Monday, November 16, 2009

Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!

(You can have this baby for a song and a cool $800.)

A number of years ago, in the midst of unfocused undergraduate boredom, my best friend Jemima and I got what she called, “a scathingly brilliant idea.” We would plan a trip to Europe.

I wanted to visit Belgium, because I had friends living there at the time, and she wanted to visit a place where people actually spoke German, because she had taken all those years of German classes.

I had maybe $500 saved. I have no idea how much she had. Tickets to Europe were going for $850-$1600 a round trip ticket.

As usual, we hadn’t planned very well, money was tight, and we were running out of time. Then one of our friends told us about an “Internet Deal.” We could get tickets to Europe for $120 round trip.

We were overjoyed with our “luck.” We went home, carefully read the internet site for what seemed like minutes, and then we both pulled out our credit cards.

What were we thinking when we thought that deal was for real?

Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!

Final Conclusion: We didn’t go to Europe and were both out $120.

I was reminded of this story the other day, when my boss came to tell me he had just purchased a used vehicle: a 1998 fuel injected 3/4 Ton 4X4 Chevy Truck with 215,000 miles on it.

“Can you believe it? I got it for only $1700.” He smiled, incredibly pleased with himself.

Let me spell it out for you if you’re not mechanically savvy or much into automobiles: this truck had way too many freakin’ miles on it. If its engine were sound, it would have cost him at least $4,000.

My eyes stared blankly, and then I said with the fakest excited tone I could, “That’s awesome!” Naturally, what I was actually thinking was, “S-M-R-T! Dumbass. You just bought a lemon.”

Three days after he bought it, the engine threw a rod. I kid you not.

These lessons bring to mind Some Principles to Live By:

1. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

2. The flavor for hard work has an infinitely better taste than “Quick and Dirty.”

3. NOTHING is for free. You pay for everything eventually.

4. Gambling is a tax for people who are bad at math.

5. You get what you pay for.

6. Resist the tempting moment. There's almost always more than one option.

7. Never be afraid to be honest with yourself. Plenty of people will lie to you; you shouldn't be one of them.

8. Learn your lesson: Eat the humble pie. It's yummy.


Heidi said...

Great principles!!

Kira said...

permission to copy your words and distribute in an uneconomical fashion? please?

Fran said...

You speak truth...I wish everyone would read and live by your list.
Love Ya!!!!