The above title is insufficient funds, but being delivered by a twenty-year-old.
So, before you start banging on to me about your renovations, mortgage or hedge fund, remember who you’re talking to, a 47-year-old, privileged white male who can’t get approval for, either a $5000 car loan, nor a credit card with a $1000 limit.
Our car is dying. It looks like it, smells like it and drives like it. It’s going downhill faster than what’s left of Tony Abbott’s morality. Our 2000 Toyota RAV4 was recently given a terminal prognosis by two experts. I trust them both, even the Russian one who doesn’t drink.
So, what do you do? Get another one of course. A small loan will do it. The car we’ve got only cost us $3,000 and did its job beautifully for three years. I like my vehicles as I like my friends, slightly damaged but fair dinkum. A few scratches and dents, not to mention upholstery more befitting the lounge of a young males’ share house, as it eliminates any concern about the vehicle being scratched, or dented, or, you get the drift.
The only problem is that no one (outside of an agency of questionable repute in Nigeria or one with interest rates more befitting those of a supermodel’s dating profile) will give us a loan.
I have a job, two actually. One is permanent, one is dependent on me being funny. One is paid as a salary and the other is paid when I work, which of late, is often. My wife, Lou, works too. She is also paid only when she works (what a bizarre concept). Her job requires that she is able to teach babies how to sleep, in the process saving the child’s parents from going completely fucking mental. Being in possession of this skill alone should automatically qualify her for a loan for whatever she damn well pleases, if not an annual nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize. But alas, we can’t get a loan, not for a car, and not for a credit card with a $1000 limit, as we applied for a few months ago. Our jobs and our faultless credit ratings mean nothing in the eyes of archaically inflexible bureaucratic practices. We are ‘high risk – low return’ borrowers.
The problem apparently is that my second job and Lou’s first job could cease at any time so they can’t be counted against a loan application. I considered pointing out that my other job could also cease at any time, but was distracted by manic laughing, which I soon realised belonged to me as a result of hearing that I may soon have to live without a car, one which both Lou and I need to get to our respective jobs. All this on World Mental Health Day too.
Essentially, car salesman and loaning agencies don’t take putting babies to sleep seriously. Nor, do they take my employment as a comedian seriously, which funnily enough, neither do I, as that is the point of comedy. Still, it pays the bills, just not the loan repayment ones.
For a bigger laugh, Lou and I are considering going in to our local ANZ branch next week, piggy banks in hand, to apply for a home loan. Alternatively, to soothe our souls and convince ourselves of our value to society we may enter a new car showroom and pose in front of a vehicle with a bow tied around it. Then, we’ll post the photo to Facebook. We’ve seen other people do this and they seemed to do so willingly, if not eagerly, as if buying steel and plastic that rests on rubber provided them with some sort of capitalist validation, albeit one that I don’t understand. Still, they received heaps of ‘likes’ on Facebook.
Admittedly, Lou and I once did something similar, posing with our children in front of a real estate agent’s sold sign. Our social media ‘friends’ approved wholeheartedly. We felt like we’d been accepted to an exclusive club. People seemed more impressed when they ‘thought’ we had purchased a house than they did when we ‘really’ had a baby. The ‘likes’ were 3 to 1 in favour of the real estate agent’s sold sign.
I have nothing against consumerism or people who own stuff. I’m one of them, I’ve got four t-shirts, three pair of shoes (one pair were a gift), a pair of jeans, loads of tattoos, a frisbee and plenty of books. This isn’t about car salesman either. I firmly believe that people who aren’t quite dodgy enough to be in jail still deserve the opportunity of employment until they end up in jail. Nor do I have anything against real estate agents, some of my best friend are psychopaths in their 30s who still use hair gel. Banks and loan sharks aren’t the issue, I mean what else are society’s soulless meant to do with their lives?
Sadly, there is no one to blame but myself. I must accept full responsibility for our predicament. You see, had I devoted my more recent adulthood to acquiring assets, a real estate portfolio, unfulfilling yet lucrative employment and valuable possessions, instead of ensuring that I remained; sane enough to stay alive, capable of maintaining a happy family life and able to put some money aside each week for beer, I too could be the proud owner of a $5000 second hand car with dings all over it.