Big Wins, Epic Fails

Purple Avenger is posting on Ace’s blog, inviting comments: Among your purchases, what are your big wins and epic fails? One of each, please.

As of now there are 547 comments, so you know there is some interesting/entertaining reading in there.

For my money — the same way George Washington was posthumously promoted to outrank any & all officers in any military branch, past present and future, Bessie is going to have to take her place at the top of the stack of big wins, now and forevermore. Nineteen years and 340 thousand miles, how can you even begin to compete with that?

The big epic fail is going to have to be marrying the creature that picked Bessie out. I’ve seen a special kind of pure evil, the kind of evil that doesn’t know it’s evil. So many of our little girls are being raised into women who spend their whole lives going around destroying people and things, not stopping long enough to realize that this is all life has to offer them anymore. And they think all they’re doing is chasing a dream. Kinda like some drivers have never been in an accident before, and God only knows how many they’ve caused. Don’t ask for details; I have very few to share. Between August of ’89 and November of ’91 I really can’t remember much. Nothing, really. Like aliens came in the middle of the night and killed off some brain cells — as an act of mercy. Oh well, I eventually paid it all off.

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I don’t have too much sympathy for that “With Our Combined Salaries We Can Afford It” sh*t. In fact, I have a special name for it now: That “With Our Combined Salaries We Can Afford It” sh*t. I remember the nightmare started out with a sales pitch something like that…and me falling for it…and her deciding real life was a little too boring for her attention span, and suddenly combined salaries didn’t have much to do with anything. Not at all an unusual story. I’m ready to forget all about it entirely, except the next generation of gullible stupid males needs to be enlightened.

The Microsoft C compiler I bought in ’87 was a big win. I should think of it that way, I started a whole career off of it…and it’s still sputtering along.

The teevee set and the DVD/VCR combo that uploads pictures to it. The desktop computer. The “Daddy Fridge” outside, li’l tiny thing, which I taught my son since he was old enough to walk has all the beverages for him, and more important, for me. All these things have hung around for awhile by now and absorbed more than their share of abuse. Oh, yeah, and the boy himself who brings me my liquids from the Daddy Fridge. That one’s a win. He hasn’t been that expensive, really…except maybe in terms of aggravation. Oh, no wait. Counting everything, he’s been about as expensive as any other kid, which is plenty. What the h*ll, I think I’ll keep ‘im.

Not to name names or anything, but I’m ready to say any company that has ever automatically billed my bank account on a monthly basis, for any reason, without any exceptions at all, has been an epic fail.

Oh yeah, and that trailer. I hadn’t thought of it, it was between 8/89 and 11/91 — that fog got in the way. Not ready to talk about it yet. (Shudder.) That there’s a certifiable case of PTSD, I think. Decades of nightmares. Young people, don’t live in trailers, ever. Nobody treats you decently, nobody respects you. Can’t blame ’em; they’re looking at someone who doesn’t think he deserves to live in a decent home. Epic fail.

My BikeThe bike. It’s a reasonably high-quality 24-speed mountain bike hybrid. When you’re over forty, it’s important to do something…something…anything…that isn’t sitting still. And I’ve got a good number of some pretty nice pictures out of these adventures. Pictures and suntans. Without it, I’d probably p*ss away all my years in the Golden State sitting in a chair swearing at a computer, eventually leaving the state all fat, flabby, pale, ugly, knowing no more about my surroundings at that date than I did on the day I moved here, which would be tragic in the extreme. Big win.

Oh, I have one silly, unexpected thing. One December I had to get a Christmas tree, and I took the time and trouble to find some spring hooks that were sized perfectly for the reinforced brackets under my sedan. I bought twenty feet of the best brand of rope I could get, and used it to connect them together — for fifteen years after that, every Christmas season the rope would come out, and once the Christmas tree was up, the rope would be put away. Never even had to untie anything. Win. It’s mostly the simple things, you see.

I can see how this would easily turn into a handy piece of advice for young adults just starting out.

So here’s a piece of frosting on the cake: The instant you have an address that is not your parents’, get yourselves a f*cking paper shredder. Cross-cut. Pick one night of the week that is free, make a ritual out of doing all your laundry, cleaning your rotten food out of the fridge, and feeding all that useless bullsh*t in your mail to your paper shredder. Any & all credit card offers need to be part of the meal, because a credit card you really want to have won’t be offered to you that way.

Don’t think about it, don’t question it, just do it.

In short: Be cynical, and when someone tells you to stop being that way, stay that way. Put some high-quality thought into how people who have nothing of value to offer, in services or in goods, get money out of other people. Then channel some serious energy into not being those other people. That means gym memberships, multi-level marketing, MARRIAGE, selling sh*tty single-wide trailers, high interest credit cards. You can fill in all the blanks in the list after those. Figure out what those things are, and then stay away from the “business end.”

Then learn to enjoy the passage of time.

A happy, enviable life is yours.

Cross-posted at House of Eratosthenes.

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