Volume 94, Issue 58
Friday, January 5, 2001
$30,000 and opening the new millennium
By Richard Prior
Ah, winter in London. Stumbling students too drunk to feel the cold, homeless people dropping like snowflakes, prostitutes (or are they Western girls?) ho, ho, ho-ing it up with engineers, who just don't have the time for a real relationship. Something about this place fascinates me I think it might be the sight of so many kids with so much to lose, all saying "Fuck it" at the same time. How I've missed it here!
I resolved, briefly, to be nicer and more optimistic in the new year. I had a brilliant flash of helping the aforementioned homeless and walking old ladies across the road, building houses in Moldova and speaking out against child labour in Africa. And then someone cut me off on the 401, and it all went out the window in a hail of obscenities and rude gestures. Looks like I'm just going to be me for yet another year.
Then again, can you really blame me for being bitter and disillusioned? Was it not just over one year ago when the Christmas gift was a generator and heated bomb shelter? Arthur C. Clarke said we'd have shiny white space ships and interstellar travel by now instead, we have NSync. I left home to travel for a year, and when I got back who was the new Canadian sex symbol? Stockwell Day. Are you people insane?
Look at it from my perspective. I spent four months bartending in our fine city's British namesake, listening to great new bands, and who makes it across the pond? Fucking S Club 7, that's who. I left the sweet nectar otherwise known as Guinness behind in Ireland, and all I can get is the black goop of the same name that gets sold everywhere else in the world.
Sure, every once in a while there's a flash of hope "Celine Dion Quits, Baby Fathered by Turkey Baster." But alas, it's never enough. Where's the end to world hunger? The onset of world peace? The express bus with destination Haley Joel Osment?
Maybe it's the $30,000 that went to Operation Massive that's keeping me down. Now, I know we all make mistakes (I'm often accused of being one myself thanks, Mom) but I'd like to take a second to think about this. Obviously, it's enough cash to pay my tuition all the way through school. It could pay for alcohol for the next, um, two or three weeks. It's rent for the kind of house that has a solarium and remote control Jacuzzi (with just enough dough left over for a supply of bubble bath and massage oil, always a must if you live in a place like that).
But let's think about some other sadly more useful ways to spend that cash. You could buy enough beer to keep an average person absolutely shit-faced for all four years of their undergraduate degree. Richard Gere could have had sex with Julia Roberts for two and a half months in Pretty Woman. Your little brother could have spent four straight pathetic days on a phone-sex line. A sperm bank could buy somewhere in the area of three baby-kegs of semen.
So yeah, I'm a little grumpy. After all, I could be flying through space listening to cutting edge tunes sleeping in a great house with a free education. I could be existing in an Irish Guinness induced trance having orgasms for a living. Don't blame me.
Richard Prior's column appears every other Friday. He can be reached at email@example.com
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