It’s Saturday, and while I put off cleaning up from making pancakes with my eldest daughter, I thought I’d share something with you. I’ve posted in the past about the intense pleasure I find in reading certain types of writing–really, really good bad writing. I’ve got two more pieces for you.
I can’t recreate the strange series of corridors I had to go down in order to find these. These two pieces from Esquire magazine, written in 2003, haven’t aged a day, and are well worth you making some coffee and carving out a hole in your morning. In them you’ll go out on the town with the $20 Millionaire to see just how far $20 will go toward buying the world.
A twenty should not be a dare…The twenty is a ticket, a covenant between two people–you and someone who can help you. It pushes you past the door, the rope, the counter, in order to find what lies just beyond the norms of commerce.
…I walked across the street to a pawnshop and bought a large box of dice (175 pairs) marked fifty dollars at a going-out-of-business sale simply by holding up a twenty at eye level. It was a visual assertion of who I am. Finally the guy snatched it. “There is tax,” he said.”Not for me,” I said. “Not this time.”
…Then I unrolled another twenty and asked him to get me some ice. He said sure, and he even sort of waved off that second twenty, holding up the first one as if to remind me. “No,” I said. “A lot of ice.”
Tom Chiarella understands not only the secret of how the world works, but also, and more importantly, how to write about it.