Saturday, 6 August 2016

Too good to be true

It was an error of judgement, a big one and I did not foresee the consequences. It's true that we had had our difference, what couple doesn't? We quarrelled and came and went our separate ways but I didn't expect it to end like this. You see she caught me out, clean as a whistle, fare and square. OK, it was all about me, all my fault and money was involved. We had some savings, not a lot but the start of a nest egg towards a decent house. That was the plan and the money was ring fenced, we avoided touching it and simply added to the pot when we could. There were no withdrawals. That was the rule and I broke it, but even today, after all the pain and grief I think I was right, I just failed to explain myself properly. I thought I could use a bit of a short cut to get the money to grow and of course if a thing seems too good to be true it...

So I'm out one afternoon, enjoying a cool beer in one of local bars when this Australian guy comes in. He's a little younger than me, he was a bit of a swagger, a glint in his eyes, he's a traveller and looks streetwise. He does a full 360 around the bar, checks out the doors and exits, checks out the other customers, none of whom, other than me are paying any attention to him. There's sports on the TV, some side bets are going down, there's some animation in the other corner and at the bar two old guys are firmly holding their glasses and talking in low voices. I'm on my own at a table just being, well vacant I guess, like I had a dumb sign on my head that pointed that fact out to everyone entering. Here's the vacant guy spinning out his beer time. 

I realised that the stranger was Australian when opened his mouth to order. He had a loud voice, joshed a little with the barman and pointed to the glass beer fridge and chose a bottle, quickly paid and then turned around again and caught my glance just as I was moving it from the TV screen to the doorway. "Mind if I join you?"

I nodded, didn't respond with the obvious joke and he sat down opposite me and poured his beer carefully into the schooner. No space invasion anyway, I took that as a good sign. He looks me straight in the eye then...

"You look a good 'un, I'm wondering if you'd be interested in what I like to call `safe speculation`. You see safe speculation is all about making a small investment in a project that will very likely result in a small profit for little or no risk. Of course the bigger the investment the greater the final return."

"Are you kidding me? Two minutes in a pub and you're trying to con me with this "speculation" garbage."

"Whoa, no con here, no garbage. This isn't a scam, I'm completely on the level but it so happens that I make my way in the world by using money to make money, that's all."

"Well I'm pleased for you but I'll give you a tip, don't walk into a strange bar and start up some cold conversation about easy money, nobody is going to buy that."

"You know that's what everyone tells me. You see I do this often, every day, maybe twice or three times. But the thing is, my way really does work, that's why I'm here talking to you, this is how I operate and it works...for all parties involved. We all make money, we all win."

I grinned and nodded, he knew I wasn't at all convinced.

"Look I used to work in a store and everyday this guy would come in and but two bottles of Coke and five cigars, cheap ones. He was a bit of a shabby dresser, looked like he'd a low paid job in some office in town.He'd usually be chatty about the news or something, he was pleasant and ordinary and he'd then head off to work or somewhere, I don't know. But one day he didn't come in, and another and of course I wondered what had happened, was he on holiday or sick or even dead? Well I asked around and no one knew a thing...wait WTF!"

Then this girl comes in, she's screaming something, she drags me outside and begins slapping me around with a bunch of flowers. It was clearly a case of either mistaken identity on her part or amnesia on mine.


Plop! We fell from space, some black hole somewhere. There was a lot of interference on the screen. The crew may have passed out for a few moments as we crossed over. We were treading continents. This you see is our version of space flight, it's not really the way it's portrayed in your films and sci-fi books. They tend to glamourise it with flashing lights, blue stars, great jumps in speed and some shuddering. That's not how it is for us. It's simpler. We didn't really develop the technology, no, we stumbled on it, well our forefathers did and they're long gone. So far gone that we've almost forgotten them and how you actually do things. You see when we want to travel we just get into the vehicle, twiddle a few controls (and there is voice actuation) and we just drop through space and then we land here or someplace like it. It's that simple really, we move ourselves using the device and drop, so we plop and find ourselves elsewhere. Getting home is tougher, we've yet to perfect all that.