Just a stab at satire in a writing 'contest' with my son
|Keeping Up With the Joneses
or How to Appear Successful
Appearances are everything. A person must absolutely appear successful to be successful in the modern world.
Just take a look at Bill Jones next door. He’s got a brand new pick-up truck every year and his wife has the latest in mini-van technology to tote the kiddies to soccer, cheerleading, gymnastics, piano lessons, guitar lessons and lessons about taking lessons.
Louis Jones across the street has the newest and best zero turn radius riding lawn mower in the tri-county region. Not only that, he and wife Lucille go to the Anxious Angus Steakhouse three times a week. Jack Jones, whose house is on the other side, buys his wife new clothes from the specialty boutique, leases a new car and rides a brand new shiny motorcycle.
And there you are surrounded by all that opulent success (surely they’re successful, look at their well trimmed houses and fancy stuff) with your five year old push mower, a ten year old sedan with an oil leak and your wife needs a pair of panty hose to replace the pair she bought three years ago.
The worst of it is, they work at the same place you do, so you are pretty sure they’re not making any more money than you. But they appear to be successful so they must be. And you wonder: how can I keep up with the Joneses?
The thesis question that must be posed and answered is: why keep up with the Joneses?
It is really quite simple. You have to keep up with the Joneses to maintain your stature in the community. To have influence you must have the trappings and appearances of success. How will anyone listen to our opinions when your car is so old?
You could always volunteer in your community for the good of your fellow man, but why waste your time? Keep your kids in last year’s shoes that are too small and use that money to hire someone to do your lawn. That will show everyone how much more successful you are than Louis Jones. Do not be content to merely keep up; strive to surpass the Joneses!
Another reason is to earn the respect and love of your wife, children and mother-in-law. Face it, you’re never going to be good enough to satisfy the in-laws, so you might as well borrow money from them to finance your own new motorcycle. They expect nothing less and it would be a shame to disappoint them in everything. So long as you’re making an effort, they will be glad to help.
Don’t try to save money or manage it for the future. That will only hold you back from achieving your goal of appearing successful. You must spend, not save, to keep up with the Joneses. Don’t concern yourself with buying food. The obesity rate in this country is presently too high, according to the government, so it won’t hurt any one to miss a meal or two. But, if members of the family you are trying to impress feel they have to have three meals per day, then file for government assistance. It doesn’t matter if you make too much money, simply don’t tell them. They don’t care and when your government help starts, this will free up valuable cash that can be focused on your efforts to appear successful. Then you will be able to take your wife and condescending in-laws to the Anxious Angus Steakhouse four or five times a week. That will show Louis and Lucille Jones who the real successful person is and the way Lucille gossips, everyone in the neighborhood will know it too in a matter of hours.
Don’t concern yourself with maintaining your own possessions. If you do, you won’t be able to buy a new whatever it is you want. Wear it out and buy a new and better one! Don’t let your diminishing credit and over burdened pay check stand in the way of your appearance of success.
One more way to keep up or even surpass the Joneses is to put the ids to work. Education is over-rated, so have them stay home and build picture frames from salvaged barn wood. You can then sell these handicrafts at craft shows and flea markets and use the money to buy a new pick-up, mini van or take the wife on a cruise to Acapulco or the Virgin Islands. This will force Bill Jones to scramble to update his wife’s mini-van and allow Lucille to practice her communication skills letting all and sundry know about your vacation plans. And, for once, you will have the upper hand and the Joneses will be trying to keep up with you.
Since the kids aren’t in school, they won’t need new shoes or clothes, freeing up even more capital to take the wife and in-laws to the Anxious Angus, the local casino or bingo hall.
So do not care for your things, budget wisely or practice a frugal lifestyle. No, dear reader, if you must keep up with the Joneses, make sure you follow the listed steps and spend, spend, spend with never a thought for tomorrow.
Copyright © 2008 Shawn R Thornton