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A meme for Friday
"So then," says the djinn as it erupts from your shampoo bottle, "You look pretty stressed, and I'm thinking you need a bit of slack." It whips out a magic visa card and tucks it underneath your bar of soap while you're shrieking and trying to cover your bits. "You can have this all weekend," it says. "There's no spending limit, and you'll never see a bill, but at noon on Monday, it's going up in smoke. So have fun, and remember: cash-advance probably won't cover bail." Then it pinches you on the bum and disappears.

So the operative question is this:
Name five things you're going to do before Monday.

Instead of doing the expected Good Works, I think I'll try for maximum slack. First, I'd call in from work, and arrange to have Saturday and Sunday off too, because an opportunity like this comes along generally not at all, so ... time. Yes.

  1. Buy a car. A good, new car. Fully loaded with options. Hybrid, if you please. Price no object. I'm not going to be stupid and get a gas-guzzler, because I'll have to pay for fuel myself once this card disappears. I'm working under a time limit here, and I'm really going to need the most out of my weekend to maximize the amount I can leverage this economic spiffiness. How long does it take to set up brand-new insurance and pre-pay for quite a long time on the policy? Paperwork is such a hassle! I don't want any hidden fees to pop out at me, oh, say, Tuesday.

  2. Pay off all my debt (not that I've got horribly much, but enough to make me not feel so great), and the debts attached to assorted friend/family types, whoever I can track down and get ahold of their creditors before they close up for the weekend. Bless the inventors of phone-based automated menus! Magic stress-be-gone for a lot of people! Yay!

  3. Set up a publishing company. Pre-pay for a whole hell of a lot of printing and publicity and so forth, pre-pay the salary for a good long time of several good people in the field, and pre-pay me a generous sum for a couple novels. All payments are set up in trust to be doled out over the next number of years. (Do you know how hard it is to get ahold of a good literary staff late on a Friday afternoon and convince them that your scheme is really a good one?)

  4. Two words: Road Trip.
    Since my brand new car doesn't have enough seats for everybody, there's a large rental vehicle or two involved with the project by this point. Friends are called, arrangements are made, Darkside is picked up from work under semi-halfhearted protest, and we're on the road...
    Wacky hijinks ensue, but by Friday night, we're somewhere in the middle of what we're pretty sure is Texas, and people from all over have been issued electronic tickets to assemble at an unsuspecting hotel which will wind up playing host to a truly epic impromptu convention.

  5. Shopping spree!
    I've picked up a nice assortment of shiny and pettable clothes and a few properly-fitting corsets, not to mention enough good bras in my size to last a good long time. Then I get pens. And paper. And books.
    By the time I hit the local Fry's Electronics, my eyes are starting to bug out, and I start to question how much cargo space I have remaining, until the very nice fellows in white shirts point out that, you know, I could have some things shipped, at which point my Inner Malkavian joins forces with my Inner Geek, and I know no more.


Once my vision clears, I find myself in the passenger seat of my car at about 5:00 am Monday, with a crabby and exhausted Darkside at the wheel. "I need to get to work on time!" he points out to me, and we switch off so he can get a little rest before he has to be at work. I feel dreadfully guilty, because he does wind up a few minutes late despite my best efforts. Drat morning rush hour; I hadn't figured on that. But before Darkside darts in to apologize to his supervisor, he does give me an awkward hug and tell me that yeah, he had fun. I leave a message on his home voicemail letting his mom know that we're back in town and the weekend was fun, and yeah, her little boy is OK, thanks for letting me borrow him.

I take another gulp of Dew and escort the entourage back to the rental place, where we have to wait around half an hour for them to open up at nine in order to return the happy industrial-sized road trip vehicles. We tip heavily, and ask them to assure the cleaning staff that we're pretty sure we got all the unexpected surprises cleaned up ourselves. Pretty sure. I ferry assorted people back home, and am glad when the morning rush clears up a bit. It's 11:15, and I stop in at a grocery store and buy another six pounds of cherries, because I'm running low again. I make it home with no further incident, and I start taking bags and boxes out of the car. Figment and I stack them up in the living room of my tiny studio apartment and giggle at each other as my clocks change to 12:00 noon.

I feel a little jolt, and when I open up my wallet, gold dust pours out from where the magic Visa had been, accompanied by a billow of multicolored smoke. "Uh-oh, I let the magic smoke out!" I giggle, and that's when the smoke alarm on the dining room wall starts going off...

Never a dull moment, I tell you. I'm going to need my three days off to recover from my weekend before going back to the old grind...
Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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