Beyond the Western
The Constant Consumer
Scott A. Gese

Image Source: Freestock / Unsplash

Madge Parnell was the product of a consumer society. Born and bred to be a taker with no conscious thought of ever giving back.

Beyond the Western

She didn’t know when to slow down, let alone quit. To make a bad habit worse, she had expensive taste. She bought according to the name on the label not the price on the tag. She had to have a new car every year to display in front of her new house in a posh neighborhood on the expensive side of town.

Her husband was a slave to her spending habits. He worked hard for the money he earned. He made a good living but barely managed to pay the bills which included his wife’s six credit cards that were always charged up to the max.

Aside from her line of credit, come payday, Madge was always first in line for a “cash advance”. Well ahead of the many creditors she constantly supported.

Amazon and the Shopping Channel were good friends when her favorite brick and mortar stores were closed. One click ordering and overnight delivery were a godsend. Packages arrived daily. It was like Christmas morning all year round.

One day Madge happened to be outside when her next door neighbor drove up in a brand new Lexus LX. She called for Madge to come over and take a closer look. The woman couldn’t stop bragging about how her husband surprised her with it. “And it wasn’t even my birthday.” She said it several times in order to be sure Madge got the point.

After the neighbors brag-fest, Madge went back to the house feeling depressed. She Googled the Lexus LX only to find the cost of a new one was around $100,000. That didn’t matter. Madge had to have one. But how? Her husband would never agree to spend that much money on a car. Even with her trade-in, she would still need another $45,000 or so. She approached her husband with the idea just to feel him out. As she suspected, he was cold to the idea.

“Maybe you could sell some of your jewelry,” he suggested.

“Maybe I could sell that book of old coins you have?” she quipped.

“Do that and it will be the last thing you do,” he sternly replied.

Madge was upset at her husband for not wanting to help her buy a new Lexus. Selling her jewelry was out of the question. She schemed for days on how to come up with the money.

One day while her husband was at work she pulled out his prized coin collection. “why does he collect these old coins anyhow. A quarter isn’t worth much more than a quarter, right?” she thought.

She looked the coins over. Unimpressed and not understanding their value, she stuck them back into the cabinet where she found them. An hour later, she was back at the cabinet. She couldn’t help herself.

She stuffed the collection into her Gucci purse and took them to a coin dealer. She wasn’t planning to sell them. She just wanted to know what they were worth. The dealer offered her fifty thousand dollars for the full collection.

Madge couldn’t believe the old coins could be worth so much. She didn’t have to think twice about it. In fact, she didn’t think about it at all. She agreed without blinking an eye.

She took the money and headed straight for the dealership and bought herself a brand new Lexus LX. It was parked in the driveway when her husband came home.

When he walked into the house, Madge was all smiles and dangling her new set of keys in front of him. “I got a new Lexus and you got fifty thousand dollars for those old coins you collected.

“What! You sold my coin collection!… For fifty thousand! Those ‘old coins’ were worth a hundred and fifty thousand. What the hell did you do?”

Madge could feel the heat from across the room. “I… I sold them, I had to. It was the only way I could afford my new Lexus.” She tried to cool her husband down. “I still have five thousand. You can have it if you want it?”

Her husband couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He held his tongue and calmly replied, “I’m filing for a divorce… I have to.” He snatched the keys out of her hand and stormed off into the bedroom. He dumped out his wife’s Gucci purse onto the bed and filled it with her most expensive jewelry. Then walked out of the house.

He drove away in Madge’s brand new Lexus.

© Copyright 2020 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.