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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ride That Pony... Every Month

I’m going to blog about something that happens to lots of people on a monthly basis, and, don’t worry: it’s not the cotton pony.

I know I’m a sensitive blogger, but I’m not a woman. Yet.

I don’t know if this is true or not, but there seems to be, recently, an overabundance of products, items, services and just thingy things that we are being charged for on a monthly basis. I, like you, (and I like you—awww!) am being bombarded constantly with advertising, that has not changed—but what has changed, in my mind, is that instead of being sold a bill of goods that we pay for once, we are essentially purchasing tangible objects and paying monthly service fees, or we are not even purchasing the object oftentimes—we are renting it and still paying that monthly fee.

Take this Motorola modem sitting on top of my desk amidst a veritable sea of random papers, business cards, envelopes and… Neosporin tubes?


I am renting this modem. I do not own it. It belongs to the great, rabid, insidious Comcast overlords, who have fang-penises and permanent lockjaw on my nards. I pay some assholish amount of money for my superdoops high-speed internet yumminess and my cable television which my wife utilizes for almost exclusively for “SpongeBob” and I utilize almost exclusively for “Intervention.” Oh, and I pay a monthly rental fee for the fokakta modem, which I have replaced three times since we moved into this house last February.

Gee, Marmadick—they don’t make ‘em like they used to!

This got me thinking a bit about what services or products my wife and I pay for on a monthly basis. There’s the typical stuff, like the television and the internet. The cellphone (fortunately, we “own” those, I guess) and the water. The newest introduction of monthliness in our lives is the gym. Fortunately, we’re getting the summer “free” and we’re still sponging off my EMT discount even though I haven’t touched a stretcher since 2007 (shhhhh!) but, after August’s end, it will be a monthly service fee, which will remain, whether we work my balls off or whether we stay at home eating apple and raspberry pie.

We don’t do Netflix. We’d probably like it, but we’re also probably scared of it. It’s new, and different, and that scares us. Well, it mostly scares me. There’s no reason, really, why it should, except for the fact that the Netflix overlords, with their greasy, elongated fingernails and their venom-pus-filled pro-Simian foreheads will be able to track our film preferences, habits, and my disturbing proclivity for films where goggle-eyed-but-gorgeous English actress Natascha McElhone is featured in various states of undress.

Same deal with EZ-Pass. I mean, sure, the EZ-Pass overlords, with their gangrenous eyelids and their pock-marked, forked leather-tongues won’t know about my Natascha McElhone fetish, but they’ll be able to track my motoring movements, and that’s maybe kind of skeevier. Fucking skeevadors. EZ-Pass is a monthly thing, isn’t it? What’s with all the monthliness?

Oh, and Pandora keeps trying to get me to give them X number of dollars every month. And they’re really turning up the heat on me—it seems like they’re playing that motherfucking “You know what 2:30 in the afternoon feels like, right?” Right. It feels like holding your mother hostage in a vermin-filled basement shit-closet. I know what it feels like. Trust me.

And then there’s goddamn iTunes. And the goddamn Kindle e-book downloads. And cellphone internet data plans. And for you single peeps, there’s the soul-sucking, motherfucking eHarmony and Match and JDate (worked for me, d’hyeeyuck!) and Christ only knows what other craziness out there that I’m too not-in-the-know to know about.

It just feels like we’re renting our lives away—for only $10.00-a-month! But that shit adds up, and if you’re a technocrat of the highest order, you’ve got to be giving $10.00-a-month of your at least semi-hard-earned cash to a bumload of entities who are sucking you dry and squeezing your tit blue, and not in a quaint, hey-that’s-kinda-nice way, either.

They’ve been charging monthly fees for porn websites for years, but I never partook. After Juliana taught me the ways of Pornhub, well, I’m gettin’ it from the cow for free, and the milk’s, well… um… we’ll just leave that fractured analogy alone.

It’s kind of funny, the rental mentality. That whole paradigm has changed, hasn’t it? I don’t know about you, but my snobby family always looked at people who rented as scumbags—white-trash who paid $7.00-a-week for the TV they couldn’t afford to buy outright.

The Rent-A-Center crowd.

$24.00-a-month for the Barcalounger. $13.00-a-week for the microwave. Pay ya on Friday, Sam.

Now, we’re all doing it. But we call it “subscriptions.” “I have a subscription to thusandsuch website that enables me to access thisandthat content.” “Subscribing” sounds much more palatable than “renting.”

And, after all, it’s all about the marketing.

1 comment:

  1. I was thinking about this the other day. I am annoyed with all of the service fees I pay on top of all of this garbage. I think I hate to pay for my banking the most. It angers me that they can take $13 a month from my account just for holding onto my cash in the first place. What is worse, they called me yesterday to ask me to buy accident insurance and I wanted to tell them to fuck off but instead I said "sure, send me some literature on it and I will take a look." I am so damned gullible!


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