"Hey Tony, I had the absolute shittiest thing happen today."
"Your truck got towed. Kevin told me."
"Yeah, my truck got towed because I had five unpaid parking tickets. They impounded my truck."
"So not only did I have to pay the $350 worth of parking tickets (which is like double what they originally were), but I also had to pay the city $170 to "release" the truck and I had to pay the tow yard $125 for towing and storage. $700 dollars later, I got my truck back, a truck I hardly ever drive in the first place because who can afford gas these days?"
"I asked the girl at the police station what the $170 was for."
'Administrative costs,' she said, 'Like typing up the report.'
'That's some expensive typing,' I said, 'Does that $170 include a ride to the tow yard?'
She gave me a look that communicated, 'Gimme a break.'
'They didn't impound the books I had in the truck, did they? That copy of Midnight's Children is signed by Salman Rushdie. Are you familiar with Rushdie's work?'
"And all of this couldn't have happened at a worse time. All my rents are due and now I'm not even sure if I can afford them."
"I'm sick of being poor, Tony. I want to be rich."
"We will never be rich. Our brains don't work that way."
"My brain can't compute capitalism. The thing is, I feel like I contribute to society. I'm an English teacher, I run a basically non-profit art gallery, I help organize a monthly community art walk, I own a book store, etc. I just don't contribute in ways that society deems worthy of reward. If I was some kind of banker or real estate mogul or politician, I could be rollin' in the dough, especially if I had no conscience or moral compass or imagination. Then I could really be ballin'."
"Maybe we should become bank robbers. We could knock down a Wells Fargo."
"Didn't they get bought out in the whole economic crash?"
"No, that was Washington Mutual. They got bought out by Chase."
"Oh yeah...like a year ago all those Chases popped up everywhere."
"Like CVS. Those drug stores sprouted up like flowers a few years back."
"Normally, you would think a business grows slowly, but in the business of banks and drug stores...those shits explode."
"I wonder why."
"I imagine it has something to do with the billions of dollars the government gave them in 'bailout' money. Sometimes I think it's the corporate executives who are the real robbers and criminals. They have learned how to steal money from people and make it legal. I imagine them sitting around in some board room, discussing price fixing and lobbying and other shady corporate shenanigans, and some junior partner asks, 'But is that legal?' And the CEO cackles and says, "I will make it legal. Once more the Sith will rule the galaxy!"
(And by "Sith" I mean evil men with extraordinary power, who wield their power only for their own gain. For example, Darth Sidious, Darth Maul, Darth Vader, Darth Royce, etc.)