My incompetence with money is the real deal
Sometimes I am hijacked by my long-dead, turkey-necked paternal grandmother and I feel compelled to breathe whiskey fumes and discouragement over intimations of hope in reasonable men. I am tempted to crack open dry lips and hiss: “It’s far from sausage dogs you were reared, you dozy eejit. You should be out in a fetid yard grinding your fist into a dry stone wall, not standing there with a limp pup in your hand.”
Luckily these episodes of possession are short-lived and I was able to reach into the shoe box where we kept the change and, with a bit of prompting and finger counting, reacquaint the man with his lucre.
It’s been lifelong, this disability. I vividly remember saving up 13p to buy my mother bath cubes for Christmas. I was 10. I’d watched the cubes roost in a tinsel-wrapped box in the chemist’s window for weeks. I walked to the shop, counted out my money. Nothing happened after I put the last coin on the counter. The chemist waited; I waited. They cost 31p, she explained. I left.
Look at numbers long enough and they take on personalities. Stare at them on a squared copybook page for an hour, willing the damn things to sort themselves out and coherently re-form in the little rectangle where your answer is supposed to go, and those quixotic little beasts take on lives of their own.
Sevens, for example, are very cool dudes: they are witty and entertaining, women love them, they slink around at the number cocktail party dropping aphorisms like fractions – but turn your back for a minute and they’ll be in the margin with your girlfriend, especially if she’s a number three, because essentially number threes have very low self-esteem and they are easily flattered, and if you get a number three cohabiting with a number eight, well, all hell will break loose because number eights are successful and arrogant and, believe me, they don’t like to be crossed.
I could never explain why my homework wasn’t done; I would have needed that silver-tongued number seven to have hopped out of my copybook and done the talking for me.
Anyway, do I care? Do I what! As soon as I can work out 10 percent of $12 million, it’s sayonara, baby, me and the sausage dogs are heading down to Rio to catch up on the action. You’ll find us on the beach with a bunch of fives – man, those guys really know how to party.