I try not to think about money (tf)

I try not to think about money. I’m largely unfamiliar with it, for one thing. My wallet is perpetually empty, and when my kids ask me for money I do to them what my Dad did to me. I hand them my wallet and say, “whatever’s in there you can have.” They don’t like this answer now any more than I did then. Still they’ll go through my wallet (as I did my Dad’s)….checking for double secret locations….just in case. Empty. No cash. Just pictures of them, which I prefer but they can do without…especially the baby pics.

Like most people these days, I pay my bills and there ain’t much left. Some weeks the math doesn’t work out very well at all, and I’m left with a deficit. The more of a deficit I run, the more credit card offers I get in the mail. Thus, economics, 21st century style. I like to think I’m doing my bit to help my country.

I don’t require much really. A guitar, a pen and pad….a warm bed. I spend much of my non-working time reading, which is free. The greatest thing man has even come up with to further civilization is the library (and the 1 cent used book from amazon.com). While it’s true that everything I love to do I do to gargantuan excess, I largely keep my obsessions cheap. I’m too old and too lazy for vices that require serious cash flow.

In truth, I’m very fortunate. I have everything I need. I have food and clothes and shelter. I’ve got a house. The bank owns it but still….they let me live here as long as I behave. It’s quite sufficient.

Money makes people do things they wouldn’t normally do. It can turn perfectly normal people into buffoons, and turn a perfectly normal buffoon into a person who can influence others. When a sex-obsessed idiot stands on a street corner and rants about the evil of condoms and the pill, it’s not national news. When a sex-obsessed idiot who has millions of dollars does the same thing, it’s the headline on CNN….and actually drives the national discourse until a celebrity millionaire dies from excessive consumption and turns everyone’s attention to something else.

What would we talk about if not for rich people? The only way a poor schlub can make headlines these days is by pissing off the folks who own everything.

People who have money are more likely to leave crappy tips and cut you off in traffic. Money seems to bring with it a sense of entitlement…..even if the bundle was “earned” it by being born to the right set of donors. Rich people talk funny and have that stiff look….like they just got out of a dryer. Being around them always makes me nervous. They bunch up together like coats on the bed….and are always whispering and looking at what everybody else is wearing.

Of course there are nice rich people. We all know some of these. Nice rich people make the best neighbors. They put up big fences and have pools and are so concerned with being perceived as snotty because of their money that they’re always extremely down to earth and accommodating. They let your kids run through their yard and stuff.

I think the other sort of rich people are largely unpleasant because they’re constantly afraid somebody or something is going to take their money away.

The rest of us don’t have to worry about such things. You can pick my pocket all you want. All you’ll get is lint.

Sometimes I wonder what I would do if I suddenly become rich. I’d like to think I’d become an instant humanitarian. But maybe the wealth would turn me into selfish ogre and I’d start stocking up on cars and houses and oddly shaped swimming pools. Maybe I’d get bored with simple things like books and pens and paper and and warm beds and take to gloriously excessive excess.

It would be interesting to find out, but I’m not holding my breath. It all sounds rather unpleasant and a bit desperate. I mean….even if you can afford to see any doctor in the world….you still have to bend over and cough eventually.

I never worried too much about money. And I’ve never had any. The two things seem related somehow.

The last thing I want is something brand new to worry about.

I’ve a library to pick over.

–Tom Flannery


~ by admin on February 29, 2012.

One Response to “I try not to think about money (tf)”

  1. bend over 10

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