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Old man's money
My father-in-law is a very rich. And I want his money.

July 11, 2001
The Iranian

Honoring the grand Iranian tradition of butt kissing, I went to visit my father-in-law on his birthday to pay my respect. My father-in-law is a traditional Iranian man and he, like most traditional Iranian men, has an ego grander than the Grand Canyon. I have to constantly feed his ego by praising his very existence while making him feel important and needed.

This, off course, puts my wife in a good mood, which is important to our marital relationship since her bitch-meter is mostly running on high RPM. Making sure that my wife is in a good mood is the single most important task in our household. It also brings calm and quiet to our life, which is something that comes around once every century.

My father-in-law is a very rich man who has many children and grandchildren. This situation has prompted stiff competition among all family members to stay in good terms with the old man for a small matter of a few million dollars in inheritance money which can land on someone's lap any day now.

This matter has made brown nosing and ass kissing the sport of choice and since we Iranians have mastered this ancient art, the competition is rigid, cruel, and shameless.

I, on the other hand, do not share the enthusiasm displayed by the rest of the family for my father-in-law's money and find the man arrogant, selfish, and annoying. He has made his great fortune by cunningly swindling the poor and needy out of their money while lending them cash in times of trouble and charging high interest in return.

The feeling is mutual since my father-in-law hates my guts and can't stand seeing me with his daughter. He believes that his girl deserves someone much better. And she should have married a dentist or a doctor just like the rest of his daughters did. He thinks that I'm completely clueless when it comes to money.

Perhaps he's correct. When it comes to money management or financial know-how, I'm as knowledgeable as a baboon. I shall be the first to admit that I'm ignorant about anything that remotely resembles, smells, or feels like money. The way I see it, a dollar earned today is a dollar already spent last week. My savings consists of quarters and pennies fallen out of my pockets under the sofa.

It doesn't matter how much money I make, how many raises I get, or how many times I switch jobs; I'm always 50 bucks short at the end of the month.

I'm also illiterate about financial planing like 401K, money market accounts, retirement plans and the like. Forget about it. Retirement is for old people. I'm young and I'm on a mission to spend as much money as I possibly can for the purpose of self-gratification. My wife wanted me to come up with a serious action plan for my retirement. I thought it was a good idea so I learned golf.

On the other hand, all my in-laws are rich and successful. They have managed to accumulate, among other things, healthy portfolios of stocks, bonds, and real estate. So as you can see, I am the one who needs to kiss my father-in-law's rear end 24 / 7. And that's exactly the point my wife makes all the time. As much as I hate to admit it, she had a good point. I needed to step on my pride, take a deep breath, stick my nose deep in the old man's bottom and secure our future. It was time for action.

I approached the old man on his birthday party and asked him for a moment of his time. He gave me one of his hateful looks and reluctantly excepted. He ordered me to follow him to his private room. He sat down on his favorite chair and said, "Che margeteh?"

"Listen old man, let me get right to the point. You and I both know that you are loaded. Frankly, you don't look good. Looking at you, I don't find you all that healthy. It's just a matter of time before you hit the bucket and meet your maker. I personally am amazed to see you alive with all that smoking and unhealthy diet of yours. But that's beside the point. I need to know how much inheritance money your daughter and I will get after you meet the big guy upstairs. I'm here to negotiate. I know it's kind of unorthodox, but I think, as two mature individuals, we should be able to workout a deal and come up with a figure that is mutually acceptable."

I noticed my father-in-law turning red. He started breathing heavy and was looking around to find something substantial to throw at me. He tried to stand up but he was overwhelmed with anger and unable to move. He eventually got his composure back and whispered, "You son of a bitch, I will kill you before you get a penny of my money. I will hire a hit man to put you out of your misery. I will ..."

I cut him off and said, "Yeah, I'm really scared. Listen, things have been kind of bad for me lately. Life is extremely expensive. Flying to Las Vegas every weekend with the guys, gambling, chasing women, nudie bars, drinking, partying, traveling, expensive cars... It all takes a good deal of money. To make things easy, I will throw a number at you -- let's say, oh, five hundred thousand dollars and we can base our negotiation on that. What do you say?"

My father-in-law looked terrifying. He started breathing hard again. He made strange noises and moved side to side. He grabbed his chest, coughed a few times, and fell back on his chair with his eyes rolled back. I walked closer to assess the situation. Holly cow, I killed the man. He was gone.

I ran out of the room screaming, "Call 911. He's gone. Call 911." Everybody at the party rushed inside the room screaming with horror. They looked at the old man's body with disbelief.

"What happened here?" my brother-in-law asked. "The old man came to me and kindly asked me to join him in his private room." I said. " He sat on his favorite chair and told me how much he loved me and how much respect he had for me. He said that I was his favorite son-in-law. He said that I was bright and trustworthy. He was proud to have his daughter marry such a fine individual. He said that he wanted me to handle all his finances after he's gone. He wanted me to take over the family business and manage his will base on my own judgment and what I saw fit. He wanted me to carry the family legacy and make sure that you all get some money based on your needs. I cried and begged him to relieve me from such great responsibility, but he insisted. He wanted me to take the rest of his money and invest it for the good of the family. He just wanted me to be there for you all. I sure am gonna miss him."

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