Exercise #156: How did they end up bankrupt??
They tried to keep up with the Jones's.
Sketch out the bones of this sad little story. (Hint: you might just make a list of some of the things they did, and the consequences.)
It was infuriating. Edgar Jones had the same job as me. He was paid the same amount bi-weekly. His wife was a stay-at-home Mom, and my wife had a job that paid nearly as much as mine did. And yet there they were, living luxuriously across the street from my family and me. A new 52" plasma tv? Sure! A shiny grill for the back porch? Definitely! Every day, their wealth smacked me in the face, saying, "Hey, Paul. Just face it: we're better than you."
I spent years trying to figure out just what it was that made them so much money - heck, I even paid money to run a credit check on them. Not only was their credit flawless, but it also showed absolutely no abnormal financing. It was all quite bizarre, really.
Completely bewildered by their freakish success, I decided that I would put my money into stocks. That's how everyone with lots of cash makes it, right?
We had marginal success at first, but then our stocks started tanking - one right after the other - and we were soon left with much less money than we had to begin with.
From then on out, it was a nightmare. My obsession with one-upping my neighbor completely dominated my life. Work went on the backburner. I showed up, but I was frequently distracted by money-making schemes that were bouncing around in my head. I eventually quit my job in an attempt to start my own business that was "guaranteed" to be a real money-maker.
Unfortunately, I was completely wrong.
My wife left me. Took the kids.
Now I'm applying for bankruptcy. I can't get back on my feet.
And those damned Jones's... They're still living in the lap of luxury. What I wouldn't give for that...
But I don't have anything more to give.
Well, sad. Gah... I'm all depressed now.
Must find something that makes me smile...
You know what else makes me smile? When people are inspired by these exercises to write! Diandra over at Short Stories and Mad Rants based her Friday Flash submission for this week on this exercise. I think she did a wonderful job, so you should totally check our her story, "Balance."