The stock market has taken so many dumps this week it makes me wonder if bad sushi is to blame. If you listen closely, you can hear broke people snickering. All of the F-U money I swam in evaporated during the last five years, so now all I can do is shrug. I have little left to lose and no desire to be constantly reminded about it.

“Hey, but at least you have your health.”

“Shut up, asshole.”

“You know, when life gives you lemons …”

“… throw them at your annoying friend’s head?”

“There’s no use being angry about it. Nobody can predict the markets.”

“You’re not helping.”

“It’s not how much money you have; it’s how you feel about what you have.”

“All right. Let me check. I feel useless credit cards in this pocket. I feel lint in this one. I feel like shoving this square-tipped shoe up your pretentious ass.”

“Maybe meditation would help take your mind off things.”

“Maybe Scotch would.”

“Liquor never solved anything.”

“I disagree. Liquor has solved many a problem I’ve encountered by distracting me until the problem went away. Now, hand me that bottle and let’s hope the rest works out like it usually does.”

“Gosh, you really are depressed. Maybe you should come to church.”

“No, I should start a church since it seems like the most stable enterprise around.”

“There are some excellent books I’ve read that may help you.”

“Unless they contain naked boob pictures, hundred-dollar-bill bookmarks, and recipes for pot brownies, I’m not interested.”

“Why don’t you cut your losses and buy precious metals?”

“Because, if there’s one thing this spastic market has taught me it is that the minute I move to a safe haven, that safe haven will implode. I’m going to keep what’s left under my pillow and hope it doesn’t rain there.”

“I’m fortunate to have a supportive family at times like this. Our love can get us through anything.”

“Really? Can it? Can it get you through the Carl’s Jr. drive-through? Well, I’m not eating that slop. I want my fucking strip steak and by golly, I’m going to have it.”

“You’ll only make things worse.”

“No, you are making things worse by giving me unsolicited advice. Things suck right now and the only way to unsuck them is for me to piss, moan, and suffer my way through them by myself without a self-proclaimed wealth advisor buzzing around my ears.”

“I’m only trying to help.”

“I’m only trying to get you to stop.”

“If you would have listened to me before …”

“I swear I’m going to bite you. Can’t you understand that you got fucking lucky? That’s all it is: gambling and luck. This time you guessed right and I guessed wrong. Yay for you. Next time it might be different. For now, enjoy your good fortune, pay your taxes, and leave me be.”

“Jeez, you don’t have to get huffy about it.”

If you want to help a brother out of the ditch, buy him dinner … or how about a beer? Leave it at that. Don’t say why you’re doing it. Don’t flash wads of cash. Just tell him you love him as a friend and that’s what friends do.

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About the author

Author of humorous essays about relationships and lifestyles.