Pique n' Your Interest 

Living-by-the-Skin-of-my-Teethathon

I recently e-mailed my friend Patrick who is living the high life in Hong Kong about how I managed to live off of $70 for eight days. Sound familiar? Would you feel a certain sense of camaraderie with me if I were to admit that my dialogue commonly includes the words "overdraft", "consolidation", "sesame snaps for lunch" and/or "sold my last bike in order to pay for it"? Or would you feel dissonant from my world, being that you are either: a) a Trustafarian b) a dealer of illegal substances c) a lottery winner or, d) were brought up learning how to budget. If you are any of these, you may find the following a bit foreign to your current/enviable state of affairs, and may want to stop reading now. It's a bit pathetic.

I know, I know. Being in debt is something you learn to accept after you acquire possessions and equity over time. I've also been told by some of my financially savvy friends, as well as various loans officers, that there is such thing as "good debt" and "bad debt", but I have yet to decipher which has proved to be good or bad, and why? But like most of life's indulgences, I'm quite certain that I've dabbled in both. To have studied in foreign places, to have travelled parts of the globe, to have just purchased yet another black hat (it just fits so perfectly) – I should really feel indebted to the infrastructure of getting in debt itself.

I just finished the last day of my eight-day Living-by-the-Skin-of-my-Teethathon. My journey ended by driving below the red zone on my gas gauge from Function Junction to the bank to deposit my paycheque and back again to Creekside to fill my car up with gas. After two days of driving below E, I thanked the sweet angels above that I managed to get away with driving below the mysterious "on empty" zone. I have to admit that it's a bit of a thrill seeing how far you can actually drive. Last week was 15 kilometres, will it be 25 this week? Why don't the Car People ever tell us these things?

I suppose I could save money by taking the bus while also contributing to Whistler's sustainability initiative. But then I would be breaking a promise I made to myself five years ago. I am referring to mental note 12.19.99 (circa Dec. 19th, 1999) made at 8:15 a.m. on the Function Junction shuttle: "NEVER TAKE BUS AGAIN" – after an inebriated Aussie leaned over his plastic blue seat and offered me a Twizzler. I believe I purchased my 1987 VW shortly thereafter.

Admittedly my car isn't much of a step up from the 40-passenger limo. Only two of the four doors open from the outside, three open from the inside and one only opens in the summer and locks itself solid through the winter. The back right window slides down on its own (thanks to Barclay the Dog) and requires a manual push & slide with the palm of my hand. The right windshield wiper has a tendency to fly off from time to time, which makes for an adventurous journey to and from Emerald on a snowy evening. And if you happen to be behind my little silver Jedi at a stoplight, you will quickly see and smell why the current goals of the Kyoto accord have not yet been met. Again, a strike against our sustainability initiative.

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