My friend Nell believes that the man on late-night TV can wipe away your debt with spring water. The man says it is a gift that God gave him. “I’m gonna call him. See what it’s about.”
D and I are skeptical. “With water?” D asks. “Water.”
Nell tells him about the people on the show, how much debt they had. “One lady had $350,000. Gone. Another lady had a million dollars debt, and he cleaned it all away.”
D asks, “You know how much she got paid to be on that infomercial?”
I chime in: “I’ll wipe your debt away for $50. Whatever he charges, I’ll beat his price.” D points out that the guy on TV uses spring water. I respond, “I only use Aquafina!”
We try different tactics, but Nell refuses to be moved. We don’t have an infomercial for our arguments, nor the shiny delight of instant deliverance from debt in a city famously short on economic opportunity. All we’ve got is the dull assertion that $20 you save by not getting ripped off is $20 you get to keep.
“You know how you say it’s hard to tell who your real friends are? The magic water money guy is not your friend.”
“I’m gonna call him first thing in the morning. Just to see what it’s about. First thing in the morning.” And later: “I’m going to put $20 on high eights at Motor City tonight. If you win, that’s $2000.”