Gut Rumbles

June 08, 2006

nothing is "free"

Every day, WITHOUT FAIL, if I bother to answer my phone when it rings, I get some dingbat offering me a can't-miss, something-for nothin' deal. Today was no different.

The phone rang. I answered it. I was greeted by a woman named "Teresa," who launched into some kind of spiel, and I cut rudely into her prepared speech, interrupting her in mid-pitch.

"Darlin,' I don't intend be rude, but WHAT are you selling that I don't want?"

"Mr. Smith! I'm not selling ANYTHING!!! I'm just offering you a wonderful opportunity, sponsored by Marriot Hotels, because you have been a good customer in the past. You can enjoy three days and two nights of FREE LODGING at a Marriot Hotel if you simply will..."

I cut her off right there, being all rude, and I hung up on her.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, even though it falls on a lot of deaf ears today. NOTHING in this world is "free." AIN'T NO SUCH THING, people, and the sooner you realize and accept that fact, the better off you're gonna be, unless your ambition in life is to be a fucking TICK, sucking off a host to keep you alive.

That's great, as long as you can swell up and get fat offa somebody else's blood. But what happens when you drain your host dry and he ups and DIES on you? What do you do THEN??? We're approaching THAT "tipping point" in this country today.

I have TWO people who are my "friends"--- even though I disagree with their approach to life--- who have made a fantastic career out of being TICKS for the past 20 years. They don't work, and they haven't worked for a LONG, LONG time now. They don't have to. They glom onto a lot of "free" stuff that OTHER PEOPLE pay for, and they constantly look for new ways to get MORE "free" money.

They FIND IT, too, because it's out there--- for those who don't mind grubbing for it. Those folks haven't talked to me for a while now, because the last time I saw them, they became all avaricious, with day-glow eyes and dollar signs dancing in their heads, when I told them that my shoulders were fucked up and I have trouble living a normal life today.

Holy Bejus!!! I got ADVICE!!! LOTS of "good" advice. I should bug Social Security until I get classified as "disabled." THEN--- I'll get a "free" check in the mail for the rest of my life, and if I KEEP bugging them, I get BIGGER and BIGGER checks--- all "free" in the mail.

Oh, yeah. Are my shoulder problems "work related?" If so, I should be able to bug Workman's Comp and my ex-employer to convince THEM to send me a check in the mail every month, once again for "free."

Something else I should consider. Since I'm not working anymore, I need to get a WHOLE BUNCH of credit cards, run them up to the max, and then declare bankruptcy so that I don't have to pay them off. HAR-HAR-HAR!!!

My creditors can't very well garnish a paycheck that I don't HAVE, can they? It's a LAW now that my creditors can't take my HOME. HAR-HAR-HAR!!! The joke will be on THEM, once I take 'em to the cleaners, because it's against the LAW for creditors to garnish disability payments or Social Security handouts.

I told them to go fuck themselves, and they laughed at my ignorance and my distorted sense of "honor." They've done it TWICE already, so they should know.

My aching ass. If they poured half as much time and effort into actually WORKING for a living instead of looking for new ways to get something for nothing, they'd probably both be rich instead of counting on the next "free" check in the mail to keep the wolves from their door.

They spend as much on buying gasoline as they "earn" by driving all over the place to different government agencies to get their children classified as ADD, and therefore disabled and deserving of a check in the mail, or fighting over a dead relative so that they can "inherit" some cash or property.

Know what REALLY chaps my ass? THEY think they're "smart." And they think I'm "stupid" for NOT doing what they do.

I suppose that they are correct and I am mistaken. They aren't alone when they ride on a "free" gravy train today. The only thing THEY regret is the fact that they are WHITE. If they were black, they could get a lot MORE "free" money than they already do. For NOT working. For bitchin.' For being ticks.

They're right. I've been a complete dumbass, thinking that I was supposed to take care of MYSELF in my own life. BWHAHAHAHAAA! What a ridiculous notion.

Just wait for that check in the mail. THAT'S the way to live today.


People responding to perverse incentives by becoming perverse? Gee, what a surprise!

But it's no just here in the U.S. of A. The Swedes are getting in on the act too.

Posted by: Jason Bontrager on June 8, 2006 03:38 PM

It all depends on your moral compass.

Posted by: LL on June 8, 2006 03:56 PM

Wow, that just hit a major nerve with me.

These are the very same people that chastise me for living within my means or harp, "Y'all work too MUCH!!"

1. I live in a trailer.

2. I drive a 12-year-old car.

3. I recently bought a sweet truck that is 5 years old with 80,000 miles on it and cobwebs in the engine from a buy-here-pay-here joint. It wasn't because I couldn't go to a dealership, but those fuckers charge out the wazoo for trucks that are far less valuable. I found this out by actually RESEARCHING and not falling for the new car smell and vanity bullshit.

4. My kids get second-hand clothes and sometimes I buy them at Dollar General instead of the mall. I'm a mean-ass mom, I guess.

I have virtually no credit card debt. My house note and 1 acre of land with a horse and a llama, nicely landscaped, and in the country carries a house note that most would drool over. I have a coffee can buried somewhere in the back with a lot of money located within. Call me backwoods or retarded, but based on your last post about mutual funds, I think I am pretty damn smart.

Fuck 'em....fuck 'em all.

Posted by: Surfie on June 8, 2006 03:56 PM

I know several people like that, too.

Sonsabitches get away with that and everything else they do, too.
People who scam like that always have more than one scam going.

Every once in a while, when shit's got me backed up to the wall, I think about being like that, doing that shit, but...
I just can't.
I don't have it in me to lie, cheat and steal my way to such false "sucess".

I wonder if it's something wrong with me for a coupla minutes, but, then I realize what a shitheel I'd have to become, how low I'd hafta go and that repels me, instantly.

Then, I go back to treading the shit so deep that it threatens to overtake my hose-holes or digging in that dry sand pit that seems to fill up faster than you can dig it out or trying to "swim" outta the quicksand, whichever metaphore makes the desperation the clearest.

Still, no matter how bad it may be, it's not as bad as being that kinda scam-assed fucknozzle.

Posted by: Stevie on June 8, 2006 03:58 PM

I've never taken a dime from our government and hopefully never will... Unfortunately, our government has taken plenty of dimes from me.

Posted by: Andy on June 8, 2006 04:34 PM

I think 'The Ant and the Grasshopper' quit being told to kids right about the time LBJ rolled out the "Great" Society. Seems to have been updated with 'The Fool and the Chigger'.

Posted by: red on June 8, 2006 04:40 PM

I feel ya on all of your thoughts.

I'm a lawyer, and I defend employers in workers' comp claims. By "defend" I mean that I try to work out as small a settlement as I possibly can. There's simply no way for an employer to win one of those. In any sane world, I could've gone to court on a recent case I settled for $68K and gotten the idiot moocher kicked in the ass out of the courtroom door.

But not in our current entitlement society.

My missus worked for the state Dept. of Human Services for about 3+ years recently (until she quit in a fury over the idiocy of the place) and came home daily with stories about the system being milked for all it's worth. She was an "employment counselor" who tried to help direct the unemployed into the work force.

The state provides child care, education grants, job placement services, etc., to allow folks to do just that.

The most common refrain from these folks about the kind of job they wanted was "Something that pays $10-12 per hour, 40 hours, no weekends, no late nights."

Well, that's all well and good, if you have any useful skills or education. If you have those things, you can find that work. However, if you drop out of school in the 9th grade to pop out your second baby, have no skills or education beyond working the welfare system, you don't exactly offer much to employers.

When you establish a society that encourages laziness and slackassedness, that's what you get.

People are lemmings. They'll follow whatever plan someone "in charge" will provide to them.

If you cut out all of the BS social engineering projects, you won't have masses of starving people lining the streets. It's amazing what hunger and a need for shelter will do for folks.

Phew. You lit a fire back under me again. I needed that. Thanks.

Posted by: DrawingDead on June 8, 2006 05:25 PM


Posted by: Nick Wright on June 8, 2006 06:45 PM

I guess I'm an idiot too, Rob.

I've worked all my damn life. My parents were farmers and I can't remember when I (and the whole family) didn't work and work hard. I raised three sons (yes, ONE father for all of them - my then husband) with no help from anyone - except my parents who did babysit when one of the boys was sick or I had to work on weekends. Worked my ass off with two and sometimes three jobs - while my ex-husband filed (and eventually GOT SSD) and there ain't a damn thing wrong with him - except maybe he's fucked up in the head. I've never accepted a hand-out from anyone and have never thought I needed one.

My boys are grown now - except for my oldest, who died in an accident five years ago - and they know the value of a dollar. They're good kids and they work their asses off too. We're all obviously idiots.

Love your writing, Rob. I've been reading for a long time but haven't commented - don't know why. You keep on keeping on. In my book, you're one of the few good guys with his head screwed on straight.

Posted by: SandyP on June 8, 2006 06:59 PM

This is a practice that is passed down through generation. They learn early that if you ever work two days in a row you're screwed. The government is good at tracking stuff like that, but they can't find 12 million criminals wandering the streets, cutting their grass and serving them their Big Mac's.

Posted by: Scrapiron on June 8, 2006 08:46 PM

It is genetic. Simple as that.

Posted by: Bob on June 8, 2006 10:23 PM

I guess we're in the same boat. I've had at least one job, sometime 3 since 1973.

What amazes me is that the US Americans taht work can support the rest of the lazy slobs in the country, a couple of wars, and then supply aid to the rest of the USA hating world.

It boggles my mind to think how much better off we'd be without all the leeches....

Posted by: Groverat on June 9, 2006 12:31 AM

We can get PAID for doing nothing? *grumbles about always being the last to know*

Posted by: maggot on June 9, 2006 01:13 PM
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