A Plan for Dealing With This

My friend lives in suburban San Diego and he is not a fan. He lives here due to fairly random circumstances, which anyone who ended up without a chair when the music stopped during the recession might understand.

He’s been here for more than four years and likes it no more today than the day he arrived. But he has come up with a plan for dealing with this. “I call it the I don’t give a shit plan,” he explains, as we make a left off of West San Marcos Boulevard into the Albertsons parking lot. “Oh, see, there’s a guy on the side of the road that needs help. But you know what. I live in Southern California now, so I don’t give a shit.” He pulls his used BMW into a parking space. “Oh, there’s Yogurt World,” he observes. “They have Wi-Fi. Isn’t that wonderful? Isn’t that just so incredibly generous of them? If you worked in a an office around here, as a cost cutting measure you could just get rid of your Wi-Fi, and you’d be like, ‘Hey, guys, if anyone wants to talk to me, I’m just over at Yogurt World.’ Oh, and if you want to know how much I really don’t give a shit, you see the Supercuts, over there next to the Yogurt World? That’s where I get my hair cut now.”

Albertsons is empty. His wife has instructed him to get fruit. He throws a bag of oranges into the cart. “Fruit,” he says. He also needs razors. “16 dollars,” he exclaims. “How stupid do these people think we are? They must think we’re so stupid that we’re willing to work our asses off to live in hell and spend all our money on razors. Well. They are lucky because… because why?”

“Because you don’t give a shit?” I guess.

“That is correct,” he says, adding the razors to the cart. He finds generic contact lens solution. “Three dollars,” he says. “I feel good about that. Today is a good day.”

He’s also supposed to get long lighters to light the fake fireplace in his rather enormous den. “Five-fifty!” he exclaims. “Ok guys, that’s pushing it. Not on board.” After paying for everything with a $25 Albertsons gift certificate he got from his work “to get a turkey or something” he sits in his car looking up dollar stores on his iPhone. “There is one, but it’s kind of far from here. Oh, wait, I almost forgot. I don’t give a shit.”

On the way, he gives a tour of the town of San Marcos. “There’s a pile of dirt,” he says, pointing to a pile of dirt. “There’s a restaurant I wouldn’t go to if I was dying. See that place? It looks like 14 million people could get their car fixed there at once, doesn’t it? But I don’t know what really goes on there. Oh, here is the high school. Look at that enormous football stadium. My tax dollars at work. I also pay some insanely high tax to our developer, so we can have signs that say stuff like ‘Los Arboles’ and ‘Rancho Lindo,’ just in case for a second I thought I actually lived in a real place. Oh, there’s the guy who fixes my car. He’s a good guy. That’s probably the best thing about this place. I found a guy to fix my car who’s not a liar. Oh. There’s a Home Depot. That’s a great place to get nails, if you were interested, just for example, in nailing yourself to a wall.” We drive past Mrs. Taco. “I feel like I should tell Mrs. Taco that Mr. Taco is cheating on her with Princess Pho,” he says. “But, at the end of the day… well. I think it goes without saying.”

The Dollar Store has long lighters for $3.50. “Awesome,” he says. “This is a great day.” Near the register there are other long lighters for $1.99, but he wants to stick with the ones he found. “These are BIC. They will last longer. I might be the cheapest person alive, but I also don’t want to spend all my time driving around buying lighters. Because that would take away from driving around buying other things, the activity which is the very heart and soul of my plan.”

Photo via Tricia/flickr

Sarah Miller is the author of Inside the Mind of Gideon Rayburn and The Other Girl. She lives in Nevada City, CA. Follow her on Twitter @sarahlovescali.