>>> The Rollercoaster of Drama
By staff writer Simonne Cullen
August 29, 2004

Money. None of us have it. We all owe thousands of dollars in loans, make at most 9 dollars an hour at part time jobs, and have accumulated a credit card debt that if ever paid back could buy a private island somewhere near Guam. The point is we live in a capitalist country. We all need more money to keep the economic pistons pumping. Some students try to protect their pocket change by being cheap and mooching off anybody who wishes to make a charitable donation to the cheapness fund all year. Others find that when they do have cash they try not to go through it like water, and yet by the end of the month find out they can't actually afford the water bill. It's an interesting dilemma. But money can make people do stupid things.

I don't know a single college student who actually balances their checking account. By the end of the month all they want to know is how much they've overdrawn this time, and how they're going to explain to their parents that by midterms they're still buying books at places called Chili's, Outback Steakhouse, and Black and Tan.

But there are clever ways to get around the overdrawn fees accumulated. Once you receive notification, call the bank and claim that your check card has been stolen. Obviously college students are highly-valued customers, seeing how our continually-depleted savings accounts are accumulating so much interest, so the bank will send you a new check card with money reimbursed to your account and it'll be like nothing happened. Two weeks later you'll get that early morning phone call from the bank: “Mr. Davis, we've reviewed the security tapes at our ATM and it looks like you've made several withdrawals in the next several days after you claim your card was stolen, making it impossible for your check card to be stolen on the date you claimed.” That's when panic begins to set in and the only thing that came to him at the time was, “Well then it must be my evil drunken look-a-like taking money out that early in the morning.” “I never mentioned the time sir.” Silence. “Authorities will be contacting you shortly.”

Suddenly claiming to buy books at restaurants doesn't seem so bad does it mom?

Some people frown upon the Greek system and claim that it's all full of ultra-rich, super elite frat boys who live off mommy and daddy's credit card. Snort. That's right I snorted. Because if that were actually the case, there'd be bottles of Sierra Nevada and Blue Moon decorating their front lawns, not cans of Busch and Old Style. There is no beer hierarchal system in college folks—we're all here for the quantity, not quality.

Does anyone have that frat brother who wants to see the receipt after you go buy beer, and then gives you exactly what it costs and throws in a dollar for tax? This is the same guy who later that night is extending your beer supply to the girls he wants to hook up with. Oh Brad, you're so generous.

Has anyone ever seen a chick denied a beer at a party? She's not even being cut off because she's too drunk. They guys just all collaborate together and say, “Listen you're a nice girl, but you're really making us look bad by drinking more than us in a shorter period of time and are nowhere near drunk enough to take your clothes off. So if you'd like an upgrade of hard alcohol it will cost you a dollar. Otherwise put the Old Style down, it's for the freshmen who don't know any better.”

Ever have your parents come up and take you grocery shopping for your dorm room? I hate hearing parents complain about the price of milk—a whole freaking gallon for four dollars. Even the cheapest bottle of vodka costs anywhere between seven and eight for a gallon. Let's put our priorities into perspective here: I won't need the milk anyway because no one wakes up early enough to eat breakfast, and that Captain Crunch sitting in the cart will be half-consumed by my roommate after getting high, and the rest will be crushed into the carpeting for lack of anything better to do.

Why doesn't the Sunday newspaper ever offer beer coupons? We can get a dollar off a twenty-four pack of Coke, but what about the rum to go with it? Why do beers only offer rebates? Receive one dollar after mail-in rebate off a 6-pack of Coronas. No thanks, Mexico, there's a twenty-four of Busch Lite with my name written all over it.

Guys are always looking for a deal when they go to bars. Usually sports bars provide them with dollar pint nights, or four dollar pitchers on all domestics, or even better, import pitchers. So they all sit around during Monday Night Football watching the game, yukking it up, having a great all time—it was a guy's night. Then it was ruined when the owner wanted to incorporate more women at the bar and started offered dollar rail mixers. Football apparently isn't football in Wisconsin if the women are drinking vodka tonics and not cooking the brats and refilling the pitchers—because that establishment is no longer in business.

As a bartender let me tell you something: we don't like college students very much. We especially hate cheap college students. Chicks don't tip worth a damn and guys always ask for free shots using the lamest excuses. My cat died. It's my birthday. You look really good. I like to eat rocks. It's so annoying to listen to these lines. Once this guy claimed that his dog died, so of course I felt terrible and bought him a shot, only to find out that Rover was alive and well. When he tried pulling it again on the other bartender she gave him a shot of Pepsi from the soda gun all over his face. He never came back. Let that be a lesson to all you cheap tippers.

The myth is true: credit cards are indeed the devil. Once girls get the credit cards, look out. Visa is constantly calling trying to convince me to increase my credit limit. No thanks Visa I'll keep it at 500 dollars—just enough to keep me from fleeing the country before finals. On a side note, ladies, APR is not an abbreviation for “approved.”

Shopping with friends is never a good idea. I bought my first designer dress (a turning point in every woman's life) while in LA this past spring on a credit card I opened there at Bloomingdales. Mainly because my best friend's reasoning for spending outlandishly is so temptingly philosophical. “You already owe forty thousand dollars in student loans. Don't you want to wear a really nice dress to formal? What's another four hundred dollars going to mean by graduation?” Hmm, excellent point.

Girls spend the grocery money their parents send them on clothes. They figure that by not eating as much they'll lose weight and look better in the latest too-tight Abercrombie ensemble. By the way, who is K-mart kidding by putting their clothes on young actors to make them appealing? Those people on Seventh Heaven make enough money to have a limo chauffer them around the rest of their lives, please don't try to tell me they want to wear Route 66 jeans that taper at the ankle. (Notice how none of the ads show any of them from the waist down.) We may be a capitalist generation, but we're certainly not that stupid.

Freshmen, take it from someone who has been there: Do not let your credit card be sent to your home. I promise you that your mother will develop a severe case of senility and open your bills thinking they're hers. You will get phone calls, “What are you doing spending this amount of money? You were salutatorian! We thought we could trust you with a credit card! Blah blah blah…responsibility…blah blah blah…trust…blah blah blah…good credit history.” There is an easy solution to this though: Have your cell phone bill charged directly to the account. That way when you've maxed out the card (and believe me you will) your mobile carrier will cut you off as well, and then mommy won't be able to keep in touch with you. Brilliant, I know, pass me a Busch Light.

Clothing and Devil Plastic aside, last year a couple of girls in my history class figured out that it costs something around two hundred dollars a class. Imagine if you had a pay plan that operated on a “pay as you go” basis. That way you can see your massive checking account slowly dissolve into nothingness, and contemplate if the Friday morning history lecture on the mating habits of aborigines is worth it. There wouldn't even be Friday classes if it worked that way. Ahh, fantasies are so nice.

But we are young so we do have an advantage. There are slightly unconventional ways to make money on the side. Men, your sperm is worth millions, and you're only getting about twenty bucks for it. Next time you go into the sperm bank dress up in a nice suit and have a mini-auction right there. If you're lucky you could walk away with 10-20 grand and all you'd have to do is jerk off in a cup. God bless America. Ladies, you're stuck giving plasma. Unless you want to have painful surgery to donate your eggs or jello wrestle for a grand prize of 200 bucks. Imagine how much unquality beer that would buy.

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