Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Constant Consumer


A 500 word short story by Scott A. Gese

Madge Parnell was the product of a consumer society. Born and bred to be a taker with no conscious thought of ever giving back.

She didn't know when to slow down, let alone quit. To make a bad habit worse, she had expensive taste. She bought according to the name on the label not the price on the tag. She had to have a new car every year to display in front of her new house in a posh neighborhood on the expensive side of town.

Her husband was a slave to her spending habits. He worked hard for the money he earned. He made a good living but barely managed to pay the bills which included six credit cards that were always charged up to the max. Aside from her line of credit, come payday, Madge was always first in line for a “cash advance”. Well ahead of the many creditors she constantly supported.

The shopping channel was a good friend when her favorite stores were closed. Packages arrived daily. It was like Christmas morning all year round.

One day Madge just happened to be outside when her next door neighbor drove up in a brand new Lexus LX. She called for Madge to come over and take a closer look. The woman couldn't stop bragging about how her husband surprised her with it. “And it wasn't even my birthday.”

After the brag-fest, Madge went back to the house and Googled the Lexus LX. It cost $100,000. Madge had to have one. But how? Her husband would never agree to spend that much on a car. Even with her trade-in, she would still need another $45,000 or so.

Maybe you could sell some of your jewelry,” suggested her husband.

Maybe I could sell that book of old coins you have?” she quipped.

Do that and it will be the last thing you do,” he sternly replied.

Madge was upset at her husband for not wanting to help her buy a new Lexus. Selling her jewelry was out of the question. She schemed for days on how to come up with the money.

One day while her husband was at work she pulled out his prized coin collection. “why does he collect these dirty old coins anyhow,” she thought.

She couldn't help herself. She took the collection to a coin dealer who offered her fifty thousand dollars. Madge didn't think twice. She agreed. That day she bought herself a brand new Lexus LX. It was parked in the driveway when her husband came home.

When he walked into the house, Madge was all smiles. “I got a new Lexus and you got five thousand dollars for those dirty old coins you collected.

Those dirty old coins were worth $150,000. What the hell did you do?”

I sold them, I had to.”

Her husband calmly replied, “I'm filing for a divorce... I have to.” He walked out of the house and drove away.

In the Lexus.

© Copyright 2019 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.

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