Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Debunking Dirhams

Benefiting from intoxicating delights of beer and fond company of friends is one of my favored pleasures. So over chilled beer and garlic mushrooms (the rest ordered an odd-tasting Sisig which revolted me, and I love Sisig) I have had high hopes of playing catch up with a friend (an advertising art director) currently based in a continent where the simmering sand dunes pile up aplenty. We were pretty much enjoying the insanely hilarious nostalgic spree then without preamble it crept in. It happened so swift and much more alarming than the fashion pack threatening a bell-bottom comeback: this friend began talking about money. No let’s put it this way: he launches into an eloquent glossolalia in the double key of Dirham and Riyals. On how it’s pouring out there like the Nile, and can be easily had if you are cunning. The abundance of income, as I gathered from the pissing-higher-than-your-grandfather competition that ensued, undoubtedly made the Manna incident look like a mere Relief Operation of the UNICEF to Sudan. This is when I became aware that my toenails lost all sensations and my brains (and my common sense) ticked the deceased box.

Talking about money bores me. There’s always an excess or lack of it and to elevate that kind of conversation into the high grounds of “Why Are You Refusing Fortune By Remaining Here In The Third World Cesspit?” makes me adopt the emotional quotient of Norman Bates.

I am not one to get jealous or get bitter about the great fortune of others. I have no ambitions to be the threat to Warren Buffet; I only have the demented ambition AND requisite ego bloated enough to take on the gods of KesselsKramer, Wieden+Kennedy AND Mother to a Pitch Off. THAT or outselling Grisham, Clancy and Crichton with a monumental opus that would make Kazuo Ishiguro and Milan Kundera mope. Kidding.

What is mildly annoying about the sordid money brandishing binge was how it was rubbed in the faces of other friends who no doubt are secretly dwarfed by the PaySlip Face-Off Bonanza. I caught the eyes of two other people in the table and we swapped incredulous looks.

I’d blame the beer. Inebriation can bring a fungus out decent human beings. In the name of friendship I’d like to take a skeptical stand: this friend probably hadn’t intended to brag; that waving about his acquisitions before the eyes of friends (especially those struggling for a hard-worked promotion) is nothing but a friendly banter gone awry.

At least three of us steered the conversation into more pleasant direction but no, Dirk Dirham, went on, exhorting us to be just like him: to pack our suits, potted plants and relocate our cactuses to where the Riyals Run High.

I was so tempted to test his financial claims by asking for a really huge loan, so huge Credit Suisse will blush, but decided against it in the bizarre urge to remain courteous.

“Millions!” he vocalizes in drunken sing song. “You’ll rake in millions in less than a year! And the best creatives are all going to the Middle East!”

I forked in another batch of garlicky mushrooms.

“Manila recently snagged golds and silvers and citations in Clio, Cannes, New York, London and Asia.” I finally butted in. “I’ll jump into the exodus wagon when YOU win Dubai/Qatar/UAE its first D&AD Black pencil AND its first CannesLions Titanium.”

Silence.

“Fuck you.” Came the response.

Hearty roars of laughter erupted all around. Something thick wads of Dinar can’t slap a price tag on.

3 comments:

Mugen said...

What is mildly annoying about the sordid money brandishing binge was how it was rubbed in the faces of other friends who no doubt are secretly dwarfed by the PaySlip Face-Off Bonanza. I caught the eyes of two other people in the table and we swapped incredulous looks.

- Yeah I really hate it too when my exported friends come back to show off what they got.

As if money can bring you happiness.

Misterhubs said...

Ugh. I hate it when dinner conversations turn to money. Hate it, hate it, hate it. I simply tune out whenever that happens. Next topic please. I'd rather talk about turds. Like: What's the color of your turd this morning? Mine's a little reddish. Here, have a look. (Takes out a soiled tissue paper.)

loudcloud said...

mugen - money can buy happiness if you know where to shop! kidding! haha.

i agree with you: there are things money can't buy. no, wait, taht's a mastercard mantra.

let me put it this way: money can attempt to buy happiness but not the true pleasure that has no price tag :)

misterhubs! hahahahaha. i wonder why you still get invited over dinner by your rich friends! first, you do not participate in the bank account orgy. second, you ruin the possibility of them having desserts by exhibiting rocky road smeared wipes. hahaha. you are a riot, i swear! hahaha