At first the dude had me scared shiftless.
Sporting a two day old sweaty muscle shirt and grimy jeans, the unkempt, middle aged fellow with greasy hair and more than his fair share of bad tats sauntered into our motel lobby.
“How much for two rooms?” ink man inquired gruffly without the slightest acknowledgment of his odious olfactory onslaught or interest in my reply.
It was at this this exact moment – as I was trying to figure out how to tell Armpit Arnie that our vacant motel was uh, actually full and my vision collided with his new, ginormous forty foot motorcoach – that my dreams of becoming rich began to disintegrate.
Here a Buck, There a Buck, Everywhere a Buck Buck
Something about this indifferent character intrigued me and during his Platinum American Express check-in to our motel I quizzed Potential Paulie about how he had attracted the necessary resources to acquire such a fine mobile abode. I mean, given his appearance and malodorous condition…
My curious canvassing was like pulling a damp dollar digit from a dough dike because it kept Banknote Bart talking nearly full blast for three straight hours as he anxiously recounted his incredible roller coaster life.
He told me that four short years earlier he was a regular working stiff just like me, trying to make a buck while wondering if it truly was possible to toil at something he really wanted to do. His locksmith business was as tired as the old truck in which he carted his well experienced tools and both had seen better days. An injection of some excitement was sorely required.
Locksmith Larry knew just what was needed: A new truck!
He attended his local bank whom had known him as a loyal customer all his life and asked them to finance the now desperately desired diversion.
The bank rejected him flat out in a quick and painful economics lesson.
Now devastated as well as dejected, Lowdown Lloyd headed home to lick his esteem wounds and to ponder his pointless life with the kind of insight only cold beers and crying tunes can provide. Oh, and with the change from his medicinal potion he purchased a single lottery ticket.
Forty-eight hours later, guess which previously down and out beer drinking gambler was now 5.5 million dollars richer on account of winning BC 649 – the provincial lottery in British Columbia, Canada?
Take This Bank And Shove It
Immediately following regulatory signatures, photos and legal / financial admonitions, Prosperous Pete drives his old jalopy straight to his “former” branch of a well known Canadian bank to give them clear instructions on kite flying. Alas, the banksters were waiting for him and in the brief money-grubbing ambush that followed, Affluent Alf did not stand a chance.
An eager executive efficiently spirited their new best patron to a secret back office where he met a fellow fortunate bank buddy whom was already enjoying a mid morning cocktail from the fully stocked office / lounge. Cash-flow Cal was so overwhelmed with the hospitality and bountiful boot licking that his account forgot all about leaving the bank which by now had become a sort of personal concierge; booking golf games, concert tickets and anything else Richie Rich desired.
In an effort to live his fantasies and forget his past, this is how he invested his first four years of being loaded:
- Let Down The Draw Bridge – a life long renter, Swanky Sid built a $1 million dollar castle in Burnaby, BC and proudly acted as his own general contractor. His previously supportive fellow tradesmen slowly drifted from genial and jocular to bitterly envious and dream home construction dragged on for three frustrating years.
- If This October, This Must Be Aruba – for 9 months straight the new jet-setters toured the world until they could no longer stand hotel living, rented cars and restaurant food. They returned home exhausted, yearning for stability and beds they could call their own.
- We Are Family, I Got All My Brothers & Me – half a million dollars kept the greenback grumbling down to a “relative level” from his immediate family for about six months. When fiscal fondness reached its zenith and distant relatives started to pile up, he pulled the pin on genealogy and erected an electronic moat around his castle.
- A Plethora of Plastic People – interested service by big tip seekers is not as fulfilling as being reciprocally engaged with parties genuinely interested in each other. It felt to him that money tainted every interaction.
- To Dream The Impossible Dream – Dollar Doug soon learned that there is a big difference between living our dreams and planting them. As soon as he had accomplished the few dozen activities he could think of, his life became empty and devoid of meaning for lack of contrast between his needs and desires.
The Green Green Grass Of Home
Loaded Larry told me he was going to return home, buy an old truck and get back into the locksmith business he once enjoyed. He considered it almost unbelievable that he had journeyed so far to return to where he began and his extended verbal contemplation of disdain for instant wealth seekers had a profound affect on me.
The advice Well-off Walt conveyed to me was that life is not about how much loot we amass but about engaging our own capacities and then employing them full force with all the passion we can muster.
And he had to win a lottery to find this out…
I figure if a person can do this without getting all upset or kicking up too much of a stink, there should be nothing to fear.
Thank you, friend.