February 24, 2009

Dreamtime horror

I DREAMED LAST NIGHT that my wife was extremely concerned about the state of the economy. In particular, the family economy. She suggested that I should sell my dear little Cape Dory sailboat.

I have to admit it has never occurred to me. That is not part of my strategy for surviving the depression. It gave me shivers down my spine just to think about it.

“It’s a luxury,” she said. “We could turn it into kids’ college money.”

I pointed out that luxury is different for different people. “A cardboard box is luxury for a homeless person. Maybe two homeless persons. But I’ve never heard you suggest they should give up their cardboard box.”

“You’re being silly,” she said. “Exaggerating again.”

“Our sailboat is not a luxury,” I insisted. “In the first place, nobody’s going to college on what we’d get for a 26-year-old Cape Dory 27. And then you have to consider the benefits of yacht ownership.”

“Such as?”

“It’s a shovel-ready escape vehicle. If the economy really goes down the tubes, there will be riots and insurrection. Cities will be in flames, people will be at each other’s throats. Our boat can carry us to safety. Anywhere in the world. Anywhere they speak English, anyway. It’s a way to get money out of the country. You can sell it at the other end.”

“If it gets that serious we can always steal a boat. We don’t have to own one.”

“It’s not the same,” I countered. “They might not have food on board. Worse, they might not have beer on board.”

“Is that all you think about? Beer? In any case, we can’t afford the slip fees.”

“We can claim it as a second home on our income tax,” I pointed out. “You can’t do that if it’s someone else’s boat.”

“We’re going to end up in the poor house. The kids will be in rags, thin and starving, all because you won’t sell the boat.”

I appealed to her sense of logic. “It’s the means for our salvation,” I said. “It’s a place to store emergency food. It’s place to go to after an earthquake. It’s a place to fly the national ensign where you can’t be criticized by the neighbors for letting it touch the ground. It’s a calming place – saves therapy fees.”

“What therapy fees? Nobody around here is in therapy.”

“If I don’t have a boat I’m going to have a nervous breakdown,” I warned her. “It’s going to be ugly and very expensive.”

“Sort of like living with you,” she retorted . . .

I would have woken up screaming, but in that twilight zone before full consciousness a little voice reminded me that we don’t have any kids at home anymore and we don’t need to put anybody through college and it’s okay, it’s okay, nobody’s suggesting you sell the boat, so relax, willya, take it easy feller.

It’s all very well for little twilight voices to be reassuring like that, but it’s Big Brother Conscience who obviously rules my dreams. He’s the realist. He’s the one who spreads the incendiary rumor that only the indolent rich have yachts. I don’t know how I’m going to handle him, but I fear it’s going to be a nasty battle until the economy improves.

Today’s Thought
Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity.
—Gabrielle (“Coco”) Chanel

Teeth is very nice to have
They fills you with content.
If you don’t understand that now
You will when they have went.

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