Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ten Deals with the Devil

Deal with the devil.  The Faustian bargain.  The proverbial selling of ones soul for a time of unlimited magic and knowledge.  Well if your deal involves something less than unlimited magic and power, then the payment will end up being something less than your soul.  Of course, ultimately it's still the same.  you want a shortcut to something you want and you will pay later, possibly more than you want.

1 - Credit cards - So you're saying that I can have this money NOW.  I just have to pay a portion of what I owe over time plus a small fee?  Many people only hear the part where they can get that big screen TV now.  That's it.  The whole part about payments and interest and whatnot are just little Jiminy Cricket's whispering annoyingly in our ears.  Mmmmm...HD TV.  Then you get your credit card statement.  True to the bargain, you are paying a piece as you agreed.  If you calculate that piece out, you are paying for that TV nearly 3 times over by the time you are done with your payments.  That's if you just buy the TV.  Next month you want a few other things to go along with the TV.  So you defecit spend yourself into the next many years getting the things you want now and paying for them for a long time to come.  Bad Deal.

2 - Pets - They are so CUTE!  I love little puppies and kitties and every little animal!  There is the rub.  Animals are at best a responsibility, at worst, you have this cat or dog that has grown up and is no longer cute and is kind of annoying.  Layer that on to the fact that every time you want to go on vacation, you wonder if the pet is doing ok at the Kennel or with friends visiting them.  If you are getting a pet because of the cute beginnings, you will find that they outgrow that pretty quickly.

3 - Tattoo - One hazy night worth of chemically altered vision and you get a big chunk of ink plastered who knows where.  Of course you'll claim that it's exactly what you want and something that you really love.  But only you know if it's any good or what you really wanted.  When you first saw it, you decided you wanted to live with that design forever.  Years later...who knows?

4 - New Car - They are so expensive and much like credit cards, you can drive them right away with only a manageable payment made per month.  Everyone will tell you that a car is not an investment, it's a tool.  But it's a tool that will wear out relatively quickly compared to something like a hammer. You hope the car you get will be able to last as long as the payments and even if it will, your love of the car will not.

5 - Not Brushing Your teeth - each night a child goes to bed a vigilant parent checks and pushes them back into the bathroom to actually brush their teeth.  Children do not realized the amount of trouble that can be avoided by just maintaining a good tooth brushing regimen.  Adults often bemoan the lack of wisdom of their youth and are doomed to repeat the warnings they heard as kids.  This deal with the devil gives you an extra 3 minutes of sleep nearly every night in exchange for excruciating pain on a few days of your life and eventually implants or dentures.  Ick.

6 - Book/Record of the month club - In my day, this was the first exposure that a kid had to the world of contracts.  The come on was simple.  Pick any 10 records for 1 penny.  1 sliver of copper would give you more music than you could listen to in an entire night!  Amazing!  All you have to do is agree to buy a certain amount of records over time, and to make it easy, they will send you a record a month unless you tell them you don't want it.  Pretty soon, you are getting records that are kind of expensive when you add in shipping and that little imp of mail sales HANDLING.  Like a credit card, if you work it correctly, you actually could buy records on average for a slightly better rate than retail.  Get done with your obligation, quit the club and rejoin.  This deal was made better if you rejoined through a friend and took one of the 2 free records he would get for signing you up.  This was all a clever scam if you paid enough attention to run it.  Like credit, most don't run it right.  Boom the record devil gets your soul.

7 - Votes for a Politician - In this deal, you actually don't get much of anything at all.  Politics are more like rooting for a team than voting for an individual.  It's impossible for you to know the individual unless you already knew him/her from a prior meeting.  So you are voting for the best portrayal of a politician.  On top of that, everything a politician promises are not at all binding by law and the circumstances of being president appear to circumvent any walking up to the promises you make.  So you cast your vote for one devil or another, but the deal is the same.

8 - Education - In this version, you decide to avoid college alltogether and venture out into the world looking for a job on just your good looks.  With the right attitude you get employment, you get reccomendations and connections and eventually you end up in what you would call your career.  The entire time, you wonder if your life would have been better if you would have actually gone to college and gotten X.  X is the degree you DIDN'T get.  Because unless you got a doctorate, you will see people that ventured to get degrees beyond the one you achieve and wonder if their life is better.  So short term time and experience but it's paid for with a lifetime of doubt.

9 - Education - In this version, you get as much education as you can afford through student loans and mom and dad and wherever else you can scrape together money.  You finish your education and you continually wonder if the career you get is worth the money you paid for the education you think you needed to get it.  Often you get a career in a vocation that has nothing to do with your educational field.  The student loans seem to stay with you a lot longer than the actual accumulated knowledge.  Short term you got the education you thought would guarantee you success.  Long term you wonder if you needed to burn that much money to get what you got as well as continually tell yourself that you were glad you got the education no matter what it lead to because it broadened your horizons.

10 - First Home Loan - This one FEELS the most like a deal with a devil.  The first home you get a loan for, you see the piles of papers and the signatures and initials that are required and then the sum total of the loan you are getting and you KNOW this is serious.  Up to now, you've been paying monthly rent and there was nothing much more to it.  They raise your rent a few bucks every other month, and you agree to pay.  NOW, you are on the hook for 15-45 years.  You feel like an indentured servant.  Thank goodness, you get used to that payment in 3-6 months.

Well, it's time to vote again.  I would suggest that you vote for someone you know something about if you approve of them.  Those of you that just stopped by and especially those of you that read all the know who you are.  Thanks!  I really appreciate it!

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