Ask Conlan: Means to an End

Some dude in Semmes, Alabama writes:

Hey, Conlan.

I’ve got a problem. I’ve been living beyond my means. Do you have any tips on how to control excessive spending? I’d really appreciate the help.

Some Yokel

Some, it’s a common problem, and I get this question a lot. Just look around, and you’ll see millions, if not hundreds, of people going about their daily lives as if they had way more means than they really do. I mean, look at the stock market. These guys thought they had means, but now it means nothing. It obscures the view, like trees in the middle of the highway on the median. Because of this, the average person switches to a mode of questioning their existential means at various points in life. This questioning usually occurs around the ages of 3, 7, 13, 19, 22, 23, 25, 27, 30, 32, 39, 42, 48, 50, 63, 72, 79, 100, and 104. (Also, I don’t mean to sound pedantic, and I know you’re from Alabama and people there are stupid, but the proper form of the word in this case is “meaning”, not “means”. No biggie.)

And that’s when people turn to excessive spending. If people have more living than meaning, of course they will spend a lot, since they are in the throes of what the french call fils de pute. We spend time thinking about the nature of the universe and the universe of nature and the inverse of unitards and unibrows of the mentally disabled. We spend precious cellphone text messages about cat food and old women and ennui, aren’t we? Who’s to say what’s black or white? If a horse race is so important, how come no one cares what color the horses are? Did you ever think of it like that? I didn’t. We spend so much just by not thinking of it like that. Can we really afford to spend more? In this economy, I don’t think so.

You’re welcome,