How to Use the Bailout to Ask Your Parents for Money

Dear Mom and Dad,

Hey! It's your first son, Michael (the one in Hollywood). I'm here in Hollywood, striking it big. I should mention I met T-Boz the other day. You probably don't know who she is, but trust me, it's kind of a big deal. We might work together on some projects.

Anyway, I know I havent written since I moved out. Things have been kind of hectic for the last three and a half years. You know: unpacking boxes, setting up Internet, pretending we're not home when the landlord comes by, that kind of thing.

But I thought it might be a good time to catch up. How are you? I heard you had another kid; thats great! I hope to meet him/her next time I'm free (looking like mid-2010, although that could fill up if this T-Boz thing takes off).

This bailout is pretty nuts, huh? Ive been watching the whole thing on the news; first its going to pass, then it doesnt pass, now its coming back. All that money. It really makes you think: sometimes, its important for money to be given to people, even if the reason they need the money is that theyre failing.

Of course, I wouldn't know much about that. It's pretty tough to fail out here in H'Wood (as we call it). There just seems to be opportunities everywhere. Just last week I saw the Robert Zemeckis building. His building!

So when I talk about the bailout of AIG as an example of generosity and understanding in the face of desperate failure, then that's just what I mean. Washington is like a family, you know? The lawmakers are the parents (like you!) and the U.S. banks are like the kids (like me!).

Its just so refreshing to see that even though AIG may have made some mistakes, Washington is thoughtful enough to help them out, and see their potential for growth.

Oh, did I mention? Ive eaten nothing but Kraft Macaroni and Cheese for the past eight weeks. I think I might be getting some kind of malnourishment; my skin is yellow and sometimes I dont go to the bathroom for two days. I only mention it because I know how much Mom likes biology stuff like that. It's quite the experiment!

So yeah, what do you guys think about the bailout? Feel free to write me about it, perhaps in the memo section of a check. That would be kind of fitting, to write about a bailout on a check, right? See, your boys still a joker! Who cares if we had to sell the dogs to make the electricity bill this month? Ive still got a smile on my face and a chuckle in my pocket! Not that I can afford a luxury like pockets right now, but the point stands.

I might be writing a thing for Taint Magazine, by the way. Its a new magazine, but I have high hopes (dont look into it; its hard to find).

Seven hundred billion dollars. Sure seems like a lot of money, doesnt it? A lot more than, say, six hundred dollars, which coincidentally is how far behind I am on my rent. And its like, where is all this money? Probably stuffed into a huge mattress in the White House somewhere (my guess is the Lincoln Bedroom).

Where does money like that come from, anyway? Where does money come from at all? Beats me. Ive been working in Hollywood for months now, and I still havent figured that one out. Actually, a Producer at a party showed me one place where money comes from once, but I dont think Id want to do that again. I had to shower so much afterwards I think I spent as much on water as I made!

Hopefully Ill find some money soon, or I may just have to give that guy a call. Id prefer not to though; Id rather bail out.

Bail out! Thats funny, that Id mention that when thats not even what I was talking about. Yeah, so hopefully Ill be able to bail out of that thing, or have someone bail me out.

I love you both very, very much. I just thought Id mention that.

By the way, happy birthday Dad! I know it was last month sometime. Sorry I didnt call you; my phones been on the fritz ever since I had to give it back to the phone company.

I was just reading this really interesting article about birthdays. It seems in some parts of the world, people actually give gifts on their birthdays, instead of receiving them. Isnt it fun to learn about other cultures?

Anyway, another year older, another year closer to death, as they say. But I know that you wont be bothered by that, especially because youve had such a fulfilling life, and such a close, giving relationship with your wife and children. Of course, it never hurts to play it safe! You wouldnt want to go out feeling like you hadnt provided for your family.

I mean, Im just guessing. Maybe a small (or larger) token of your love for someone in need? I saw something like that on Dr. Phil before they took the TV, and it seemed to really give the guy a sense of deep meaning and peace.

Bailout is such a funny word, too. I think it comes from sailing, when a ship would have a slow leak and people would have to bail out the water to keep from drowning. I can really imagine what that was like; slowly going numb as icy waters creep up towards your mouth. I really can. And you cant always bail yourself out; sometimes it takes the whole crew, pulling together.

I bet sometimes, when things were really looking bad on a ship, theyd use things to try and plug the hole. Like something absorbent and papery. Probably, theyd be so panicked, theyd use whatever they had in their pockets. Yep, Ill bet theyd take wads of money even, and just use that to plug the hole. Imagine: a six hundred dollar hole.

Did I mention I dont have a bucket? Ive been meaning to buy one.

I think the important thing about this 700 billion dollar bailout is that its being given with no strings attached. Its heartwarming, really. Even though the banks have made some mistakes in the past, the President realizes that its important to encourage young people in their time of need.

AIG may be in a tight spot, but theyre trying, you know? Theyre probably working their butts off everyday, auditioning, writing spec scripts, jumping in front of celebrities carsmetaphorically.

So to have Uncle Sam help out in a time of need just means so much. How is Uncle Sammy, by the way? Please send him my love and a copy of this letter.

I should go now. T-Boz is finishing up her dinner, and I want to try and talk to her again before she leaves the restaurant. It took me so long to track her down!

Hope to see you soon. If I dont write for a while, its because my address has changed. You can just write to the Homeless Shelter on Fairfax; I keep a P.O. Box there.

Oh and Mom, since you asked about it: yes, you can transfer money directly into various accounts online. If you want, Id love to show you how.

Your beloved son,


P.S. 600 dollars.

When not writing for Cracked, Michael is doing just fine financially as head writer and co-founder of Those Aren't Muskets!

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