chainsaw_headerLet me bake you a picture. It’s an old family recipe. Ingredients: 2 cans of alphabet soup, 1/3 cup of psychedelic watercolor, a cook’s-choice portion of grey matter, a pinch of hopeful discontent and one tablespoon of maliciously intent imagination. Simmer in a sauce pan, until the aroma of bittersweet memory fills the room. Allow to cool and serve while confused, with animal crackers on the side. After a bowlful of that dish, the main course should be easier to digest.

Any given weekend and you’re residing at your residence. Chillin’ out, maxin’, relaxin’, all cool and yet… a sense of dred lurks on the horizon. The weekend’s end is nigh and all too soon — back to the weekly grind. You know you have to work, but does anybody really want to?

Looking around you access your labor’s fruits. Acquired acquisitions made possible via a steady paycheck. Yard sale finds, antique store treasures and (or maybe just) assorted items purchased at retail. All the while pondering how much of it you really need. Coming to the realization — your wants have constituted a need for you to work more to have them.

So preoccupied with your pondering, you fail to notice the black delivery van, until it is parked in your driveway. An elderly gent steps out. At a glance, he could be somebody’s kindly grandfather. At a side glace, he could be that uncle who’s always willing to help, with what he’s getting out of it pending.

From the back of the van he procures what appears to be a miniature Jacuzzi. A grey box measuring roughly 4 x 4 foot squared, 3 feet high, with a dark opening on top. The outside is littered with wiring and circuitry. Most noticeably there’s something akin to an ATM screen, keypad and cash dispenser on one side. Setting it onto your drive, he waits.

Curiosity draws you out. Before you can ask and question — he answers and explains. The device is a Remarkable Retail Refunding Machine. You simply drop any item, which you own, into the open top, the readout shows its retail value and then you may either pass or cash-out and receive a full refund of the original retail price.

Confusion draws you back a step. But he assures you. actions speak louder than words and a demonstration is in order. With this he grabs the rusty shovel leaning aside your house and drops it into the machine. There is a hum, a whirl, a beep and readout of $16.95. He presses the cash-out button, bills and change exit the dispenser.

Fascination and potential for fiscal gain draw you back in. To further your interest, he scoops up the plastic garden gnome you picked up for 50¢ at a yard sale last spring. With your nod of approval, into the machine it goes. Hum, whirl, beep and $23.28 is cashed-out.

With the demo complete he concludes the presentation. Explaining that anything and everything that you own, that will fit, can be instantaneously returned and refunded, for the full retail price, for the next consecutive 24 hours…starting now… at no charge to you…if you’re interested.

This is AMAZING! INCREDIBLE! IMPOSSIBLE??? Nope, you know it works because you’ve seen it work and it’s real because you know it is. Just imagine the possibilities! You could declutter your house. Rid yourself of items you don’t want or need. Justifiably get rid of crappy gifts. Undo bad purchasing decisions. Get refunded wasted funds and, in some instances, garner a profit. Just consider all the money you could make if you had saved it in the first place!

Yes, it all sounds peachy keen, hunky-dory fine, but what’s the catch? There’s always a catch with these things. Some fine-print trickery in the contract. Some hidden clause that will cost your immortal soul, first born child or monthly membership fee which whether you use it or not will cost you more than you save in the long run.

Well, there is one obvious catch ­— such a machine does not exist (which sucks). However, the catch’s catch is, it kinda does. No, there’s not a magical device that can undo our financial foolishness. But there is one that can help prevent it. It just depends on how much of it you use in the recipe.

I welcome almost all questions and comments via FOCUS, or E-mail me at [email protected].

Hope to hear from ya until then try and stay focused. See ya.