That’s right. Check your bank account. You have a bank account, don’t you? The kids’ll be taking a break and you’re broke. You’ve been broke for some time now, haven’t you? Like, if you’ve got two hundred dollars in the bank you’re feeling flush, right? Feeling chipper? Ready for Vegas? Your account balance is $46.21. You have no investments, no RSPs, no TFSAs. You had to sell off all that to survive. Doesn’t matter. It’s bridge under the water. Now it’s about the $46.21. Poverty teaches many things. The main lesson is it’s a lesson you didn’t need.
Being broke actually gives you a lot of power. It’s not really great power, but still. You have the power to say “no” to so much. It’s the triumph of being broke. You’ve made it. You’re indifferent. Let’s take a short break here to have a look at nature’s riches.
Being broke means you’ve bought one pair of pants in the last five years. You did well, really saved up. You went without so that others could shine then finally you went out and bought those pants. They cost you a dollar. As for shoes, well, there’s been no shoes. It’s a good thing you stocked up on shoes when you had the chance because even now, at this advanced date, some of those shoes are still wearable. It’s close, but you can kind of fake along, right? You go from strength to strength and it’s the power of the impoverished. You’ve sacrificed everything for capital A Art and it isn’t until recently that you’ve realized the guy’s name’s not Art at all. It’s Phil. There’s been a error somewhere and you made it. And Phil is not locatable. Is that a word? Everything’s a word here. Locate? Lo-cat? Able? Locate-a-cat? ‘I should think that something must be terribly wrong somewhere.’
It’s five years now that you’ve been this broke. Everything’s five years. You used to buy anything you wanted. Lots of pants and shoes, and shirts too as well as coats and jackets. These days you’re still holding the line on shirts. You haven’t bought one shirt in the last five years. You’ve “borrowed” one jacket, meaning you wore it on a guestworker gig and neglected to return it. You liked it because it was black like you and carried no insignia of any kind and you knew, anyway, it was from Costco and cost about thirty-eight cents. And anyway later the proprietor said it’s okay, keep it, you earned it, and she was right. So you did. You haven’t bought a coat, sweater or even a pair of shorts. Okay you’ve bought underwear. Let’s keep it real. And you haven’t succeeded in stifling your ambition for books and beer. You haven’t stopped reading and keep those famous words of Oscar Wilde close to you: “I’m for beer and plenty of it.” And you remember another one over at Ernest Hemingway: “Beer is a food.” He said it in “Green Hills of Africa”. I wonder who the last person is that read “Green Hills of Africa”? So you feel it’s all right. And you support the economy of your back lane by leaving your empties out there. Being broke doesn’t mean you’ve lost your passion for philanthropy. It’s obvious you’re a generous soul. Let’s take a short break here to have a look at nature’s riches. There’s that echo again.
Obviously it’s wheels within wheels. It’s poverty explained. You can get a little burned around the edges and maybe the exposure hasn’t been all that great and there’s nothing but tofu in the house, but in the midst of death we’re in life. There’s that too. You can be cancelled financially, but you know what? You open an account across the street. Get over there. You bring in your pennies and you’re helping your country too. Get those pennies out of circulation. Your patriotism is unquestioned.
You can tell when people have decent jobs. They wear decent clothes. But you’re still a lucky human being if you can see that you are. And, who knows? A dump truck full of cash could be right around the corner. Alexander Pope was right.