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American Express is giving me a set of salad tongs. It’s a gift. Isn’t that nice? I’ve earned their trust and proved myself a loyal stooge, so they’re rewarding me. Over the past decade, I’ve racked up nearly $10,000 in debt on my Amex card. Since I recently paid it off with a high-interest bank loan, they’ve decided I deserve a fancy reward. Hence the salad tongs.
Normally, these salad tongs would cost at least $12, but for a mere decade of crippling debt, I got them for free. It’s a very mediocre feeling of excitement, like having sex and finding out you didn’t get herpes.
If salad tongs are not to someone’s liking, there are many other rewards to choose from. A decade of irresponsibility combined with roughly $8,000 in finance charges give you the choice of 1) a coin purse with a picture of a shoe on it, 2) a National Geographic strategy guide to Angry Birds Space, 3) a Hungry Hungry Hippos board game, 4) a yoga DVD that I suspect has no nudity in it whatsoever, 5) four spoons (no forks or knives, just four spoons), 6) a framed photo of Eli Manning that, oddly, is not signed and doesn’t appear to be collectible in any way, or 7) a “Holiday Hand Creme Bouquet,” which I assume is an Easter basket filled with semen.
That’s what 8,000 Amex points gets you. A big basket full of rabbit semen. If I save up another 2,000 points, I could get a cheese cutting board or a pair of hoop earrings that look like the shower curtain rings John Candy’s character sold in the film “Trains, Planes and Automobiles.”
American Express knows I’m an idiot. So does everyone else I know, but American Express is the only one who REWARDS ME for it. The more of an idiot I am, the greater the rewards. Charge a $1,500 laptop on my card and pay for it over the course of a few years? That’s a reward. Buy groceries with my card and spend the next year paying 15 percent interest on a box of Pop Tarts? Reward! Carefully manage my money and only spend what I can afford? No salad tongs for you, pussy.
Sometimes American Express will see that I haven’t been earning enough points, so they’ll help me earn more by raising my APR without telling me. That way, I’ll pay higher fees the next time I spend money, thereby earning more complimentary salad tongs.
Sometimes I almost feel like I’m ripping them off, so I’ll call up American Express and say, “Hey! Thanks for the salad tongs!” and they’ll say, “What the fuck are you babbling about, you crazy shit?” and I’ll say, “The salad tongs I earned with my rewards points!” and they’ll say, “Get off the line, asshole! We’re trying to run a goddamn business here.”
I wish more businesses worked this way. For instance, in my lifetime I’ve “earned” roughly 300 to 400 parking tickets. Maybe I could earn points for each parking ticket I get, and then use those points to buy a Snuggie. I also use the toilet at work a lot. Maybe I could earn toilet points, redeemable for higher-quality toilet paper or magazine subscriptions that could start appearing in the stalls. The more you poop, the more issues of Ranger Rick you get to read.
Perhaps my doctor could give me a little card, and every time I contract an illness they could punch a hole in it. Every six punches, they could give me a free sample of Vicodin. Or maybe their receptionist could blow me. I can’t think of a single thing in life that wouldn’t be better with rewards points.
I deserve rewards. I deserve American Express salad tongs. I’m a very special person who is better than most people. I’m going to be wealthy and famous someday. I’ve done absolutely nothing to earn that, but it’s going to happen because I’m a fascinating, interesting person who is way better than regular people. I DESERVE nice things. A large HDTV, a new car every four years, a brand new $200 cellphone every year, expensive clothes, a $500,000 home paid for by my $40,000 annual salary, underwear with a patented Penis Sleeve that keeps me hanging JUST A BIT to the left at all times.
I NEED to have all these things, and I’m glad American Express is there to reward me for buying them impulsively. If they’d let me put the $500,000 house on my card, maybe I’d have enough points to get that golf umbrella I’ve had my eye on for so long.
Thank you, American Express! These salad tongs are a symbol of my bright future. Wait, are they broken? I just took them out of the packaging five minutes ago. For Christ’s sake. Can I get a replacement? No? But I haven’t even tossed anyone’s salads. This is bullshit.