Thursday, December 08, 2005

Money Problems

I apologize, Brother/Sister, for the tone I took in that last post. As anyone who has had to resort to smuggling himself over a border inside a refrigerator could tell you, I've been under a fair amount of stress lately.

These cash flow issues don't help. You may remember from way back that when I first left for Peru, I prudentially tucked away $500 for a return flight. What I didn't know — and could never have guessed — at the time were (1) that I would have a Piper to fly home alongside me, and (2) that he and I would together get booted off our plane two thirds of the way through our itinerary, and (3) that friggin' American Airlines would refuse to refund me for what their Customer Service Personnel have described as an "interruption in service."

I call it a screw-over, Brother/Sister. If the airline overbooks a flight and bumps you, it puts you on the next flight. If you get hammered at the hotel bar and arrive to the gate too late, they find a way to book you through to your destination.

I don't see how my situation is any different. In fact, I think I make a stronger case for assistance than most people who miss a flight. In my case —

("Our case," PePe says. That's fair.)

in our case, we missed our flight because the government was persecuting me because of my political ambitions and assassin's training.

But those punks at American Airlines are unyielding on this point, it being their strict policy not to make travel allowances for people who suffer an interruption in service due to their no-fly status.

What a bunch of patriots they are.

Anyway, Brother/Sister, I'm coming to learn how crippling illiquidity can be to an enterprise — even a non-profit sociopolitical movement like mine.

We've blown through my $500 travel set-aside and are now dipping into the balance of $343.78 in the World Domination Fund. Come tax-time, I don't think I'll have any problem justifying the cost of this extended involuntary layover as a "business expense."

Still, I don't like borrowing against the Fund so early on in the project. I was saving up to buy a share of Google stock, but if PePe keeps eating the way he does — my God, you'd think they were starving the guy at the Secret Mountain Redoubt — we'll have run the Fund down to zero on his potato-chip consumption alone. (And between you and me, my loyal and voracious Piper is not exactly bringing home big bills from his busking gig downtown.)

So that's why I'm a bit testy these days. I'm keeping my eyes peeled for a get-rich-quick scheme, but I'm fighting a real sense of discouragement, bordering on depression. It's a struggle even to get out of bed these days, much less beat the streets for business opportunities.

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