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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Talking to High-Falooters in the Mall

The other day I ran into my friend Alex from high school. I was walking out of the theater at the mall when I saw him. Regretfully, after a few exchanged words with him I realized that he had become the sort of person which I like to call a "Yuppie Jerk."

The Yuppie Jerk first appeared in modern times as the children of people who referred to themselves as freethinkers; who were referred to by their fellow citizens as, among many other things, hippies; and were classified by the government as unemployed. The Yuppie Jerks found it very difficult to rebel in the traditional sense against their establishment-hating parents. They also could not understand the cryptic language their parents used, which included phrases such as "Kumbaya," "Mother Earth," and "You's from Squaresville" (Coincidentally, many of said Yuppie Jerks were born in Squarfield, PA, a popular commune and hang-out spot for the Hippies). The Yuppie Jerks did the only thing they could do. They bought suits and cell phones, and became competitive uni-sexual business persons, embracing the very establishment so hated by their parents.

So Alex comes strutting over to me in his black leather jacket, pauses briefly to finish the two-handed text message he's working on and asks me how it's going.

"It's going alright. Just saw No Reservations starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart," I say, "How about yourself?"

"I'm making eight thousand dollars a month."

A bit puzzled by his response, seeing as the last time I saw him, a few months before, he was tearing tickets for the aforementioned movie theater, I ask:

"Working for the movie theater?"

"No, I'm just trying to find people, investors and stuff, around here."

"Did the movie theater ask you to do this?"

"No, no. I'm doing real estate sales."

"Wait a minute. The theater doesn't own any real estate!"

"I'm not working for the (expletive deleted) movie theater!"

This quick loss of temper when being asked basic questions about their work is a classic trait of the Yuppie Jerk.

The conversation cooled down a bit, and I ended up telling him that I'm making $9 an hour doing data-entry/modeling (I consider any job where I'm in view of the opposite sex a modeling job) and also going to school. He immediately told me how much that sucks, while simultaneously handing me a flier and a business card. Thinking this would be the end of it, I continued to walk out to the parking garage of the mall. He let me go for a moment, but then ran out to me in the garage, demanding that I give him a phone number so he could reach me if I had any questions. First of all, why would he call me if I had questions? But who was I to question the logic of one of the followers of those who control companies and oversee billion-dollar business deals and can drain the life out of most any conversation or party in five minutes flat?

Well, the mistake I made was to pull my cell phone out. He now knew I had a cell phone and he could just call the number I'd give him to make sure it is correct (not fake). And I couldn't just tell him my phone is on silent mode because this will always be the time your friend calls you to see what's taking you so long at the movies. In addition to these problems, I also did not have a standard fake number to give out anymore, seeing as the one I used to use now has a message telling the caller my real number, my address, where to buy paper bags and matches, as well as where to find a reasonable supply of dog poop. They really did their homework.

Anyway, I ended up giving him my number and later going to a three hour spiel with a whole fleet of Yuppie jerks about how great real estate investment is, how stupid it is to go to school, and that money is the root of all success (all of this done with much hooting and hollering. ie: "Do you guys want to make some money?!" "YEAH!!!" "Do you want to go to school for ten years to get it!?" "NOOOO!!!!" "Then you're in the right place!" "YEAH!!!" etc).

But you know, I can understand the situation of people who want to get into that stuff and it's fine. A lot of the people who went to that introductory seminar were blue-collar workers who had lost their jobs or were fed up with fixing lawn-mowers all day only to be replaced by a machine that eats lawn mowers and converts them into cheap, clean-burning fuel. Not having the stomach to compete with these machines, they are now just looking for a way to make enough money to retire before they turn 90.

But that ain't the life for me. No, I've decided to follow the timeless advice of Rodney Dangerfield in his hit film, Back to School: "It's rough out there. Move back in with your parents. Let them worry about it!"