08/21/2008 08:46 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

I Almost Made You Rich

Tired of having an empty wallet? Fed up with collecting discarded bottles
and cans to pay the rent? Then listen carefully, because I can show you how
to stop being poor and start getting rich, and my system has never failed!
This is the real deal. No hype, no gimmicks. For years I've shared my
wealth-building strategies with friends and family, all of whom are now
living like royalty. "This is too good to keep secret!" they've told me
over and over. "You must share it with the rest of society!" So now, for
the first time, I am making my treasure trove of financial knowledge
available to the public.

What's that? You have no prior experience in money management? Neither
did I. My family was so poor we ate dirt for dinner every night until I
was 17. Once in awhile my mother tossed in a handful of gravel to give it
some texture. But I pulled myself out from that pit of hopelessness and by
following a few simple steps, you can, too!

Come again? You're worried this will take hours of study each day?
Absolutely not! There are no hefty manuals to read or charts to memorize.
One of my cousins has been in a mild coma for the past six years but still
piles up a mountain of money during his brief periods of wakefulness.
Excuse me? You've been so beaten down by dead-end jobs and grinding
debt that you can¹t envision yourself at the pinnacle of monetary success?
Look, there's no way I can change the past, but if you insist on looking
backward all the time I guarantee the only thing you¹ll end up with is one
hell of a stiff neck.

By now you should be asking yourself, "How do I get onboard this train?"
Any normal person would be jumping up and down with excitement after what
I've just said. Perhaps you still have doubts. I don¹t know why you
would, but anything's possible these days.

One of my in-laws was actually offended when I first told him about my
system because he thought I was implying that his own efforts to build
financial security were misguided and inept. Is that what you're inferring
right now?

Let me tell you something, babycakes, I'm not here to blow rainbows up
your tush. You either want the brass ring or you don't. If you enjoy
waking up every day face down on the sidewalk, soaking in a fetid puddle of
your own bodily fluids, be my guest. And for God's sake don't start me down
that trail of tears about how unfair life can be and nobody understands your
special problems and little guys never get a break.

Oh dear, there I go again, with my superior attitude and lack of
empathy. Feelings. That's what everybody¹s all about these days, feelings
and sensitivity. Anybody remember a little thing in this world called competition? It means
that while you¹re busy working yourself into a big snit, feeling
disrespected by my uncompromising standards and thinking I should apologize,
the people who are following my system have been raking in money that could
have been yours!

Hello? Am I just talking into empty space here? I had good intentions
to start with, but maybe this whole scheme is just a fool's errand. Lord in
Heaven, I'm putting my reputation on the line and assuming that complete
strangers will use the brains God gave them to make some sensible decisions.
Who am I kidding? History is littered with the bleached bones of losers
who sat down beside the highway of life and waited for wealth and happiness
to come swooping in on a flying carpet and carry them off to paradise.
Sorry, but I gave up magical thinking the day I stopped eating those filthy
dirt dinners.

Oh, wait a second. I see where this is going. Dollars to doughnuts
some meatball who's too lazy to tie his own shoes will sign up, claim he
followed my system and didn¹t make a dime, and then he'll find some two-bit
lawyer and file a giant class-action lawsuit. They'll go on Court TV and
accuse me of exploiting the hopes and dreams of trusting citizens and my
reputation will end up somewhere between Hitler and Charles Manson.

You know what? Forget it. Nobody needs all this hassle. Sorry to
waste your time. We're done here. If anyone asks what this was all about,
just tell them it was all a misunderstanding and it¹s not worth discussing.
End of story. You don't have to give them any details. You don¹t even
know my name.