I remember when free meant free. It didn’t mean, watch your wallet. I remember when dirt, water and Americans were free. Now dirt is sold in bags, water costs more than gas and big business is coming up with ways to charge us for air--an air bill, holy moly. All my life people have been paying to have pine straw removed from their yards, but now people pay to have pine straw scattered in their yards. How about green stamps? You could save, and don’t forget lick, a gazillion green stamps and get anything in the world.
I remember when you could collect an entire set of dish or bath cloths and towels just by buying flour. You could collect an entire set of glasses buying jelly. I’m not sure if you were buying the jar and getting the jelly free or the other way around.
Remember a certain caramel popcorn that used to include prizes in their product? One of them was a tattoo--now all of them are tattoos. There used to be things similar to scratch off lottery tickets that you would receive for free, simply because you bought something. The government discovered how much money was in the lottery business, and those became illegal. Here is an amendment to an old saying: Don’t steal or have raffles, the government hates competition.
Nothing is free now, and the word "free" has become the twenty first century’s newest curse word.
Internet companies use it as a trap. If they want more visitors to a web page, all they need to do is tag the page with the words free and sex, it’ll get us every time. We are a nation of suckers. The only way to get anything free today is by buying a new car and paying three times its worth. Someone has to pay those people who make them, three times what the rest of us poor suckers make. Of course, that’s not entirely true either, but merely a rumor started by the bosses, to shift attention from the ridiculous salaries they make, to those sweeping the floors. If you buy a car and get a free vacation, and more importantly, believe that you did, you, my friend, will buy beach front property in Arizona.
The housing industry is in the toilet, sorry no matter what anyone says, it still is. Now, the rental industry has a captive audience. The bankers, lawyers, real estate people, credit companies and finance institutions have had their way with the American public. Now it’s time for the rental industry to take its turn. The average American has no money and no credit. That means we are allowed to rent an apartment for twice what it’s worth and pay three deposits to do it. People are being forced to provide bogus documents and use others credit and income to qualify to rent. What happens when the rental industry crashes? Crap, that is too insane to imagine, but it may be next. Does anyone else believe that this industry is being controlled by the same idiots who shoved high interest homes, we could not afford, down our throats?
In some places, driving is not free. The police use us as money farms, we are pulled over for the craziest stuff. Remember when even a scary dude with a gun had to have a reason to search your home or car? It’s not their fault; it’s another way for our governments to extract taxes they can’t legally steal.
How about parking? Parking has become another way for the cities to have their way with us. See, that expensive air I was talking about earlier isn’t as crazy as it seems. My car was towed in Athens last year, which meant that ten bucks worth of yogurt cost me two hundred and sixty bucks. It was towed in Miami Beach recently, and I still believe I was parked legally and simply had the misfortune of having out of state plates. I had just written about the television shows Cops and South Beach Tow. Talk about ironic.
So in the process of trying to get back my property that I had already paid for once, I taught those at Tremont Towing a few colorful words and a few others we only use in Georgia. I left with lighter pockets and my old car. The next day, South Beach Tow called me and asked if I’d like to be on the show.
On my fifty second birthday, I taped an episode of the show and it will air on trutv in November, on the fifth episode of the season. Of course, by the time we had finished shooting, I had made the star of the show so mad, she had to slam, stun gun and pepper spray me. Turns out, getting beat up by a girl and enjoying it on your birthday is still free.
Life is peachy.