Maxed Out 

This space for rent

by G.D. Maxwell

One thing I’ve always prided myself on – yeah, I know, another deadly sin – is an easy ability to ‘fess up when I’m wrong. Admittedly, when you’ve had as much practice at being wrong as I’ve had, well, you know, practice makes perfect. Practicing admitting it; not being wrong which takes no practice at all, just a willingness to let things all hang out... in public.

I’ve been hanging things out in public for 400 weeks now. I know that with some certainty because when I started this Pique gig I suffered from a lapse of imagination and began filing columns by number. I’ve got to be honest, I never expected to get too far into double digits before the well ran dry but here we are, the 400 th rant.

If I had champagne, I’d open it. If I had two good hands, I’d use one to push the other far enough around to pat myself on the back. If I had any sense at all, I’d retire before I get sued again. If I had a dollar for every column I wrote... well, I guess I do, so just forget I started that sentence.

But it’s not like I have a lot of dollars for every column I’ve written. Like the very kind, generous, understanding publisher she is, Kathy Barnett said it best when she told me from the outset, "You understand there isn’t really any money in this?" I assumed she was speaking figuratively.

And it’s been made abundantly clear to me just how off base I’ve been lately with the Annals of Greed series. I may be thick sometimes but I don’t need to be called a "... pinko, Commie, chowderhead pathetic loser..." very many times to come to the realization I’m way out of step with popular opinion.

So where does that leave me. Greed, it turns out, is good, at least according to the feedback I’ve gotten. All I’ve really got is this franchise on the back page of the Pique. I don’t have the dough to do up this greed thing with enough panache to turn anyone’s head who doesn’t drink Sterno out of a paper bag. There’s obviously only one option open to me.


That’s right, I’m selling out. Abandoning my scruples – which when combined with $2.75 will get me a lattè – selling my soul, buying into the North American Dream, grabbing all the gusto I can get.

It’s both disheartening and pathetic to realize I’ve gotten this old and have so little to show for it. It’s way too late to ever expect I’ll be able to live the good life as it’s coming to be defined in our little corner of the world. But that’s no reason I shouldn’t make at least some concessions to conspicuous consumption.

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