Life is like a Three Stooges movie where I get to be Moe. Yes, you heard me right. I am the “smartest Stooge”. And although a lot of the wacky plans my family carries out are my plans originally, I get more than my share of eye-pokes and head-slaps.
Financially I get more than my fair share of head-slaps. My income has now been frozen in retirement mode for the remainder of my life. I have to live three more years to get back all the money I paid into the pension plan for Texas teachers. It is a better pension than teachers can earn now, but it is set up with standards from over two decades ago. And, well, it is rather a difficult budget to manage when income is frozen and expenses are free to rise at will. I just paid $45 for groceries at Walmart and got four sacks of edibles. Seven cans of cheap-meal servings of chili and pork-n-beans (creating an alarming natural gas potential at our house), two cans of Pringles, 24 sodas in cans, two gallons of milk, Oscar Mayer salami, and some shampoo (hopefully we don’t have to eat the shampoo to avoid starving to death. I remember a time when a similar stash for the pantry cost a mere $10.) The point is, Walmart is treating us like Stooges, in the same way Mr. Dimsell treats his Stooges while working in Dimsell’s Drug Store in the movie, The Three Stooges Meet Hercules.
The biggest point I am trying to make, I guess, is that I am at the bottom of Poop Mountain when it comes to the matter of finance and wealth. (And poop not only rolls down hill, it avalanches down mountainsides.) Right now the games that rich people and the Mr. Dimsells of the world play with money give us all sorts of head-slaps and eye-pokes. Being able to own the whole drugstore is an unfair advantage. Now that Dimsell is the only drugstore operator in the area, he can set prices as high as he pleases without worrying about losing Stooge business to other stores. And he doesn’t have to treat his Stooges well, either. He can be mean. He can cut salaries and pensions in the secure knowledge that his Stooges will still have to come to him to spend their money no matter what. More and more of the wealth goes into Dimsell’s pocket, and none comes out. He is not compelled to share. He doesn’t pay anything to fix the potholes in the streets outside his store. He is, in fact given tax incentives just to be there and take our money. So when my car needs repair because the pothole wheel-kicked my car to the point of needing repair, I will be forced to pay Dimsell to fix a problem that he allowed to poke me in the eye financially. It is a real dumb deal, Porcupine. (And yes, I know that drugstores don’t normally sell or repair tires, but Dimsell is a metaphor for Walmart, if you hadn’t figured it out by now.)
So, the only answer is to accidentally send myself back to the days of Hercules with a homemade time machine invented in the basement under the drugstore. It will bring Dimsell to his knees and give him his just comeuppance. And it will thoroughly prove I can carry metaphors and analogies way too far.