“Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald
Nothing in life is certain, let alone our best laid plans. Here at university, we have plans to study, plans for our careers post-graduation, plans for the weekend. But we have no assurance that these plans will ever come to fruition, unless one has an unshakable faith in some supreme being who is negating all their other heavenly duties in order to answer your pesky prayers.
As such, it is important to always have a contingency plan in place in case our dreams are dashed by some unforeseen event. Maybe you won’t get that scholarship you’ve been banking on, you shit the bed at your dream job interview or your Saturday night sweetheart comes down with mono. Regardless, you can’t let events that are out of your control stop you from living life to the fullest.
Keep your options open. Apply for more than one scholarship, or hit that aging uncle up for a loan. Maybe your dream job wasn’t really the job for you. Had that Saturday night date gone ahead without a doctor’s visit, you’d be fucked from sucking face anyhow.
Then again, there are times when even contingency plans fail. Turns out your marks are so abysmal the only way you’ll be paying for your education will be by spending your summers scraping shit stains from campground bathrooms. The reason you didn’t get your dream job is because you’re a congenital fuck up. And I don’t even want to get into how you’re Saturday night back-up date turns out (hint: rhymes with Slurpees).
In troubling times like these, there is but one tried and true recourse: cold, hard cash.
I had this confirmed the hard way recently, when my buddy Woodtick and I were drinking with our friend T-Dot and his gal Kaila at a karaoke joint in the poshy Kitsilano neighbourhood of Vancouver. Woodtick and I were on tour with our band and broker than jokers. Being a law student putting his own way through school, T was also broke. We had just enough cash for a round of $6.50 beers and had arrived too late in the night to get our requests in to the rotund karaoke master.
Luckily, we had our contingency firmly in place. We had plenty of homegrown, some Scooby-Snacks and a hefty bag of poor-man’s powder from a backwoods chemist in the Kootenays. As for our urge to karaoke, that was solved by the age-old trick of claiming some hapless drunk’s song as your own. After a couple spins on the stage for some Doors and Roxette, though, the thirst was back with a vengeance and we were left standing around like a bunch of sucked off dicks.
It was time for our final contingency plan, whereby Woodtick and I would approach a group of strange ladies and ask to get a photo with them. While Woodtick posed and charmed, and I readied the camera, T would sneak around behind the group and fill a pint from their pitcher, retreating in the flash of the bulb.
This worked the first time, and we happily sucked that beer back. However, it was on the second pass that the ruse dissolved. Perhaps it was hubris; perhaps it was Scooby-Snacks or the wacky chemicals. Regardless, the jig was up, our contingency fucked.
Turns out one of the girls’ boyfriend caught the whole act from the bar and immediately accosted T. There was much yelling, some chest-thumping and the words “losers,” “pathetic,” and “assholes” were thrown carelessly in our direction.
T explained to the brute that it was all in good fun; that nothing was lost but a half pint of beer and that if we could just agree to disagree on what constitutes “good, clean fun,” we could all move on with no regrets. It was at this point that buddy laid down the law.
“You don’t tell me to calm down,” he screamed at T, frothing from the mouth and spilling his own beer on to his navy blue Polo shirt. “You don’t have shit! I got the money! I got the cash! Get the fuck out of my face!”
We did just that and left the bar shortly thereafter in shame. Outside, it was cold and wet. Without money for a cab, there was no doubt in our minds that cash is still king in this world. Anyone who forgets it can get fucked fast, and don’t even think about asking for more.
Sheldon Birnie is the Comment Editor of the Manitoban.
1: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=scooby%20snacks definition # 5.