Monday, November 24, 2008

To Have and Have Not

Rich people are worthless. The greater their worth in monetary terms, the more useless they are in practical terms.

Now don’t get me wrong. We love our exchange student, Mamdouh—but the fact is, he’s a rich kid living on family money and has not a clue that there are things we common people must do to make our way in life. For, you see, back home he has people to do these things for him. The little people.

Here in Portland, Oregon, I and my wife fill that role. We are the little people. The elves. The fairies.

I’m thinking, for instance, of this shit-load of wood we have sitting in the driveway. The wood that I’ve been moving, load by load, all day long and stacking in the back of the yard. The wood that we will be heating the house with this winter. In short, the wood, the fire, and the house that will keep Mamdouh warm and cozy.

Has he carried even as much as one stick? No siree. They have people over in Saudi Arabia that do these things. They are invisible, these people, and these jobs just get done. It’s magic.

No, it’s money.

Okay, so he’s starting to irritate me. Every Friday and Saturday he stays out all night long, then comes here and sleeps all day. I’m beginning to think he’s a vampire. Or maybe he and his friends are plotting the next Jihad. Or maybe it’s both. I just wish they’d start by blowing up this pile of wood. That’ll move it.

I suppose I’m just envious. How nice it would be to just lounge and talk on the phone while the elements serving as the basis for your continued existence take place all around you as if by magic.

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