Thursday, July 12, 2007

Haven't you always wanted a mon-KEE?

Scene: Small town North Carolina. A tranquil tree-lined street, lots of hills. PATRICK, a young man about 30 years old, is striding purposefully, working up a sweat. GILLIAN, a young (stunningly gorgeous) woman of similar age, is half-walking, half-jogging to keep up.
GILLIAN: So, phew, you feeling this like I am?
PATRICK, blithely: Feeling what?
GILLIAN, mutters: I hate these damn hills.
PATRICK: Look at the fireflies. Those bats are having a great time scooping them up.
GILLIAN: Hmm. Nice.

Contented Silence.

GILLIAN: So my Wonder Woman blog post for tomorrow is supposed to be “What would I do with a million dollars?”
PATRICK: What would you do?
GILLIAN, excited: I’ve been thinking about it all week! Well, first I would pay all our debt. I know you’re not supposed to pre-pay a mortgage or student loans, but the lifting of that psychological burden would be so fantastic, I couldn’t not. So there goes the first quarter of it.
PATRICK: Hmmm.
GILLIAN: And then I would give $50k to each of our siblings. So that’s another quarter mil.
PATRICK: Hmmm.
GILLIAN: So we’ve got half left. Well I’d invest half of that, try to put some stuff away for retirement, buy money market or something.
PATRICK: Ummhmmm.
GILLIAN: This leaves us with the last quarter mil. That’s our fun money. So I’d spend about five grand to replace my entire ratty tatty wardrobe. Then about, oh, say twenty thou on getting a few toys, like a kayak, a mountain bike, an awesome tent, a membership to a pool and a good Speedo suit, some good hiking shoes, a great backpack, a violin and some lessons, maybe pay for an Italian language course. I’d replace our kitchen counter, and buy new exterior doors, replace our broken front deck and do landscaping, get some shutters. That’s probably a good twenty, maybe a bit more.
PATRICK: Yup.
GILLIAN: OK, so then I’d take a hundred grand and travel. Take a year long trip around the world, visiting friends as I get to them. I’d still stay in hostels and stuff, so I could eat and sleep on the cheap. I’d do the Pacific Crest Trail in the West, see friends out there, then hit Canada, Alaska. Scoot on over to Japan, Indonesia, re-visit Australia and hit New Zealand. Do a quick safari in South Africa, then do Egypt and head on up through Europe, making sure not to miss Scandinavia. From there back to the Northeast of the U.S., then down to South America, rattle around in there for a while, before landing back home.
PATRICK: Wow.
GILLIAN: And then we’d have $80k or so left. I’d just leave that in the bank, and the find myself a job I love without worrying about the size of the salary. I’d use the $80k and interest from it to supplement my sorry earnings, and settle back into a pretty normal life.
PATRICK: What about charity?
GILLIAN: Huh?
PATRICK: What about charity? Wouldn’t you give any to charity?
GILLIAN: Uh, NO. My siblings are my charity. Dude, this is supposed to be fun. What would you do with it?
PATRICK: Oh, I’d give it all away. I don’t really need stuff, and I think a little adversity is necessary for a happy life.
GILLIAN, after a stunned pause: I’m up to here with adversity. Me and adversity are breaking up on the day I get a million dollars. Wouldn’t you want to travel at all?
PATRICK: No, not really. I’m feeling more settled now, I’ve sort of seen most of the countries I want to see. No, I might put some away to grow, so we could buy our apartment in Rome when we retire. I’d give the rest away.
GILLIAN, head in hands: Who. Are. You. You are not the man I married. You are officially banned from playing the lottery. Way to ruin my daydream by being all altruistic and noble. Sheesh.
PATRICK, with a Mona Lisa smile: Let’s go home and have a glass of wine.

They exit hand in hand, leaving just the bats and fireflies swooping through the darkening night.

4 comments:

Wicked M said...

I love this. The good news is that Superman would blow the money just like I would. I appreciate that you included your husband in the discussion because I didn't even do that! HA!

super jane said...

what a noble boy you have there, glove!

G said...

Yeah, he's all good and stuff. Not me. Heck no, this imaginary million dollars is all about ME!!

Anonymous said...

I didn't even say I'd share w/my own family. I'm a tool!