ability to successfully complete quests.
“Yesterday, my Guild and I were scheduled to rescue the High Exalted Princess of Gimletonia from her captivity at the hands of Evil King Zordvu of the Black Kingdom of Nekrocoptasius. Yet how could I accomplish such an imperative task without the assistance of my Guild brethren Ositrio the Troll-Dragon and Nebulo the DemiDwarf? The fact is, I couldn’t. The Princess is still a captive. And the blame lies not with my brave fellow-warriors, but with capitalist-controlled cities that care not whether the Occupy protesters can complete vital quests.”
This is the reality of the consequences of the Occupy Wall Street movement. While selfish parents seek to exploit the absence of their activist adult children, innocent members of the World of Warcraft community are left unable to complete essential quests. The fact that so many Occupy protesters are willing to forgo their WoW missions until their simple demands are met and a benevolently dictatorial socialist utopia is established in the U.S., is a testament not only to their strength, but to their character.
Postscript: As part of the AP’s commitment to assist the Occupy Wall Street protesters in any way possible, we tracked down the protesters known as Ositrio the Troll-Dragon and Nebulo the DemiDwarf, and gave them full access to our newsvan’s high-speed Internet so that they could complete their WoW quest. We can happily report that the High Exalted Princess of Gimletonia was successfully rescued from Evil King Zordvu of the Black Kingdom of Nekrocoptasius. During the battle, which raged for hours, Ositrio suffered minor armor damage, and Nebulo lost twenty-five strength points, and had to use twelve rejuvenation chalices. Both warriors are expected to recover fully.