Tuesday, August 26, 2008

First National Bank of Love

It's not on accident that I have been married for fifteen years. For most of those years I was married on purpose. And fifteen years is a long time, especially once you consider that the average celebrity is only married long enough to cheat at their reception.

Friends sometimes ask me what it takes to stay married for so long. Or at least, they would if I had friends. But I don't have friends, which is one of the secrets of staying married for a long, long time.

I'm kidding. If you're a man, then the real secret to staying married for a long time is realizing that your marriage is like a bank. It works like this:

When you get start dating someone, you open a "Love Account" with them. From then on, everything that you do is either a deposit or a withdrawal from this account.

Surprise her with flowers? Deposit. Run over her dog in the driveway? Withdrawal.

Take her to a chick flick? Deposit. Get caught opening an account in another branch? Big withdrawal, both from this account and possibly from the blood bank.

And so on and so forth.

If at some point you bounce a check (by, say, sleeping with her best friend and her sister in the same night) then the relationship is over, and your account is closed without further penalty, except perhaps her making disparaging comments about your male adequacy to everyone that you know.

This problem can be easily solved through relocation.

On the other hand, if you build up a large enough account at a particular branch, you can purchase a Diamond-Backed CD. Every CD is unique because they have various rates of return, depending on the branch, and their lifespan is not fixed. But some points are common to all Diamond-Backed CD.

Your branch will, on some routine basis, credit your account. Rates and periods vary by branch, but you can generally figure out the rate and frequency of return before purchasing your CD if you pay close enough attention.

With this periodic payment, you can begin to make routine withdrawals without worrying about zeroing out your balance, such as adopting the habit of sitting around in the living room every Sunday afternoon in your underwear watching Baywatch and scratching yourself with the remote.

Remember, though, the principle of deposits and withdrawals still holds. Only now if you bounce a check it's a big deal, and will end up costing you massive bank fees and penalties (generally half of what you have, plus a monthly fee until you die).

It's also worth noting that the exchange rate from when you first opened the account has changed. Things that were valuable before are worth less after purchase, and what was worthless before may now be highly valuable. The exchange rates will not be posted, nor can you find them online.

For instance, let's look at flowers. When you first open your account, buying flowers is a big deposit, like when you used to find five bucks in college and knew that tonight you'd eat something other than uncooked Ramen noodles.

Once you've bought a Diamond-Backed CD, buying flowers represents a much smaller deposit. It moves the account up some, true, but it's not going to buy you much more than an evening in a bar with your friends. If you want to go to a strip club, or if your friends are women, you'll have to either make a bigger deposit or accept that your balance will drop.

Luckily, new revenue opportunities do arrive when you purchase the Diamond-Backed CD. You can make a deposit by, for example, scrubbing the toilets or changing the baby. You will also receive a substantial insurance payment if you receive a spider-related injury. Before, these opportunities didn't exist.

Unfortunately, most branches do not offer a routine statement of account beyond giving you general signs of your fiscal well-being, such as slapping you every time you touch them when your balance has almost dropped to zero. Investors are advised to carefully monitor their branch for signs that their account is critically low before making any serious withdrawals, such as buying a sportscar with their children's college funds.

What most men do not realize, though, is that the Diamond-Backed CD also offer rewards for maintaining a high balance (some branch offices do not offer this, which is why many men choose to sell their Diamond-Backed CD at a loss of half their net assets in order to open a CD at a more appealing branch). These rewards far surpass a mere 1% cash back on travel to the continental 48 states on weekdays in the winter.

Your branch may give you such exciting gifts as a free pass on forgetting things, control over the TV remote, private modeling of lingerie, and a wide variety of sexual diversions delivered to the privacy of your own home (or office) in a completely legal and cost-free fashion.

How's that for fringe benefits?

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