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JWR 2.25 - Cha-Ching

 

I think I can pretty much guarantee that if I was rich, I would be an insufferable prick.  If I won the lottery or came up with some great ďinventionĒ or stole a bunch of diamonds, I would not be a good person to be around.

 

Iíd start seeing things in terms of dollars and cents.  Well, due to our economy, which is looking more like Canadaís nowadays, it would be more in terms of dollars and more dollars.

 

You know, youíre at a bar talking to some girl.  Most of us regular type guys have to try, you know?  If  was rich, it would be all, ďLook, how much is it gonna take to get you to come with me?  Twenty, thirty thousand?Ē  Whatís a kiss worth?  Whatís a lay worth?  Think about it.  Whores charge relatively little.  Especially the nasty ones.  I saw a documentary about various sexual habits in America in a class once.  In Nevada, where prostitution is legal, a grand is more or less average for a bordello.  But think about this, when you pay for ass, you have no idea what youíre getting.  You could be getting something that could last a lifetime, like herpes.  Nobody wants herpes.  Nobody.  Shit, you donít even wish it on your worst friend.  You know why?  Because, heíll probably have sex with someone youíll eventually have sex with and, boom, now you have herpes, too.  Itís called karma.  Karma, dude, karma.  $$  Oh, right.

 

I was at Derangoís with my mom a few years ago waiting for a pizza and this huge guy came in and went up to the counter.  He was wearing ratty t-shirt and jean shorts and tiny sandals.  His hair was too long and he was a few days unshaven.  He picked up his pizza, paid, said a few words to the guy at the counter and took off.  A minute later, the guy behind the counter said to my mom and me that that guy had won the lottery a few years ago.  Fourteen million dollars.  Not only that, but heís been divorced twice since then.  Think about that.  Winning 14 million is really only like winning 8.5 mil.  Uncle Sam, the stingiest relative you have--next to Scott.  So, dude has 8.5, but he gets divorced.  Gotta give up half.  Now heís down to 4.25 million assuming that he didnít spend all that money on an M.C. Hammer-like home.  So, he then gets married again and then gets divorced again.  Now heís down to a measly 2.125 million.  From fourteen million to two million.  No wonder he was so large.  He squandered a fortune without buying anything.

 

But you know what?  Two million is a lot of money.  I mean, you hear that the top actors are getting paid twenty million per picture.  Twenty million!   And youíre depressed over two million.  If I had one million dollars right now, I could live off of that amount alone for the rest of my life.  True, I couldnít be all lavish and extravagant, but it can be done and I could live a comfortable life.

 

Now, I never said that I didnít WANT to be rich, all I said was that I was pretty sure Iíd be an asshole.  But youíd really want to be my friend then.  If I hit the jackpot, Iíd like to say that Iíd give my friends a nice chunk of that change.  But where do you draw the line?  You have to give your parents a lot of money for raising your selfish ass.  Siblings?  Theyíre entitled even if they did beat your ass from the time you were two up until you won the lottery.  Aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, grandparents.   Then you have your friends.  I have a core of about five friends who I would feel obligated to give money to if I had it, and not because weíre such good friends, but because, how in the hell are you ever going to go out with them again and let any one of them ever EVER pick up a round of drinks again knowing that they make whatever they make and you have a spare million?  Iíd like to believe that they would do the same for me, but luckily itís a non-issue.

 

See, you get new money, you gotta make new friends.  You cannot hang with the same people if suddenly youíre driving a Lexus and wearing Armni and you own a yacht.  You have a Rolex and he has a Romex.  You have Versacci and he has Abercrombie (just not my friends).  You have a Mercedes and he has a Malibu.  You know who your new friends are  gonna be?  Old white guys with wives maybe three years older than you.  Thatís right, you will join a country club.  Why?  Where else you gonna go?  The only minorities you will see will park your car or hand you a towel or bring you lunch.  Meanwhile, your friends are sitting at the Boiler Room cursing you and arguing over whose turn it is to buy the next pitcher.

 

This is why you should have relatively no idea how much somebody has.  I donít know how much my roommate has.  I donít know how much S.P. has.  Nobody knows how much Scott has, but you can bet itís a lot because heís such a stingy S.O.B.  (Hey, bitch, Iím the only one helping you move, so chill.)  Not knowing makes social situation less awkward when it comes to money.  I think itís way easier to pretend youíre close to broke that it is to pretend youíre rich, unless you grew up with lots of money and youíve had it all your life.

 

So, I donít think a rich me is a good idea.  Iím not broke.  No, I have some money.  I have the kind of money where I can buy Dr. Pepper instead of Mr. Pibb.  I pay my bills, pay my credit cards and can buy a DVD, go see a movie or a concert.  But I think I make the kind of money where I am considered poor by the powers that be.

 

I just started my 401(k) plan at work.  Iím extremely excited about this new venture, can you feel these words leaping off the screen onto your retina?  The more I think about it, the more I think itís a dumb idea.  I feel like Iím about to be turned around and anally raped by the bank and stock market.   So, basically, I put an amount from each check into this ďplanĒ before taxes.  (Thatís the big selling point--no taxes.  You take it out at the age of 55 or later and the government canít touch it for taxes at all.  It makes you think youíre screwing Unkey Sam, meanwhile, he still nabs nearly half the rest of your money through all his taxes from the time you are paid to the time you spend it.)  I choose between five different funds from high risk to low risk in some sort of funny game to see how much I can make on the interest.  Itís just like gambling.  Itís exactly like gambling.  It is gambling.  Here, let my money ride in the index fund.  George W. Bush comes into office.  Ooh, crapped out.

 

They had a guy from our bank come in.  Our retirement plan manager.  Very big deal.  So, he went into his spiel about how now that the market prices are down, itís like buying stocks on sale.  He said he had friends who worked on the market who would say after a day when the market dropped that stocks were on sale.  So, Iím like, yeah, yeah.  I understand it.  I buy stock in Gillette at fourteen bucks a share and when the stock rises to twenty-eight bucks a share, I have made 100% profit.  I sell at that point and I have doubled my initial investment.  (Then along comes Uncle Sam...)  But the 401(k) is a bit different than buying stock in the WWF.  401(k) is like a bank account--except you canít lose money in a bank account).  The only thing you have control over is which particular fund(s) you choose to place your money in.  If I put my money in the index fund and the rates go from a positive percentage to a negative percentage, that means Iím losing money.  Stocks arenít on sale, Iím losing money.  Stocks may be on sale for Michael Douglas in Wall Street, but theyíre not for me.  And you canít get your money out.  You can only move it around.  Move it to the stable fund and make two percent or whatever, but at least youíre not losing it.  They tell you to ride out the lows because, in the long run, the high risk will pay off.

 

Iím trying to explain it more to me than any of you, because, well, screw you.  This is a thing I donít know about.  I feel like Iím back in middle school and thereís this girl that I like.  I can pass Scott Schwartz a folded piece of notebook paper with black ink that says, SHOULD I PUT ALL MY MONEY IN THE INDEX FUND?  CHECK BOX: YES or NO.  After a time he passes it back to me folded more creatively than when he received it.  You have to be careful unwrapping it or it will rip.  Inside is a new box checked off and written in blue ink that says MAYBE.  The paper smells faintly of Cool Water and he wonít even look at me.

 

I donít want to become all money obsessed.  My brother, just before he found God (Like He was missing or some shit), was forever yapping about his investments.  Ooh, Janus.  IRA.  401(k) plan.  Blah blah blah.  Now itís changed to yapping about God.  Like pussy-ass Creed says, ďOnly in America we stamp on God ĎIn God We Trust.íĒ  Each is about as interesting as the other to me.  I guess he traded up, morally.

 

Have you seen that MSN commercial where the young Asian couple goes to the girlís house to introduce her boyfriend to her parents?  The father is very disapproving until the young man goes to the computer and pulls up his portfolio.  Then you can see how happy he is for his daughter.  Yeah, thatís probably gonna be me.  I have a bank meeting scheduled with a financial advisor at my bank next week so I can feel all important.  Iím going to also look into getting a home loan.  Itís gonna be such a tired, worthless bunch of crap.  You know, I donít really want to be like that.  You can tell Iím not mature enough.  All I want is a little ball sucking, you know?

 

I want my wall of empty cheeseball containers and I wanna watch wrestling and I wanna take Highway 20 into Iowa.  I wanna quit my job and live off of saved money.  I wanna hang around outside the front of high schools.  With Jeff.

 

Then again, having my own place would be kind of cool.  But Nate said in very simple terms why renting is cool, too.  He was trashed; he wouldnít remember.

 

How much money is enough?  How much money would I have to make a year in order for me to say to myself, okay John, this is all you need?  The more money you have, the more expenses you have.  Money breeds money but it also breeds costs.  Like Biggie said: ďMoí Money, Moí Problems.Ē  And he was a fat fuck crack dealer turned rapper, so you know he knows the D.L.

 

But the point of making all the money in the 401(k) or the Individual Retirement Plan is so you have enough money to live the remaining years after you retire without worry of not having enough.  But what if the system collapses?  What if itís the Stock Market Crash of the Ď20ís all over again?   Brokers jumping out of windows.  Former businessmen selling pencils on the corner.  How would you feel about your money now being worth just enough to cover the walls of a port-o-let?

 

And who wants so Goddamn much money when we get older?  We want it right fucking now.  How many of us wonít even make it to retirement?  Need I list the ways we could die?  Every time I get into Scottís car, I think Iím Ďa die.  All the illnesses and diseases and freak accidents and nuts walking around, what makes me thing Iíll live to sixty-five?  On occasion, I find myself surprised that Iíve made it to 23.  Not because I live such a daring life, but just because I have had the luck to narrowly avoid a couple near-death surprises.

 

So, letís speculate that Iíll actually live to be sixty-five.  I retire from whatever Iím doing.  I get my money out of the 401(k) and the IRA and I roll around in it on my bed for a while.  But since Iím old, it gets both boring and strenuous in a hurry.  Quickly, or what approximates for quick in old manís terms,  I gather it up into a VSOP tin and put it on top of the refrigerator.  I sit down, scratch my old balls and think of what I can spend my money on.  Well, the house is paid for.  No sense in getting my old ass wife any kind of cosmetic surgery as I have a hard time getting my old penis up in the first place.  (Especially since Viagra has long since been taken off the market as long-term side effects include severe stomach bleeding and anal leakage.)  I have a nice, big ass car thatís paid for.  So I have to wait a tick in the winter for it to turn over.  They donít make big cars like this anymore and since I canít turn my head very far, I take my chances which are a little better in such a boat.  We have furniture and appliances and clothes (old people clothes).  I donít like anything anymore because Iím so bitter and old, so thereís no reason to collect anything especially since Iíll be dead before long so whatís the point?  I finally decide to spend a couple grand and get a new roof.  The rest of the money stays in the tin until I die or until my insurance wonít cover my bypass surgery because insurance fucks you in ways and places old Uncle Sam only dreams about.

 

Come to think of it, I think Iíll keep my money, buy (or rent) some big tittied hoes right now.  Sheíll have her head in my lap while I eat pizza with lots of toppings while watching Fight Club on my big screen TV with surround sound speakers while wearing genuine mink slippers that keep my big feet warm.  And thereíll be a little refrigerator filled with High Life within armís reach.  Shangri-LA DEE DAH!

 

John

 

P.S.: Three rolls of substandard TP down--onetogo!

 

Copyright © 2001 John Lemut