Rat Race

“Hello,

My name is Bill, and I’m an addict”

“Hi Bill”

“It started when I was just a kid. My dad would give me five bucks for mowing the lawn. It seemed like a big lawn when I did it first, but looking back, it was only your suburb-variety front lawn. I didn’t mind, though; we had a good lawn mower, and I could buy my own toys. That is, I could have if I wanted to. Whenever I saw another kid with their new toy, I wanted a bigger and better toy. But my parents weren’t rich, and by the time I had saved enough cash to match the neighbors’ toys, they had gotten the shiniest things again.

They were lazy, though. And sometimes fat. They had chores to do around the house, as well, and their parents gave them money for incentive. Imagine, they got ten bucks each for mowing the lawn. We worked out a deal: They’d give me five, I’d do the chores when their parents weren’t looking. My piggy bank was bursting soon, so I went shopping for toys.

But the toys didn’t do me any good. I never had time to play, I was always busy doing other people’s chores. Maybe if I upped my rates, they would start doing them themselves. But they were lazy, and they didn’t need their 5 dollars a week. They didn’t even want to do it if I left them with two dollars. By the time I was out of middle school, I was taking the whole ten from them. They were lazy, their parents rich.

In High school, I learned a new trick. The same kids whose chores I had done during middle school were now doing my homework and giving me their lunch money. Mowing lawns for years, hours a day, had made me physically fit, but I never had much time to learn for school. I bullied the nerds and hung with the cool guys from the football team, whom I supplied with beer and weed on the weekends. And, there was a new incentive to earn money: cheerleaders.

For a while there, all the money I collected from the nerds and geeks and from selling pot went right into poontang. I spent money not only on my own clothes, but on shoes, handbags and cheap jewelry for the cheerleading team. And I mean the entire cheerleading team. They were shallow and impressible. But so was I.

I paid a professional to take my SAT, scored 92, which was enough for what I wanted to do: business. Going to state college on a scholarship opened completely new business venues. Instead of doing the work myself, I started investing and paying people to do the work. Beer and Pot were high in demand at fraternity and sorority parties, and I also got in contact with C-Meth and Coke there. And there was always a shmuck ready to make an easy buck, so I never had to get my hands dirty. I was good at flying under the radar, too. I made sure to cover the entirety of campus, without dominating in any particular area. There was always bigger fish to fry than me.

After college, I went back to the straight and narrow. Brokering and dealing was my thing, so I used what knowledge I had from reading the term papers I supposedly wrote in college and the cash I made from my activities to start my own business. That way, I also never had to explain where all the money came from. I juggled global accounts, bought and sold currencies, you name it. My clients were all kinds of people, well, all kinds of rich people.

Now, I have a wife and children. I am rich, my kids have the shiniest and newest toys, they are fat and lazy. Some other kid is doing their chores, I am sure of that, but I have too much work to do to enforce my kids’ morale. I wasn’t there for the birth of either of my children; I had important business meetings in Geneva, Singapore and Moscow. I hired a PI to investigate my wife; I suspect she is having an affair. Well, I went to the brothels on my trips, but if the PI had proved her to be unfaithful, I could have divorce her cheap; she signed a pre-nup.

When the financial crisis struck, I went down with all the other hedge fund brokers. I lost 90% of my assets in a matter of weeks, so I took it out of my investors’ pockets. The SEC was delighted when they indicted me, and my plans to flee the country were thwarted by the FBI. I just got out on parole, and I am fighting the urge to race through this maze looking for money instead of cheese”

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