I have slept probably six or seven hours total in that time. Ever since we got back from our trip to Las Vegas.
We were all excited, we were going to have a great time and you even got us a deal on our hotel room.
“I’ll put it on my card,” you said, “it’s not a big deal, pay me back whenever!”
True to your word, due to your busy schedule at work, I didn’t end up seeing you for a few weeks. When I finally did, I wrote you the check for $102.00, just like you requested.
Here’s the problem: my share of the hotel room was $102.00. That’s zero-percent interest. You laid out one hundred and two dollars of your own money, which I was able to keep in my low-yield savings account. I accrued interest on that. I turned a profit and you didn’t get a dime.
There isn’t a bank in the world that would give me money for free, but you did, Ross. You did.
I know I tried to pay you the 34 cents I estimated I would have owed you, were you charging me the normal compound interest comparable to a rate I would get from any mid-sized financial institution, but is it fair for me to say, “Ross wouldn’t take it?” and then be on my merry way?
I don’t think so. I know some might say, “it’s only 34 cents, who cares?” but it is sad to me that this is the prevailing attitude of the society we live in.
As an example, 34 cents is probably too small to register in peoples’ minds because they don’t have the patience or imagination to see the possible scope of the damage my illegal activities could have.
What I have done is stolen money from you, Ross. You can forgive me, but I can’t forgive myself. That is a profit I am making that I am not declaring to the government. They are not taxing me for this. That is tax money that I am not paying them that could be used for better schools for our children, health care for indigents, or fixing potholes on our roads.
I am a criminal.
Let me elucidate how big of a problem this is. If we were to apply my little scam to a much larger sum of money or perhaps more appropriately, a larger number of these small loans, we can begin to see the potential for financial mischief.
Say that you loaned me that same $102.00, interest-free, but now you’ve done it ten thousand times in a row. That comes to a grand total of $1,020,000. That’s a lot of money! You know what the interest on that kind of cash would be, if you were to carry it for the same two week period without charging me any interest? Well, I don’t, but I’m guessing it would probably be like six grand, at least!
Six thousand dollars. That’s a used Honda Civic from the mid-90’s. That’s transportation for many years for a poor, Mexican family.
But now Felipe won’t get to his job as a day-laborer. Manuel won’t get that ride to school. Lupe will have to walk on her own, two tired feet to clean that rich, white family’s home. All because I was selfish and felt it was OK to rip off you and the government.
I am sorry, Ross. I’m sorry.
I can’t say it enough and it will always sound hollow, but I am sorry. I wish you could see me right now, I can’t stop crying. I feel like–
Wait a minute, I paid you $102.00, right? But don’t you remember when I bought breakfast at the Peppermill? You had like six mimosas and when I gave the waitress that hundred dollar bill I won at keno, you said I should take your share of breakfast out of the money I owed you. I tried to turn you down but you insisted.
With your mimosas and your steak and egg omelette with no eggs, that came to $37.28. Subtracted from the original $102.00, that would leave $64.72. So I over paid you.
You cheap son of a bitch. You screwed me, Ross. You screwed me. I can’t believe I let you do this to me. I felt so bad. I was fucking crying. You asshole. It is taking every ounce of restraint I have to end these sentences with a period because believe me, in my mind I am screaming at you.
I know you’re going to say that we were all drunk and you just forgot, but fuck you. Fuck you and your drinking problem! There, one slipped out. This is the worst thing anyone has ever done to me, ever.
You have ruined Las Vegas for me forever. You have permanently sullied our happy memories we made on that trip. My keno winnings are tainted. The same goes for the excitement I felt meeting Celine Dion. Ditto that picture Keren took of us riding the Big Shot on top of the Stratosphere.
I hate you, Ross! I am glad Mr. Whiskers got feline AIDS and died! OK, I’m sorry, Mr. Whiskers had nothing to do with this and I’m sorry I said that.
But you know what? I feel that since you have no loyalty to me, I have no loyalty to you and am free to tell everyone about how before you moved to California in sixth grade, you had to wear braces on your legs and everyone called you FDR at your old school! That’s right, Mr. Cool! You weren’t so cool then, were you? It’s hard to be a badass and a rebel when you ride the special bus to school with all the retards!
Don’t forget to take your urinary incontinence pills tonight, Ross. It would be really embarassing if you were to pee all over your fiancee. Oh that’s right, she still doesn’t know about that. Well don’t worry, I’m sure she won’t read this blog even though she reads my blog every day. I’m sure this time it will be different. Yes, that sounds likely. This one time she will forget to read my blog and won’t find out your terrible secrets.