There is a 99 cent store at 7th and Rose near where I live. One day curiosity got the better of me and I strolled in to see what type of wares they were peddling. I assumed it would be similar to your standard dollar store that sold trinkets and extremely shitty paper towels and the like. What I found was mind blowing: 2 liters of Pepsi, boxes of Orville Redenbacher popcorn (my fave) multipacks of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and giant bags of Lays Kettle chips, even Penn tennis ball sleeves. These same items would run me 2 to 3 times as much at a regular grocery store. There has to be a logical explanation for this. Perhaps this is the Pepsi that gets rejected or fails a bunch of taste tests. Maybe those Lays chips were subjected to rats. I picked up a few items and I couldn’t tell a discernible difference. Then I thought about it harder and I realized, I really don’t give a shit about quality.
I have done such a 180 since high school. I used to refuse to go grocery shopping with my mom if she went to Walmart because I thought that if someone spotted us they would think that my dad lost his job or something. Now I wish there were a place where I could get the 2 buck chuck bottles that didn’t pass Trader Joe’s standards and I could get it for a dollar. (Have I mentioned that the sales of 2 buck Chuck are illegal in Venice because it makes it too affordable for the bums to black out and become unruly) So yes, I will frequently shop at the 99 cent store in my Burberry coat, because it’s more important to me to pay 9 dollars for a beer on a Friday night at a bar than to pay more than 99 cents for my soap.
Speaking of the power of a dollar, I have been giving some thought today about what I would do if I could turn one into $500 million. Ah yes, the Megamillions jackpot is at a half billion dollars right now. It’s all any lower middle class person can talk about, but like it or not, I live right around the poverty line so fuck it I’m going to talk about it too.
First of all, everyone is going about it wrong. Inevitably whoever wins this jackpot is going to have one shot at fame. Some news reporter will come to your house and ask you what you are going to do with your new fortune. Now telling the reporter that you are “going to pay off your student loans, buy your parents a house, give some money to the church and take a vacation” may be the answer America wants…but its fucking weak. How boring is that? You just became part of the 1% and you are going to pay back your student loans? Boring.
No. What you do is tell that reporter I am flying all my friends to Vegas and we are going on a hooker fueled bender. Now you just became the biggest news story on the planet. “New 25 year old lottery winner vows drinking, drugs, prostitution with winnings.” This sends America into an uproar, what an asshole right? The economy is fucked, people are starving and this jackass is taking his friends to Vegas. This inevitably gets you enough buzz to go on a late night talk show, let’s say Fallon. He asks you a question like “so you are going to spend all your money on hookers and Vegas?” Then you reply, “Come on Jimmy, when you have half a billion dollars do you really think you have to pay women to sleep with you? I was just fucking around.” You go on to talk about how you are just a regular dude that stumbled into some money and instead of trying to save the world you are going to go rage.
Now you’ve established yourself as an every man and America forgives you, but you become famous among twentysomething males.
When it comes to purchases, sure I would have a house on every continent, I would fly to a different country for dinner once a week and I would never work a day the rest of my life, I would finance independent films so I could hang out with movie stars and I would go to clubs in flip flops and buy bottles like a fucking boss.
I would start a charity to pay the legal fees of frat guys with public intox or duis, throw yacht parties off the coasts of really busy beaches to make everyone jealous. I would buy all of the grape and cherry Kamchatka left in the world…scratch that, I would buy Kamchatka and start mass producing grape and cherry at college campuses again. I would build my alma matter a 100 million dollar frat castle complete with a moat. I would probably also document my every purchase…it would kind of be like an r rated blank check. Long story short, I would unabashedly do whatever the fuck I wanted and tell anyone that stood in my way to blow me.
Sure it sounds like I would live a very shallow existence, but at least it is an honest one. The reason people hate the Kardashians so much isn’t because they are rich for no apparent reason it’s the bullshit associated. When Kim runs her mouth about how she is a business woman and she works so hard blah blah blah I just want to shoot her. If she came out and said ya, you know I fucked Ray J, I’m pretty attractive and I get paid just to exist, I can’t hate that. If I could go have interracial sex right now and get 3 tv shows out of it I would head straight to Compton.
It’s an exercise in futility though, I’ll probably never win 500 million dollars…I’ll probably never make more than $150,000 in a year the rest of my life. But it is fun to sit back and see what kind of person you are, apparently I’m a self absorbed dick who likes to get fucked up, but who didn’t know that already. But until I strike it big, I’ll be shopping at the dollar store, and maybe after too…I don’t give a fuck about quality, just about excess. Do you ever wonder what kind of person you would be with unlimited money? It’s kind of like having a super power. Would you use it for good or for evil? I would use it for bro.