This is an official legal notice of unclaimed fund left behind by Eng. Jacob A. Gustaitis, a national of your country, contractor by profession who died in a car accident along with his wife and their only daughter.
As the former official/personal attorney of the deceased and witness of fact of this subject matter, I hereby solicit for your immediate response and positive committed efforts to facilitate the transfer of the total amount valued at twenty million, Six hundred thousand U.S.D which he left behind, since you bear the same last name with him thus you are legally authorized to apply. Kindly Respond via my private email for details: cabinetwatdan(AT)yahoo.com or call: 00-228-9-95-27-743.
Regards, Barrister Daniel Wataego (Esq) Lomé-Togo
Can you believe my luck? I’ve been waiting for something like this. Deus ex machina, baby.
Twenty million, six hundred thousand dollars. Even in today’s money, that’s a decent chunk. I can put the twenty million in a CD, and then coast off the six hundred grand until it matures, in three or six months. I haven’t decided which. Is there a tax on getting money from dead people you don’t know? Seems like there would be.
Well fuck that. This money is mine, Uncle Sam. That whole “render unto Caesar” admonition might have applied in olden times, but not in today’s economy. I don’t care if I have to fly every week to use an ATM in Togo, I’m not letting you touch any of it. I worked hard during various periods of my life. When I wasn’t laying around drinking myself into a stupor, I was busting ass at all kinds of brutal and stupid jobs.
Thank you, sweet Lord. Of course, I’m going to share my good fortune. I promise to tip generously and hire only struggling young attorneys. I think You knew that by bequeathing me this ample harvest, I would spread it among my fellow man. And woman. One rolled-up hundred-dollar bill at a time.
I don’t know where to begin. I mean, I don’t want to go apeshit, but there’s been a lot of things I’ve needed that I just couldn’t afford.
Jet Ski with a grape jelly flaked paint job. Gold-plated gatling gun. Armored car with 10,000 watt trunk of funk and champagne slushy machine. Private bowling alley with a stripper pole in the middle of the lane. Rocket powered hang glider from Acme products. Things I didn’t know I needed. Until now.
Indian elephant wearing a poncho made of rubies.
I’m telling you, this really simplifies my life. No more having to run the rat’s maze. No more jockeying for position. No more dealing with the complicated Rube Goldberg machine of social acceptance. I no longer have to try to earn the approval of my peers. You see, I don’t need their approval. I just need the approval of some corrupt Third World bank executive…and I’m golden.
Everyone will hate themselves for not being me, and that’s approval enough.
I always wanted a satin trampoline. To bounce around on naked while high on nitrous. And a spider monkey trained to do cute stuff, like the laundry.
Will this change me? It depends on what you mean by change. Sure, it will change the way I act towards others, but it won’t change the person inside. No. That person is just going to feel a little more free to assert himself. That’s all. I’m still going to like what I like, but now will be able to stick my snout into the trough a little deeper. Or better yet, pay others to stick it in for me. Create jobs.
I might be getting ahead of myself. I still have to come up with the $3,700 to release the funds. This barrister dude, Mr. Daniel Whataego (What a ego?) has been pretty firm about me coughing up the money before he can proceed. I told him, “Dude, I will sign anything saying that as soon as I get my millions I will pay back the four grand.” No dice. My Sprint bill from talking to this fucker is going to be a whopper, but I can’t stress. I have to be patient. I’m sure there’s all kinds of legal bullshit, and probably a greedy official somewhere along the line that needs to be greased. I know how this shit works. People are just not going to hand over twenty million dollars. Until you send them four thousand dollars.
Mine really is a typical American success story. A son of immigrants wastes 30 years of his life as a dangerous drunk, gets sober, then one day while scrolling through spam featuring male enhancement products, comes across $20.600.000. It’s Horatio Algers. It’s the feel good movie of the century. It’s now my story, an American story. A story of redemption…and revenge.
Not everyone is going to be happy about my success. (I’ll make sure of that) There are a lot of people out there who will resent my millions, and I expect that. It’s human nature. I myself was human once, so I know how those miserable creatures roll. Lot’s of people I know are struggling these days. They’re going to see me as a soft touch for a handout. They are in for a rude surprise. I might have been willing to help them out when I was poor, because that meant I couldn’t give them much. But now… now my generosity could really hurt.
Them, that is.
Look, I don’t want to rob them of the wonderful journey of self-discovery that financial insecurity and its panic provides. If I help pay for an operation or make a rent or car payment for them, it’s only going to keep them from looking deep within themselves. Do you really need a place to live? Reliable transportation? A biopsy? Or is that just stuff our consumer-driven media brainwashed you to believe you need?
Well, the best way to find out, is to not get any of it. Maybe you’ll discover that a cardboard box, a thumb, or a spoonful of rat poison will suffice as substitute. You won’t know unless you try. Try it a bunch. You don’t have to report to me. I know that sit-rep. It seems like only yesterday I was at Ross Dress for Less, looking through the clearance rack. Which is weird, because it happened today.
I rarely shop for shit. Except for food. I’m doing okay, but I’m not big into spending. I think it’s residual survival instinct. All those years living hand to mouth. So anyway, I needed some essentials. A new pair of those stretchy lycra thermal underwear for under my work-out gear this winter. They make me look ridiculous. Like a villain from the old Bat Man show. but that’s why I disguise myself with other clothes on top. So nobody snaps.
I’d prefer to clothes shop at a thrift store, but not for underwear. That’s a little too gnarly. So Ross it is. It’s hit or miss there. They have some of the most hideous clothes ever invented, in my size, and some really cool threads, that don’t fit. Anyway, I’m in luck. There’s a set in my size.
Decent price, too. I pull out the top from the box and try it on. It fits. Except the neck hole is too tight. Everything else fine. Hmm. I can go next door to Target. Target, right? Not Rodeo Drive. I can probably find a pair with a neck hole that doesn’t choke me. The difference in price is really not going to make or break me. But I’ve got this great deal over here, and except for the blocking my airways situation, it’s perfect.
“Fuck it, I’ll stretch the hole,” I decide. I should be grateful. There are people out there that don’t even have a hole to stretch. And I saved enough to buy a twelve pack.
That’s how it is with me. There’s this feeling that by saving money, there will be more money for beer. Even though I don’t drink beer anymore. Old habits die hard. Back then, if I got, let’s say a traffic ticket, instead of being happy I didn’t get hauled in for D.U.I., I would picture how many imported beers the ticket cost. Then I’d picture those bottles being smashed, one by one, in a drainage ditch. Just to drive the pain in harder.
Lose a gas cap? Six bucks to replace it? That’s a sixer of Becks. Forget it. Stuff a rag in and drive a Molotov cocktail around. Buy three forties to celebrate your savings. No need to waste money on an oil change, not when you have to put in a quart every three days. It changes itself. Registration due? Break out the paint set and change the color of the tag. Proof of Insurance? Pay the dude at Kinkos to make you one using an old one.
I knew lots of handy cost-cutting ways to stretch the family budget. Savings enough to buy a Mayan pyramid’s worth of beer. Instead of a real house.
Unfortunately, drinking on an empty stomach became a common cost-cutter. My dire financial situations made that one easier and easier to employ. When you choose to stop eating so you can keep drinking, it’s probably a red flag. One to whiz right by on your glorious victory lap. Some kind of end is roaring towards you. Wave back to the flags. Won’t be long now before something significant happens. Will it be getting twenty million dollars?
It’s been hard to change my attitude about money. Sometimes I think I’m still that bum. I sure remember where I came from. If I go to a restaurant, I will really agonize about making a waitress or waiter go back and get something. I know what a pain in the ass it is to dance to somebody else’s tune. If I go to a hotel, I have to tidy up the room before the maid comes so she wouldn’t have to work as much. My mom cleaned motel rooms for a while and it was hard enough when the rooms were neat.
I was on a cruise recently with my girlfriend. There’s all these Indonesian people serving as crew. We’ll, I’ve been to Indonesia, and already knew those people are some of the most beautiful souls on the planet. Happy and good-natured, they always friendly and provide excellent service. And that’s what bothered me. They’re such nice people, I didn’t want them to have to do anything for me, and when they did, felt like I had to over-tip and thank them like they saved me life.
If we ordered room service, I would ask the person taking my order, to tell the guy delivering it, that it was no rush. I had been a room service waiter and knew that whole frantic hurry go-go that came with that gig. I didn’t want to add to their stress. If we had to call for something, like more towels, I’d hesitate. They’re probably really busy now. I didn’t want them to have to deal with my shit. Speaking of…
One afternoon, Lori had gone up to one of the top decks. I figured this was a good time to use the bathroom. I like to be private about some things, and it’s kind of close quarters, dig? So now’s a good time. Well, I finish and push the flush. Nothing. Again. Nothing. Again. Nothing. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again…Again. Nothing. Oh fuck. I can’t believe it. This can’t be happening.
It’s not going away.
You see, I also used to work for a plumbing company, so I know what having to deal with something like this is like. I remember having to work through somebody else’s problem while they casually popped peanuts and played ping-pong in the next room. I cannot subject somebody else to it. Can not.
It was one of those crucible, just-crapped-my-pants moments. I MUST handle this. Into action, NOW!
I’ll spare you the details, but I handled it, so to speak. It was a secret stealth mission. I felt like I was smuggling enriched Uranium trying to get it out of cabin and properly disposed of. I left the package on the counter of the health and beauty spa. Not really, but I dealt with it, so nobody else would ever have to. I think it shows character. Rugged individualism.
I dealt with my own shit.
Anyway, when I got back, I was able to finally call the ship’s maintenance guy. He fixed the toilet. I tipped him. Thanked him like he saved my life. Closed the cabin door and slid along the wall. I felt like I had aged years. So much for relaxing cruise.
I don’t know if that part of me would change if I were rich. I couldn’t pop peanuts and play ping-pong while somebody else was dealing with my mess. It wouldn’t feel right. I don’t think it should. I hope that part of me never goes away. It’s a slippery slope if it does. Next stop, total assholedom. For me at least. And tons of money wouldn’t solve that problem.
I do have some friends that have done pretty well for themselves and haven’t turned into total assholes. They haven’t lost their humanity. They’re still cool to hang out with and would probably help a friend out if they needed it. That’s encouraging. Not that I would ever ask. Like I said, I’m doing okay.
Which reminds me, I have to get a cash advance off my cards to Western Union some money to Mr. Wataego. He’s expecting it.
Congrats. Taking care of one’s own shit, unmetaphorically speaking, is an experience like no other. Tools–chopsticks? The unimportant (to them) end of someone’s toothbrush? Your hosts’ kids’ plastic soldier toy (true stories, all, and there are more…methadone, ya know.) OH, and on the $, too. I once worked for a doctor (a specialist, even!) who won the “South American Lottery” (which he had not entered), but I swear to god, the man was getting confirmation faxes from HIS Citibank branch confirming HIS payments of thousands to some hinky destination that I can’t even make up how fake it sounded. I quit before he finally got the news…This was a man who told me to instruct a patient to go get Tylenol #3 at the drugstore. No script needed, he thought. After I (appropriately humble-like) corrected him, he was shocked. All best, rich boy. XOXO
I don’t know if hearing about this doctor makes me feel better about myself, or just scares me. I guess both. What kind of wonderful fantasy world must he live in though? Can you imagine? Lot’s of junkies would have a much smoother time in between fixes if they could bop down to CVS and pick up a case or two of Tylenol #3. It probably wouldn’t fix you, but it would keep your nose from running so bad. Thanks, Mort.
Totally, ’cause that’s how we junkies travel: by bopping. An achingly beautiful dance of grace, elegance, and jejeune…
Good word, that jejeune. Well played, sir.
Why, thank you.