Today’s post comes from perennial sophomore Bubby Spamden, a permanent fixture at Wendell Wilkie High School.
Hi Mr. C.,
Well, here I am in the middle of Summer with nothing to do, as usual. There’s no regular work so I’m doing odd jobs around the house for pocket change. Just last week my dad paid me $1 a bag to spread cypress mulch in the planting areas of the back yard. I had to ask my mom to keep taking me back to the garden store because we have lots of planting areas and 2 cubic feet is not as much mulch as you think.
I loaded everything in a wheelbarrow, rolled it to the spot, dumped it, opened it, spread it, collected the bags and went back to the car. Over and over. It was pretty hard work but I’m happy with the way it turned out.
However my dad didn’t realize it was going to take sixty eight bags. And I probably could have done it with less, but I’m convinced bark mulch is a waste of time unless you lay it on really thick.
Especially when I’m only getting paid $1 a bag!
He forked over the money though, which is all that counts. But then he asked me what I was going to do with my windfall and I said I was going to go see Edge of Tomorrow, that new Tom Cruise sci-fi action film.
That’s when my dad said he was disappointed that I was using his money to pay for something by that weenie Tom Cruise, and just the thought of his hard-earned dollars supporting “that wacko” gave him a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach.
That kind of confused me. I told him I wasn’t giving his hard-earned money to Tom Cruise, I was giving MY hard earned money to Tom Cruise.
See, I thought money was mine as soon as it was given to me but he said “No, there are complaining rights that belong to the person who just gave it to you. They’re free to slam you if you’re doing something stupid or objectionable with it, and even to take it back if they can.”
So I asked “What if the person who gave you the money was a Scientologist who got it from Tom Cruise himself? Wouldn’t they have complaining rights too?”
“No,” he said, “complaining rights only last for one transaction.”
So then I called him “small-minded” and said a bunch of stuff I don’t remember, but it probably had to do with the whole economic system being at risk if the person who employs you can dictate your behavior.
And that’s when he snatched a ten out of my hand and told me has a deeply held religious objection to children who contradict their parents.
“Honor your father and your mother”, he said. “Matthew 15:4.”
When I said “Hey!” he said “Take it up with the Supreme Court!”
People sure get weird around money.
I don’t know if I want to own a company some day. It would wear me out to keep up my complaining rights on all those salaries and benefits. Not to mention the complaining I’ll have to do about taxes!
I think maybe it’s easier to lug around all those bags of mulch!
I told Bubby I don’t think he’ll have to worry about owning a company some day, but complaining about what other people do, especially if it’s none of our business, is one of the great pleasures of adulthood and he shouldn’t be so quick to give it up.
When does your money stop being yours?