Categories: MoneyNewsOpinionWeekly Columns

A BMW and MasterCard Don’t Mean Jack When You’re Broke.


(ThyBlackMan.com) Based largely on the economy, some Americans are experiencing a financial boom. But what happens when people who are the embodiment of success, turn up their noses at those they deem financially inferior? The following commentary is based on events told to me by my mentor Crawford E. Hollinger III.

Careening down the highway in my Jeep Wrangler, I spotted a BMW with the license plate “MADE4MONE.”   The driver, a young man in a designer suit exudes confidence as he surfaced from his car and walks into a convenience store. Walking behind him, I note the agility in his step. It was then I concluded that he was fresh out of college, and had one of those lucrative jobs that people crave, but never attain. Entering the door, he acknowledged my presence with a smile. Even his teeth looked expensive, despite a huge gap that altered his appearance when he tilted his head.

Examining countless food items and soft drinks, the man purchased a Pepsi and roast beef sandwich. Picking up the latest issue of Essence, I walked up to the counter, just in time to see him pull out a MasterCard Taken aback by the card, the man behind the counter informed Mr. BMW that the store didn’t accept credit cards and he would have to pay cash. “Okay, how much is it?” he asked feigning embarrassment. Ringing up the items, the cashier replied “$7.35.” Rummaging through his pockets in search of money, the young man came up empty. “Ah, I don’t believe this,” he said. “What kind of store are you people running when a man can’t use his credit card to buy a soda and an overpriced sandwich that’s probably stale?”

An elderly man waiting to pay for gas offered to give him the money. “Excuse me, partner, I appreciate your offer, but why are you doing this?” inquired Mr. BMW with a smug look on his face. Thinking he was doing the young man a favor, the Good Samaritan smiled and extended his hand. “Hey, you know we have got to stick together,” he said. “And since it looks like you’re short on cash, I thought I would bail you out.” Visibly exasperated, Mr. BMW’s attitude suddenly turned cold. “Old man,” he said, directing the words at his prospective benefactor. “Do you see that BMW sitting out there,” he said pointing to where the luxurious automobile sat parked. “That is mine; lock, stock and profit. Now, what can a man driving a truck with the doors hanging off the hinges do for me?”

As he prepared to return the Pepsi and sandwich back to the fridge, Mr. BMW lapsed into more dialogue. “One more thing. Do you see this card in my hand? Now, let me say it again, you can’t do a thing for me. I’m the epitome of success,” he ranted, straightening his tie. “I am educated, make more money than you can count, and have every credit card ever invented.” Amused by the boy’s arrogance, the man burst into laughter. “Yes, my young friend,” he gushed. “You are absolutely right. A man driving a beat-up truck can’t offer you a thing. But isn’t it funny that with all you say you have, you can’t pay for a Pepsi and sandwich? Now I, on the other hand, can buy anything in this store I want. And guess what? I don’t need a Visa, MasterCard or American Express to do it.”

“Say what you want old man, I’m living the good life,” remarked Mr. BMW. “Is that a fact?” said the man. “Yes, that’s a fact,” the arrogant blowhard mumbled angrily. Removing his glasses, the Good Samaritan noted, “Man, all that talk about what you have don’t mean squat if you can’t get what you want when you want it.” “You talk like a fool,” said Mr. BMW, staring intensely at the man. “Is that right?” said the Good Samaritan. “Well check this out. I have my own car, my own house, and my own business. And I’m not walking around with dried saliva on the side of my mouth because I’m hungry. “Now tell me,” said the man trying desperately to maintain a straight face, “who’s the fool now?” Refusing to answer, Mr. BMW slammed the food on the counter and left the store. “Now ain’t that a blip?” said the man reaching into his wallet. “All that, and he still ain’t got jack.”

When people reach the pinnacle of success, they have a tendency to deem others inferior, or to look down on them, not knowing what material things the other person possesses. The bottom line is, you can make all the money you want. However, when you finish paying the bills, and you’re so broke you can’t see straight, having tons of credit cards, don’t mean a thing if no one will accept them. It’s like the man in the store said, all that talk about what you have, don’t mean squat, when you’re hungry, and don’t have a penny to spit on. Get the picture?

Staff Writer; Peggy S. Butler

One may also view more of this talented writer work over at; http://peggysbutler.com. Also feel free to connect via Twitterhttp://twitter.com/peggybutler647.


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