by G.D. Maxwell
One thing Ive always prided myself on yeah, I know, another deadly sin is an easy ability to fess up when Im wrong. Admittedly, when youve had as much practice at being wrong as Ive had, well, you know, practice makes perfect. Practicing admitting it; not being wrong which takes no practice at all, just a willingness to let things all hang out... in public.
Ive been hanging things out in public for 400 weeks now. I know that with some certainty because when I started this Pique gig I suffered from a lapse of imagination and began filing columns by number. Ive got to be honest, I never expected to get too far into double digits before the well ran dry but here we are, the 400 th rant.
If I had champagne, Id open it. If I had two good hands, Id use one to push the other far enough around to pat myself on the back. If I had any sense at all, Id retire before I get sued again. If I had a dollar for every column I wrote... well, I guess I do, so just forget I started that sentence.
But its not like I have a lot of dollars for every column Ive written. Like the very kind, generous, understanding publisher she is, Kathy Barnett said it best when she told me from the outset, "You understand there isnt really any money in this?" I assumed she was speaking figuratively.
And its been made abundantly clear to me just how off base Ive been lately with the Annals of Greed series. I may be thick sometimes but I dont need to be called a "... pinko, Commie, chowderhead pathetic loser..." very many times to come to the realization Im way out of step with popular opinion.
So where does that leave me. Greed, it turns out, is good, at least according to the feedback Ive gotten. All Ive really got is this franchise on the back page of the Pique. I dont have the dough to do up this greed thing with enough panache to turn anyones head who doesnt drink Sterno out of a paper bag. Theres obviously only one option open to me.
MAX SELLS OUT!!!
Thats right, Im selling out. Abandoning my scruples which when combined with $2.75 will get me a lattè selling my soul, buying into the North American Dream, grabbing all the gusto I can get.
Its both disheartening and pathetic to realize Ive gotten this old and have so little to show for it. Its way too late to ever expect Ill be able to live the good life as its coming to be defined in our little corner of the world. But thats no reason I shouldnt make at least some concessions to conspicuous consumption.