Five Points of Advice on the Spending and Earning of Money: Point Five

  • 1) Do not trust Financial Advice from a man who identifies himself as John (middle name: Stewart) Fram.

    • a) Young Spender, wherever you are, if you are reading this, if you hear only one thing that I, Author, tell you, if you take to heart only one of these Five Points I have prepared for you so carefully (because you see that, don’t you, Young Spender: You see that I have prepared them for you and for no one else), then let it be this: Do not trust a single word that comes from John Fram’s mouth.

      • i) John Fram cannot be trusted. He is as honest as a snake.
      • ii) John Fram has no grounds on which to speak of saving or wisely spending money, as he himself is shamelessly, hopelessly, irresponsible with it.
      • iii) John Fram’s priorities are deeply questionable. This is the man who has spent $300 on a single shopping trip at the same time he was late on his rent. This is the same man who drove on a spare tire for months until it burst in the middle of the night. This is the same man who has, in his 21 years, spent untold hundreds if not thousands of dollars on such valueless properties as books, films, and music; who throws away his money on rent rather than purchasing property; who has invested hours of his time in sex rather than in stocks or dividends; who has to his name only a savings account that has never in its six years seen more than $30. Beware of him, Young Spender. Beware of him.


    • b) A man like John Fram (especially a man named “John Fram”) might advertise himself as knowing certain things about Spending and Earning money; he might even present himself as some sort of expert on the topic, and do so completely without qualification. But he is little more than a young TV charlatan, a night walker, a smoking man.

      • i) Has John Fram ever told you, Young Spender, about the time he spent $30 on a “brand new refurbished” XBOX 360 game console from a website that disappeared after his purchase, a website that was littered with misspellings, grammatical flaws, a poor grasp of English, and a dozen other “red flags”? (Author’s Note: And did he then mention how he made this purchase in his father’s name, and immediately after this purchase, his father’s email account was rendered almost unusable under the subsequent onslaught of “spam”?)
      • ii) Has John Fram ever told you, Young Spender, wherever you are, about the time he struck, but did not kill, a small dog that was standing in the road, and then continued driving, because he did not have the money, should the dog’s owners demand it, to pay for whatever treatment it might require?

        • 1) This was the year 2009, when John Fram was nineteen.

          • a. John Fram had been driving for two years by that date, and should have known better.

            • i. John Fram was going the speed limit (around 30 miles-per-hour) down a residential street, and didn’t see the dog (a French Bull) until it was inches away from his front tire.
            • ii. John Fram knew from the way the dog screamed almost like a human would scream that he and his minivan had not killed it.
            • iii. John Fram knew also, after a frantic look in his rearview mirror that nearly cost him a head-on collision with a car that was attempting to navigate a tricky turn in the road ahead of him, that he had not dismembered the dog, and knew that he had likely only crushed several of its bones.


          • b. John Fram, whatever he might tell you to the contrary Young Spender (wherever you are), did not stop his car and go back to check on the animal, nor did he try to find its owners, whom no doubt lived in one of the ramshackle houses nearby. John Fram continued driving.


        • 2) John Fram showed no interest in either the dog nor its owners.
        • 3) John Fram, in all of this, showed interest only in himself, in the bank account emptied by his own puerile spending habits, and, in driving on, he revealed himself not only to be a poor advisor on money matters, but a man completely bereft of Character or Values, and, thus, a man devoid of words worth hearing.


      • iii) Young Spender, wherever you are, have you ever paused to consider the effect the “advice” of John Fram has had on you?

        • 1) Did you take up his advice on traveling in freight cars with hobos and vagabonds, not knowing that John Fram has never in his life traveled on a train, let alone met a hobo (or vagabond)?
        • 2) Did you follow his advice on stealing fine art, which he presented so authoritatively, without knowing that he himself has only once been inside a museum of any real import, and while there, he took no mental measurements of doorways or tally of cameras or, in short, any other means of “casing” the building, being so distracted by haystacks and absinthe and Parisian rain?
        • 3) Young Spender, was it the advice on drug dealing that led you astray? Did you find yourself in the bathrooms of nightclubs or the chilly walls of online personal ads, inspired by the way he made it “look so easy”? Did you follow that list of recommendations in search of a “quick buck” and find in its place all of the things that John Fram conveniently forgot to mention: the disease, the addiction, the emotional bankruptcy?
        • 4) Young Spender, surely you were able to guess that John Fram has never burned down his house, driven the length of the Pan-American Highway, or participated in any way in the employment of “doubles”?
        • 5) The Author is confounded, then, as to why he/she has heard on good authority that you, Young Spender, have made numerous inquiries, in dank bars and on deserted waterfronts, about recruiting accomplices for some sort of heist, about you placing yourself in danger in order to blackmail some upper-class shit in exchange for your silence on certain matters of duplication, about your pasting glossy 5×3’s of yourself in phone booths. Surely you don’t think that earning money is this simple, that surviving in the underworld is this safe?

        iv)  Young Spender, wherever you are, if you are listening, I tell you this for your own good: You have lost sight of the fact that money can be earned in simple, straightforward ways, in ways that are harmless and legal.


        • 1. Even in this economy, someone as bright as the Young Spender can surely find an employer like a retail magnate to which they can sacrifice their soul, at least for a short time.

          • a. Retail may not be glamorous work, but it at least pays consistently, it at least keeps the Young Spender out of trouble. Furthermore, the retail magnate requires very little from the Young Spender in exchange for its safe, legal money:

            • i. Yes, it requires of the Young Spender the majority of his free time, his creative spirit, sense [(Edie Falco)] of identity, sense of free will, sense of overall personal ambition, and sense of self-worth, in exchange for its money.
            • ii. No, the magnate will not treat the Young Spender like a “team player”, a “partner,” or a “human being,” preferring instead [(I’m sorry)] to treat the Young Spender like a cog within the machinery driving its labor toward annually higher profits in exchange for its money.
            • iii. But, the retail magnate will provide a wage [(Forgive me)]. This wage may be puny, may even be vastly less than the quantity and quality of the labor the Young Spender has provided in its exchange, it might even be so slim as to require the Young Spender to take a second menial job, or a third, to “make ends meet”, but it will be a wage all the same.


          • b. Retail can also…forget it.


        • 2. Remember how, in the first of these Points…never mind.
        • 3. Your problem, Young Spender, is that you have allowed John Fram to ruin your perspective. He has destroyed your ability to be happy with whatever you have, and has instilled in you a bottomless need to always have more. Do you not think that the Author, during his/her time on the Earth, did not want more than he/she could afford? Do you for some reason think that he/she did not want a boat, a horse, a yard, a home? Of course the Author desired these things. But, unlike you, Young Spender (wherever you are, if you are listening), the Author realized that he/she did not need these things any more than the Young Spender needs the Armani wristwatch they obviously stole, the loft in East Chelsea he has always wanted.


      • v) You are smart enough, Young Spender, to know, as alluded to above, that no matter how wealthy you become, you will never have enough. Already your rapid life and your rapid desires have formed beneath your feet a bottomless pit. Surely the Author does not need to tell you this. Surely the Author can stop bothering. (Note: Because, of course, the Author knows. The Author has always known. He/she can type for as long as he/she wants. The Author can scrawl until his/her wrists begin to bleed, if the Author could still bleed. The Author could admonish and extort and plead and write until death comes for him/her a second time and it would make no difference. He/she cannot change you. I cannot control you. I have never been able to, as much as I used to pretend to the contrary. There is nothing he/she can do for you. There never has been.)


    • c)  Young Spender, wherever you are, if you are listening, all the Author can ask is whether there is anything more he/she can say?

      • i. You are, by now, of course, aware that everything I have told you over these past Five Points is true, that every word is in its proper place, that every statement is made with the most complete accuracy, that nothing contained therein can be discounted.
      • ii. And yet, even knowing as you do, Young Spender, that everything I have told you is true, I still have seen the footage. I know you are still out there, because I have seen your face. And I have seen you, on several occasions (regularly, even) with that man. John Fram.
      • iii. Very well then. If that is the way you truly want things to be, then there is nothing more I, the Author, can do for you. He/she leaves you these Points in the hopes that, some day, you will find them useful, Young Spender, wherever you are, if you are listening, though I have long come to doubt that you are, and doubt, moreover, that you will. Regardless, I leave them for you here, on this gray tide, in these harsh breezes. The Author leaves them, and leaves him/herself. Very well then.


    Author’s Note: And what about you, Wealthy Reader, whom the Author has no doubt is reading? Why do you persist in watching something that is so obviously not meant for you? Why do you continue to stare at something so completely unconcerned with the life you live in your bitter tower? Look elsewhere, Wealthy Reader. There is nothing here for you to see.



    Previously: “Five Points of Advice to Young People on the Spending and Earning of Money, Part Four: Drugs and Prostitution”

    John Fram is a freelance writer whose public records show him living in Texas. He has a dog and a guy that lives with him. He tweets here, and you can contact him here.



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