Thursday, November 20, 2008
Paranoia Will Destroy Ya
Earlier today I called my mortgage company. Over a month ago I'd requested they remove the escrow from our account; Baltimore City is notoriously incompetent when it comes to their tax bills, and they've overcharged us by $4,500 each of the last two years. These bills go to our mortgager who pays them immediately, and then after protracted arguments with various bureaucrats I get a refund which I send back to my mortgager and deposit into escrow. Our mortgager increased our monthly payment by $500 last year because of this nonsense, and I decided the hassle wasn't worth it. I'll pay that shit out of pocket. Like all good mortgage companies, mine said I had to pay a fee to close escrow, and I sent the check along with a letter as directed. They cashed the check and have yet to remove the escrow from our account.
So today I called them to get it fixed, and I had to endure the worst hold music ever devised. Baltimore City, ironically, has the same dreck playing through their headquarters phones. It's music designed to make sure you will never call for any reason ever again. Imagine Jon Anderson making a sequel to Relayer, but because he can't get the other decrepit former members of Yes to leave their astonishingly successful solo careers,* he has to hire Dario Argento and the Goblins and Vangelis to fill in the soundscape. It's that bad. In fact, the insipid piping of blind, mindless Azag-Thoth is pleasurable by comparison. Given a choice between hearing this hold music for another 20 minutes or listening to no music for the rest of my life but the braying of Jim Nabors,** I'd be sorely tempted to take the latter.
So I listen to this for 20 minutes before a dude comes on and says "We lost your letter but cashed your check. Send another letter." Yeah, lost my letter, I thought. Right now it's probably policy to lose the first such letter so you can keep as much money in your coffers as long as you can.
And right then I realized it: I'm scared. I hadn't really thought about it, but watching even so mindless a morning crapfest as Morning Joe can really freak you out. There is no good financial news. Tonight Cha is in New York for some Fitzgerald-esque bash at the Waldorf Astoria. Typically I'd enjoy a bachelor night with some delivery from Joe Squared or The Charles Diner. But tonight I chose a box of organic mac and cheese instead. Why spend money?
I cancelled our escrow not because of the inconvenience of sending in refunds, but because I'm thinking of hoarding and I want all my money where I can get to it fast.
*I saw Steve Howe busking for Monopoly game pieces at the Greenmount McD's last year.
**God, I saw commercials for that shit EVERY DAY for the first 17 years of my life! "Please, release me, let me go...."