Saturday, September 15, 2007

I'm now for sale!

Friends notice my digression as a writer and remind me, “If you ever want to be a freelance writer, you have to start writing material that is actually publishable.” This logic is really starting to sink in because I can’t think of any publication that would buy my material and I’m fully aware that a freelance writer needs to develop a robust portfolio of material that has graced the pages of magazines and newspapers if he or she wishes to further his or her career. Writing for someone other than myself seems like an intimidating process due to two personal anxieties. The first comes from doubting whether I’m knowledgeable enough in a particular subject to justify selling an article about it. I don’t want to pawn off something completely ludicrous. The second comes from the fear of having to write in a different voice other than my own. I don’t want to be the robot I was in school; churning out formulaic garbage devoid of any personality in order to please my professors. However, I do recognize these anxieties as being irrational and it’s time I write something that panders to a specific market.

What I have come up with is a piece that could be considered a form of travel writing; an area that I have always dreamed of dabbling in. The piece concerns a technique I invented and practiced when I traveled across the USA by bus and I figure it could be made into an informative pamphlet, distributed throughout tourist offices and travel agencies across the country. Here it is…

It’s understandable that you, as a traveler, do not feel comfortable carrying large sums of money because of the risks of theft. Many of you resort to other forms currencies; such as bank cards, credit cards or even traveler’s cheques. While these items do offer some degree of security that prevent others from tapping into your travel funds, there is a cost to using them; such as extra fees for using your bank/credit cards in foreign countries or having to waste valuable time in obtaining and cashing traveler’s cheques.

If you are brave enough to carry any substantial amount of cash, you will probably resort to using a conspicuous money-belt. However, there is a new way of enjoying the perks of carrying cash while still feeling secure; it is called the money bandage.

This technique is pertinent to all you travelers, no matter what your itinerary; whether your trip involves: soaking in the sun on a sandy beach while indulging on flavorful cocktails; wandering an exotic street market to bear witness to its vast mosaic of sight and sound; watching a stomach-turning act of bestiality on stage in a shady back-alley nightclub; or taking part in a rare and exhilarating hunting expedition where you have the opportunity to take down some of nature’s most dangerous beasts, including the ‘HUMAN-BEING.’

Anywhere you go and anything you do, you will face the threat of being mugged. There are juvenile delinquents everywhere in this world; just waiting to smack you over the head with a lead pipe so they can steal your money and blow it on video arcade machines, shiny new sneakers, base-ball cards or LSD. By hiding your cash under a tensor bandage on your leg, you can now fool those beady-eyed, little fuckers. Here’s how you do it…

(You need a sandwich bag, roll of medical tape, tenser bandage and a fat wad of cash.)

Step 1: Put the cash in the bag and tape it to your inner thigh

Step 2: Wrap the bandage around the bag that is tapped to your inner thigh.

Now it doesn’t look like you have a money-belt but a horrible axe wound. You can even put some fake blood on the bandage add to the effect—be creative. Just in case the thief finds the bandage be sure to have it situated high on your leg (as close to your genitals as possible.) Knowing that you’re a traveler, the thief will assume you haven’t showered in the past week and won’t want to stand downwind from you let alone touch your bandage. If you’re still worried about the thief frisking you, just remember that it’s scientifically proven that 70 per cent of the world’s population is hideously unattractive; so don’t flatter yourself.

You can’t solely rely on the money bandage because anyone who mugs you will become suspicious of why you’re supposedly carrying nothing of value. So you need a decoy that will distract a thief from becoming frustrated and searching you. A dummy wallet is perfect, but it has to be full of something, so be sure to fill it with useless items such as library cards, discount grocery cards, your social insurance number or even monopoly money.

Here is an illustration for those of you who have difficulty forming a mental image.

The money bandage allows you easy access to your money at all times. All you have to do is find a public washroom stall (no matter how small or disgusting) unwrap the bandage, rip the tape off your flesh and, once you’ve retrieve the appropriate amount of money, simply re-tape and re-bandage it again. People might be knocking on your stall’s door because you’re taking a long time or they’ve become concerned over the sound of you stumbling around and smashing into the walls, but a simple phrase that will buy you more time and privacy is, “I’m masturbating!” And if they continue to be bothersome you can add, “to pictures of your mother!” for good measures.

These are some of the commonly asked questions that arise when considering this method.

Q- Are there other effective decoys I can use to accompany the money bandage other than a dummy wallet?

A- Any receptacle that usually contains money and is typically found on a tourist will suffice. A dummy money-belt or a fake bag/purse could be useful.

Q-How big does the tensor bandage have to be?

A- As long as the bandage conceals the money it’s fine. You can find these bandaged in a variety of sizes at your local drug store.

Q- I find it uncomfortable to have a bandage around my leg. Wouldn’t it be easier if I hide the money in my shoe?

A- No, the bandage technique is superior… maybe you shouldn’t put the bandage around your leg so tightly… next question.

Q- Is there a specific age or sex I have to be in order to use this method?

A- … Of course not, what a stupid question… I’m not trying to peddle a new form of birth-control here. It’s a way of carrying your money….NEXT QUESTION!

Q- Can’t I just get traveler’s cheques. Where ever I go there seems to be a bank on every corner?

A-Why would you even bring that up when we’re specifically talking about this technique? Are you just asking these questions to be a pain in the ass?.. You better watch your mouth before I slap it.

Q- What if I’m a black-belt in taekwondo and I’m in no danger of losing my money.

A- What the hell is wrong with you?

Q- What if I’m having intimate relations with the person who mugged me and, while lying in bed, she or he asks to take a peak under my bandage to see my alleged scar?

A- That’s it! Question period is over!