A split second before I hit the mute button, a voice on our flat screen said “Are you asking the right questions about how your wealth is managed?”
I was raised to be polite, so instead of snarling “Go to the mall!” I asked sweetly “Are you talking to me?”
The voice said “Of course I’m talking to you!”
Some background: We recently purchased a Smart Flat Screen. It has twice as many buttons on the remote as our dumb flat screen. They are not only remote, they’re aloof. In fact, before we could buy it, we had to prove we were smart enough, by answering the following question:
“Rosencrantz is on a train that leaves Cleveland at noon doing 60 miles an hour. Guildenstern is on a second train that hasn’t yet left Cheektowaga because it is waiting for Godot. Godot is stuck in traffic and he’s got women, he’s got women on his mind.
“Therefore, how long, in dog years until the Existentialist Movement moves to adjourn?” (Warning: Before you declare this a no-brainer and blurt out “Wednesday,” keep in mind it’s a trick question.)
I avoided the question by spending one of three wishes granted last year by a genii I found trapped in a compromising situation with a johnii in an empty bottle of extra virgin olive oil.
Unlike most people who use wishes immediately, I kept mine in my wallet. Unfortunately, they got stuck together, like when your Mungo Jerry fan club ID gets buttheat molded to your American Bowling Congress card. I had to perform some PRIT-tee delicate wish-peeling.
But I digress. I turned to K-Mac and said “Are we asking the right questions about our wealth?”
She replied “We have wealth?”
I replied “That’s exactly what I was going to say, but I didn’t want to appear broke in front of the Flat Screen.”
Suddenly, we faced one of those nagging questions so prevalent in the iPhonian era: Is wealth absolutely necessary for the management of wealth?
I remembered the old cliché “All that glitters is not radar-blocking aluminum chaff.” It was the perfect counterpoint. For we have the kind of wealth you can’t measure with a spread sheet or an app for counting with your fingers and toes.
You see, our wealth is our love and all its attendant fructose.
We have a roof over our heads and sufficient sheetrock to keep it from squashing us in the night. (Also, an insurance policy in case it does, with only a slightly prohibitive deductible.)
We also have garden plants up the Susquehanna and we got a free vacuum cleaner with our American Express reward points for which we had to spend just $14,000.
We have four working toilets, three working children, two working burners on the stove, one working sump pump, beers in the fridge, and dozens—nay, scores—of coffee cups, even though only one of us, (whose initials are K-M) drinks coffee.
No, we may not be able to afford a lawyer in case a neighbor wanders into K-Mac’s garden and is never seen again. Neither can we afford a nice set of dueling swords or pay the neighbor (presuming he’s not missing) to act as my second, in case I am challenged to a duel.
Our wealth simply does not equate to foldos in the wallet. But really, we’ve got everything we need.
Except, maybe, some advice: Are we asking the right questions about how we can manage to fit all those coffee cups into the dishwasher at once?
And don’t tell me to go to the mall.