Minimum Due

Judy Genandt By Judy Genandt, 6th Feb 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Humour>Off Beat

For just how long a time are we held responsible for credit card balances?

A woman discovers the law has a long reach.

Me? You’re inviting me to join you at your table?
Why, thank you. I was just—but...Well, of course, if you insist.
Such a nice restaurant. Isn’t this nice? Absolutely scrumptious atmosphere. I’ve always enjoyed coming here, especially when someone else picks up the check. Oh, but, darling--that is your intention, isn’t it? Surely you don’t expect me to—
Chai tea, please. The air is chilly, and it’s been so long since I’ve had—no, no, waitperson, not tai chi. Chai tea. You know, that spicy frothy—ah, that’s it. Wonderful. Thank you so much.
Now, darling, tell me what you’ve been doing since we last met. Ages ago, wasn’t it? At that dreary house party in Aspen one Christmas, I do believe. Who, Jefferson? Goodness, we haven’t been together in so long. Oh, he found some lovely young thing mooching around the studio and left me flat. After five years of marriage, imagine the nerve! But of course it was a bitter divorce. Positively ugly.
You know how it goes. A man can be bald. A man can be fat. A man can look like
the dark side of the moon on a bad night. But it’s an ego thing--he has to be seen with a slim, beautiful woman. Like me. Until the next slim, beautiful woman comes along.
You assumed he left me well off? Why? Just because we owned that apartment in New York and a cliffside retreat in San Juan and the Florence villa? Not at all. One word, darling: Pre-nup. That was it, my Waterloo: Pre-nup. Jefferson’s lawyers certainly wrapped his package tight. I didn’t stand a chance in hell of—Whoops. Sorry. Bad choice of words to—
Oh, bother, that’s my cell. Excuse me, just a moment. Hello? Hello? Oh. It’s you. I asked you not to—yes, certainly, I do realize you have to—but I simply can’t afford to—fine. I’ll try. I said, I’ll try. That’s the best I can do.
Now, then, where were we? Oh, yes, darling—I was left in scandalously poor circumstances. Almost a charity case. But I’ve managed to get by, using these. See? A veritable Royal Flush: Visa, Discover, a wonderful platinum thing-y, American Express. It’s amazing how easily one can get by, when one’s back is against the wall. Credit helps. Just sign the slip, add in the amount, and that’s it. Until the bill comes in, anyway. Then one just transfers from this account to that account, and so on.
Oh, I had to give up some things. But I’ve managed. I’ve bunked with friends until they got bored listening to me complain. And last season’s Vera Wang has worked almost as well for this season. But I do miss that lovely little pied-à-terre in London.
Extravagant lifestyle? Of course not, how idiotic! Well, perhaps just a teensy bit. But you know I never lowered myself to the level of Jefferson’s other trophy wives. Remember DeeAnn, who hauled around a miniature poodle dyed to match her favorite dress? Or Lila, who insisted on flaunting every piece of jewelry she owned, all at once? Talk about bling! And, darling—how utterly crass!
How can you think I never worked during my marriage? Do you know how busy I was, just making sure the staff kept everything running smoothly at each place we stayed? Exhausting. Positively exhausting.
Someone said that our life on earth is a preparation for heaven, where we’ll do what we enjoy most. For me, my dear, that would be going on as I have. I may be High Maintenance, but I’ve reveled in every minute of it. The shopping, the concerts, the theatres, rubbing elbows with Hollywood celebrities and political bigwigs… Did I mention that Jefferson and I once ate dinner at the White House? Oh, I did? You should have seen—oh, drat, another phone call. Do excuse me.
Hello? Hello? Not you again! This is the tenth time you’ve called me today, and I just—I told you, as soon as—oh, please, leave me alone!
What’s that? I’ve gone white as a sheet? I’ll be fine, it’s just a little business trouble. But a mimosa would certainly—oh, bless you. Delicious. Utterly delicious. I do love the way our simple wants can be instantly taken care of. Now tell me what you’ve been doing since we last—oh, no, who’s that? There, in the doorway, talking to the maitre d’, he’s—look, he’s coming this way.
Frightened? No, not a bit. What can anyone do to me now, after all? They just want to collect on—
Well, yes, collect. I expected it. I knew it would come. And I was warned of the consequences. How dire: The Day of Reckoning.
You see, after I was killed in the car crash, I thought all those huge credit card balances would automatically be wiped out. After all, I left no family, no one to assume the burden of my debts. Couldn’t the lenders simply write off whatever I had incurred as a bad investment?
But, darling, it seems there’s a teensy-weensy little clause in the fine print of those statements that no one ever reads. The amount I was in arrears on every card followed me here. Imagine, all the way to Heaven! And I still have to pay! So far I’ve been dealing with underlings, stalling them off—really, where can I possibly put together cash payments in the Great Hereafter?
But now it’s gotten serious, because that’s St. Peter himself come to assess the dues. And—gracious, he does look stern, doesn’t he? It’s time to do what I do best. I’ll skip out and let him think about it for a while. Meanwhile I’ll have to consult—well, certainly not a lawyer. Not here. But I might be able to find a nice minister willing to represent me in the High Court.
It’s been wonderful seeing you, darling; we must do this again. Just as soon as those vile collection agencies get off my trail. Bye-bye!


Credit Cards, Humor, Paying Off The Balance

Meet the author

author avatar Judy Genandt
Published romance novels: "A Port in the Storm," "Who Bravely Dares," "The Quality of Clemency," "Half-Life." Member of three writers' groups. Presenter of writers' workshops; guest on TV program.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
6th Feb 2014 (#)

Interesting post!

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
6th Feb 2014 (#)

Ha Ha Ha! What a neat little (though not exactly little) post. This would make a great monologue. I can see (do you know the program "the Miller's?) I can see the Mom on that show characterizing this monologue quick nicely. A pleasure to read. Thanks for the share.

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author avatar Judy Genandt
6th Feb 2014 (#)

And thanks for the comment.
You read it exactly as I meant it--tongue in cheek!

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