Thursday, September 07, 2006

the Mooch

Don't get me wrong--we've all had our moochy moments in life, for example, when the girls/guys are at a bar and you run short on dough, one of your friends will cover you. "I'll get you next time," you say, and you mean it. Or in the case of your schmoopie, one of you probably has or makes more money than the other. Mooching in the name of love happens when the two of you want to do something, go somewhere, or buy something that's only possible for one of you to afford. In these instances, the mooching gets worked out one way or another and no harm/no foul (hopefully).

I'm thinking instead about the dedicated Mooch. We've all known them and many of us are beguiled by their wily charm and taken in by their sad hard-luck stories. These are people who breeze through life on the expectation that someone will take care of them, look out for them, tend to them, provide for them. There's no planning ahead, no making arrangements, no consideration for other people--their existence is winging it.

I can think of about a billion examples, but here's a recent one: A strange woman showed up at the site of an event to take place two days later. She was dropped off by an airport taxi with just a backpack. She knew no one there and wasn't exactly invited to the event to begin with. Someone emailed her about sending a sample of her handiwork to the event and, she claimed, "I just didn't think I could ship it in time. So I brought it."

The kind hosts of the event asked where she was staying. No hotel, can't afford it. The host called some friends and found her a place to crash. She hasn't eaten and has very little money. Food and beer are provided. All weekend long she's tended to by strangers who befriend her and include her in all their holiday plans.

Meanwhile, I'm freaking out. Who does this? Who flies, uninvited, to an event halfway across the country with no money, no hotel, and knowing no one? Superfly recommends I calm down, so I do. This woman somehow knows I am the least friendly person she'll meet and so follows me and tries to engage me in conversation. Superfly wisely points out it has nothing to do with me and I've no right to judge, yadda yadda. I still want to throttle her.

I can't help it if I think bad behavior should be nipped in the bud, not rewarded. Sure, it says more about the wonderful spirit and generosity of the people who know they are being used but are cool with it. You bet your ass I wish I was more like that. I'm getting there--even my therapist says so!

Seriously, all I did was frown at this person and shut down her efforts at small talk. The last dedicated Mooch I encountered (who owed me money and fucking stole from me) had his schemes exposed by me with great fanfare and a bullhorn to all the girls he was playing, his employer, and the police. Oh, and then I rear-ended him with my minivan (years later)--but that was an accident.

Life is adventure, that's for sure. But it doesn't hurt to put a little planning into your adventures lest you end up taking advantage of nice people, or end up dead.

And if you see an angry little redhead wherever you happen to be throwing down your Mooch, expect an ass-kicking. Or a very serious frowning, anyway. Sheesh!


Blogger Absinthe said...

That is freakish - I, too, can't understand why anyone would do that. It's ridiculous, rude, and dangerous.
The mooch in my life is an old "friend" - a trust-fund baby who moved away from my town owing me around $500 in play tickets, dinners, and drinks, always saying, "I'll get you next time." I don't mean to penny-pinch, but I was unemployed for a lot of that time, and this person made more $$ than me, plus her father payed her rent.
I now don't send her gifts - she has everything anyway (seriously - she has 4 coffee makers). She gets a card and a well-wish from me for birthdays, and that's it.
I HATE being that way, but eventually, I just couldn't afford to be close friends with her anymore.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Absinthe said...

AND (catches breath) are perfectly justified in frowning and sending Minnie the Moocher packing. Someone will be dumb enough to help her out - you've been taken before, and know how it feels. It sucks. There's lending a hand and helping your fellow man, and then there's being a stooge/enabler.
People who refuse to stand on their own 2 feet need to grow the hell up.
ok. i'm shutting up now.

1:04 PM  
Blogger Leave It To Cleavage said...

I can't stand moochers. However, I was thinking as I read this post that the effects of the fat flush plan seem to have worn off. I mean, you weren't trying to kill people who cut you off in traffic.

6:45 PM  
Blogger Bobulah said...

i had a friend named orlando who moved back to lancaster after 9/11, and he didn't have a job, so i would pay for everything. EVERYTHING. dinner, drinks, drugs, dancing etc... i eventually got sick of him assuming i was covering his ass, but the camel's back broke when i invited him home for christmas because he had nowhere else to go and he stole money and cds from me and my sister. i told him to fuck off and i haven't seen him in two years. what a low-down hootchie cootcher!

9:45 AM  

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