Life's our oyster and we're gonna suck that bitch down with a champagne chaser.

  • Behavioral Therapist
  • MA Developmental Psychology, Columbia
  • BS Psychobiology/ French, UCLA

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    by George R.R. Martin

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    Fox & Friends


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Thursday, November 08, 2007  
Income Lax
There's an old expression that goes something like..."work sucks"....and, you's true. While work brings with it benefits such as responsibility, independence and cash, it also has its pitfalls such as responsibility, independence and cash....oh wait cash is still a benefit, scratch that. However, when you're in the precariously comfortable situation that I seem to find myself in, no real bills except for Netflix and few personal expenses, it is difficult to gauge the real value of the money I'm earning as a result of a 6-day a week work schedule...that is until...shit happens.

I, like many aspiring free-loaders, have been saving my money and spending it here and there on tickets to concerts, DVDs, and the like, not giving a second thought to things that a person my age should normally be concerned about such as rent, car payments, all those foreign concepts that I, spoiled I am, am not accustomed to. However, the universe has a way of balancing things out. With all the hard-earned money I've been working for and hording, I had to be taught a lesson in fiscal responsibility one way, or another.

As my work days run longer and longer and my lunch breaks grow shorter and shorter, I find myself gaining sustenance while commuting between shifts. This provides the inherent distraction of holding a food item while steering, but I am a skilled driver, of sorts, and am able to maneuver with considerable skill using one hand. This acquired multitasking ability, however, given the situation I found myself in. Munching on a particularly crumby granola bar whilst driving, I found myself at a red light. As I was enjoying my savory snack, it slipped out of my hands and onto the floor. Being at a red light, I found no harm in bending over to pick up the delectable Trader Joe's product. Little did I know that as I was bending over to retrieve the bar, my foot eased off the brake pedal ever so slightly, and I began to inch closer...and the car in front of me...


It took me a split second to realize what had just happened. In my endeavor to redeem my precious snack, I had inadvertently rear-ended a 1971 Corvette. It couldn't have been a 1991 Honda Civic or a 1984 Ford Pinto, it had to be the luxury sports car, of course. My first thought was, "WHY! I'M A GOOD PERSON! I WORK! I DO GOOD THINGS!" But then I realized that this line of thinking was futile. There was no fairness or justice in the world. Just a chain of events followed by shit...then more events followed by more inevitable shit. As my life flashed before my eyes, and as I contemplated just fleeing the fuck out of there, I grew more optimistic. I thought, "I'm a working man now with a steady paycheck and no expenses. I will just pay for the damage and everything will be A-OK..." It turns out that the person behind the wheel of the other car was someone my age and very understanding and was ok with my plan of sending her a check when the time came. She even complimented my shoes, "Nice kicks." Of course, I had no idea what she was referring to until I referred to my Young Hipsters Lingo: A Manual from 1999. I apologized, she said, "Hey happens," and we parted ways. I was ready to pay the $200-$300 it would take to fix the little scratch on her car. After all, I was going about 1/8 of a mile per hour so the damage wasn't severe.

One week later I receive a phone call from her mother.

"Hi ran into my daughter last week."
"Oh my god, yes, I'm so sorry about that."
"It had to be the corvette, huh?"
Yeah, you couldn't have gotten your daughter a used Hyundai, huh?
"I'm so sorry."
"So anyway, I spoke to the body shop, and the problem is that the car has a custom paintjob..."
Crap it's gonna be like $500 or something now...I guess I can't buy a Wii just yet.
"..and they have to match the different coats of paint...."
Get to the damage sweetheart.
"...and so the rear bumper has to be replaced..."
Say what?
" the bill comes out to $2,201.09."
"Are you there?"
"Yeah so...when can I expect a check from you?"
"Um, I'd say...a week? Soon. Very soon."
"Ok then. Thanks."
"Oh no...thank you."
"By the way...what were you doing that made you rear-end my daughter? Were you talking on your cell phone?"
"Oh no...I was eating a granola bar."
"K, bye."

The pangs of debt lingered in my mind, and even more prominently...the pangs of having to tell my mother...

When all was said and done, and the mechanic was negotiated with, and the mother was reasoned with....I wound up with a $50 discount, a $200 monthly payment for the credit card company, a beautiful scratch on my front bumper and a peptic ulcer.

My biggest issue when it came to this incident was that I was trying to find reasoning behind it. A justification for this accident, someone to blame, someone to purge me of my piss-offedness. It turns out, that there is no one to blame, nothing to feel bad about. Nobody got hurt, at least I didn't hit a douchebag, it wasn't due to pour driving on my part, just a slippery granola bar, and apparently it happens to everyone...or so they tell me. A monthly payment, perhaps, is my first step into fiscal independence. Into the time when one day, I will have to pay my bills and debts on my own, and take responsibility for the shit that strikes on a daily basis. Because in the end, when shit happens, you can either whine about how bad it stinks, or take a shovel and scoop it up and prepare yourself for the next pile coming your way.

2:46 AM


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