The other weekend I stayed at home as much as possible in order to respect the crisis and save as much as possible. That’s what they recommend for these tough times; instead of spending as much as possible with what little you have, they suggest doing the opposite. That way we can pull through the crisis. That’s one perspective.
Another says we should try to spend as much as possible and help the local economy, and the national one for that matter; that way we can help the companies, who in turn will hire more people, who in turn will have more money themselves and then, here’s the big one, continue to spend they shouldn’t have in the beginning and at least make everyone feel as if the universe has returned to the way it should have.
It’s that easy. According to the Brian laws of economy.
But no one is spending because they are scared shitless, or at least the papers say they are and therefore shouldn’t. And when the people read in the papers about what the papers say they feel and, if not, should feel, they listen. That’s why so many have run to the beaches and the mountains and to their hometowns to find comfort elsewhere.
I asked a friend who owns a bar what he thought, because his place was packed almost daily and it didn’t make sense. “They are there, but they aren’t spending. Instead of three beers, they order one, maybe two. Instead of a plate of jamón de bellota, they order croquetas. Croquetas are tasty and cheap. And they fill you up. That’s the important thing. We have become a Croqueta Nation.”
I think I know what he meant. I meant that people still go out, but the keep an eye on their budgets. I have a friend who went to a strip joint with his boss the other night. It’s called a puti-club, kind of like a brothel but without the requirement of going with a woman.
“You went with your boss to a whore house?”
“Oh, yeah. You know. I’m just starting out at the company. I want to leave a good impression.”
“You’re not kidding. How’d it go?”
“Nothing. Very mellow. Just a drink and that was it. I didn’t even take one upstairs. Didn’t feel like it.” Cutting costs, I thought.
“I meant the place. How was business there?”
“They seemed to be doing well, considering it’s August.”
“Not if all the customers are like you. They must be feeling the crunch.”
“Maybe. But I doubt it. They never go out of style. Women like to go shopping when they feel down, and men like going to puti-clubs. It’s an age-old law of life.”
“I like going to Tiger Store and buying useless things for my bathroom.”
“Yeah, but you’re different.” He had a point.
“Fine,” I conceded. “But let’s get to the point. You think business was normal there. But you didn’t go for it. What did a drink cost?”
“Yeah, but look at this way. The girl came up, chatted with me for a while and then left. I didn’t mind. I made it clear what my intentions were, and she went away. I don’t blame her. She’s on duty. And at least I got to chat with a pretty woman. At another bar I’d be buying and treating round after round without the slightest assurance that the chick would even want to talk to me. So, in the end, it’s more economical.”
“Looked at it that way, I can see what you mean.”
“And, if you want, you might get a titty-touch out of it.”
“Not me. But my boss. That’s all he did. He’s married you know.”
“I see.” What I couldn’t see was how such a situation would occur in the middle of a conversation. How do you do that? “Anyway, I have a project I have to finish by the end of the week, so I don’t want to be out late. Then we’ll be going to Torrelodones because I have to water the grass. It hasn’t rained all week. And, by the way, would you mind if I feel your breast?”
Nope, I just can’t it happening. Nope. But it must and it does. I couldn’t quite come to a clear conclusion on the current state of the country’s bordellos as a result of the crisis. Further investigation may ensue…but I fear at what cost.