Published February 2, 2011

You enjoy a life of luxury and conspicuous consumption

You have to skip the opera
You must skip the opera and come up with some money

You kick your feet up on your desk and relax. Leaning back in your gold-plated Eames lounge chair, you sip a glass of cabernet sauvignon worth more money than the castle it’s named after and think about all your worldly possessions. Although your fabulous riches have brought you happiness, you begin to feel like you have lost touch with your fellow man. You think about liquidating your assets and living a simple life earning an honest wage.

As you mull it over, you open up your email only to discover a letter titled “Response to your blog.” Judging by the enthusiasm in the title, you assume it’s probably just more complaints about profanity and obscene-sounding products (“Storaro gel?”), but you decide to read it anyway.

The letter is from Chooseco, the publisher of Choose Your Own Adventure books. You have a sudden familiar sense of dread like someone is going to ask you to cease or desist something. You continue reading cautiously to find that there are no threats of legal action. Instead, there is a word of praise: “I just want to share that I enjoyed reading your CYOA-style memoir at Thank you for helping keep the interactive style alive.”

Genuinely touched, you draft a reply. You humbly decline that you are not keeping the interactive style alive because it is a format bursting with vitality. You make a few allusions to some smart-guy stuff you learned about in college and make your big pitch.

“Incidentally, please let me know if there are any openings in any capacity at Chooseco. It’s my dream to work for a company where imagination, integrity, and goodwill are paramount!”

After writing this you check your solid gold Rolex pocket watch and realize you are running a bit late for the big opera tonight. You rush upstairs and brush your teeth with your caviar flavored whitening and tartar control toothpaste. As you are strolling out the door, the phone rings.

“Please hold. I have an important call!” the anonymous voice urges you.

“Yeah, hello, is this Luke Teaford?” a dimwitted thug who pissed his life away to become a banker or an accountant or some dreary god damn thing like that asks.

I’m Luke Teaford,” you boast, thinking perhaps this guy saw your blog.

“Yeah, well, my name is Sid E. Bank, and I want you to know you have to make a payment on your, uh, your student loan here.”

“There must be some mistake,” you assure him. “I’m unemployed, and I cannot make a payment.”

“Let me just check that with the computer here,” he offers. “Ok it says here you have to pay something. So maybe you ask for money from your parents or your god or whatever but bottom line is you pay up and you pay up now.”

Worried, you decide to skip the opera and come up with a way to make some money and fast.

You decide to: