Buy Or Sell?

I can be bought cheap.

It’s happened a number of times and I am not ashamed of it. In some cases the cost has been a hug or a handshake; I have been perfectly satisfied with the transaction. The reason is I was the one to write the price tag.

I should have been enraged if the price of my affection was set above rubies, but by someone else.

Likewise the cost of my regard. I will freely give it for any number of reasons. You may have it for kindness, for honourable behaviour, for intelligence. You may have it for beauty of face, form, or soul, but especially the latter. Should you treat me with respect you will have it return.

Can you buy my good opinion? Well, what would you offer? Money? Goods? Entertainment? Public honours? Let’s see:

a. Money.

I have money. Not a lot, but enough to feed, clothe, and house me and the family. Adding more in exchange for praise of you smacks a little of whoredom. I should not like to find my rewards always left on the mantlepiece in the morning.

b. Goods.

I have been given several cameras to buy column space that advertises their makers. In one case I retained the device and in another I turned it in to my employers. The amusing part of this was I already owned gear from the factories – I advertised them with cameras I had purchased before they thought to buy me.

c. Entertainment

A firm sent me to Japan for a week and entertained me delightfully while there. I later wrote about their products and showed pictures taken with them. I learned to like the Japanese. I have an album of pictures of the trip.

But it was a trip given to a couple dozen camera sales people as rewards for sales figures. I was just along as the result of a shop lottery. The free camera I was presented with went to the shop owners.

d. Public Honour.

Kids… nobody honours me for nothing.

I am retired and no profit can be made by praising me. No-one gains kudos for knowing me. I do not matter, if I ever did.

This could be a sad thought for some people, but I find it terrifically liberating.

I am not called upon to plan and judge and consult and estimate and practice and succeed and pay. I am not held accountable for either failure or success ( delayed failure ). No one wants to know what I think…

And as a result, I am free to think what I like. And largely to do as I wish. This column, as well as my two other specialist ones, lets me write pretty near anything that comes to mind…even when it is a case of coming to mindless.

It is the freedom of the young child combined with the wisdom of the old child. We are allied against the rest of the age spectrum and we are having a good time.

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