Authors: Dan Hendrix
Bad Luck Black Money
Copyright 2013, Dan Hendrix
Bad Luck Black Money is a work of fiction from the author’s mind. Any similarities to names, places, and events are purely coincidental.
Bad Luck Black Money
In Bangkok, sitting front center stage, looking up at a dozen naked Thai ladies, was an overweight, young man with greasy blonde hair and green eyes. He would have been attractive, if only, he were willing to put a little effort into grooming and keeping himself fit. But still all the girls called him, "handsome man", as long as he kept tipping them and flashing his big wad of cash.... Being a trust fund brat had its advantages.
Junior didn't really know much about his father and no longer cared to. His 'ole man split after he divorced Junior's mama, and all they ever saw of him after that was his signature on the monthly checks, which his accountants sent to them.
Milton had first laid eyes on Sissy (Junior's mother) in high school during lunch when all the advanced students had to mix with the 'normal' kids. She was by far the hottest girl in school, and Milton was determined to 'hit that'. It didn't take too much effort because Sissy heard from her friends that Milton came from a wealthy family, ... and she really liked money.
Milton lost his virginity in the back seat of his Lexus to Sissy. Sissy couldn't remember exactly which lacrosse player she had given her virginity to on a drunken night long before that. But it didn't matter anyway, because she was pregnant with Milton's baby. "Score!" Sissy had hit the jackpot!
Against his family's wishes, Milton was married to his baby's mama after graduating high school by a Justice of the Peace. Their first year together as man and wife was their best year together.... It went downhill fast after that.
During their third year of marriage, Milton started his first company, Pluto Moon Technologies. He threw himself into his work. He started working long days, then evenings, nights, weekends, and even holidays. Sissy was, for all intents and purposes, abandoned. So, she looked for male companionship in the bars and honky-tonks.... Milton's family handled the details of their divorce, and Sissy got a big, fat check coming in every month.
Unfortunately, Sissy couldn't handle her newfound life of wealth and ease and turned to drugs for comfort. Years later, she would die from a drug overdose.... Milton Senior did not attend her funeral.
Even though, she was always strung out on drugs and parading new men though their house on a weekly, sometimes daily basis, Junior still loved his mama. And he learned an important lesson from her tragic life; never do hard drugs. He would drink beer and wine and occasionally smoked a little pot, but that was his limit.
When his mother died, Junior was devastated by the loss of the only family he'd ever known. Fortunately, from Junior's perspective, he had turned eighteen years old by then and wasn't placed into child protective services. He kept receiving monthly checks from his father, which he dutifully spent every penny of, by month's end.
Milton Van Hopenhammer's lawyer arranged a meeting with Junior at his office when the young man reached his twenty-first birthday. Under the impression that his father wanted to see him, Junior dressed in his best suit and even bought new shoes to make him look more presentable. His expectations were crushed when he arrived at the designated time and found only his father's personal attorney and a secretary waiting for him.
Attorney at Law, Fred Rose picked up on young Mr. Hopenhammer's disappointment through his body language. Junior's shoulders drooped like a delicate flower left in the summer heat and all passion disappeared from his facial expression.
In an attempt to cheer the young man up, Rose said, "Your father was scheduled to be here, but ... an emergency came up." This was, of course, a lie. But that is what lawyers do, and in this instance, it helped Junior feel a little better.
"Please, take a seat, Mr. Hopenhammer. Can I get you a cup of coffee or tea?"
"Uh... no, thanks," mumbled Junior as he sat down on an insanely expensive and comfortable leather chair, which was one of twelve situated around a long, antique, mahogany table.
"What do you say, we make this as short and sweet as possible?" asked lawyer Rose, although it sounded more like an order than a request to Junior.
"Your father has set up a trust fund for you, and it is set to start disbursement upon the first day of the first month, once you reach the age of twenty-one. You just celebrated your twenty first birthday, correct?"
The lawyer's secretary slid a microphone resting on the table, closer toward Junior, which he stared at and remained silent.
"Oh, that's to document this little briefing. It has more to do with covering my own ass than anything to do with you.... So, once more from the top, you are twenty-one years old, correct?"
"Uh... yeah," answered Junior.
"Excellent," spoke the lawyer trying to lighten the mood with a more exuberant tone in his voice. Although, in his mind he was saying to himself, "What is it with this kid? He's about to become insanely rich, and he acts like I'm trying to kick him in the nuts."
"This trust is to be paid out on a monthly basis for the rest of your life. In the sad event of your passing, the trust reverts back to Pluto Technologies Corporation, which at this time is solely owned by your father. Understand?"
"... Yes," answered Junior, who felt like his tie was tightening around his neck like a boa constrictor.
"Good," said Rose as he tried to figure out how to dampen the impact of what was coming next. "Now, this next part... might be a little tough to take.
We know about your spending habits, really more like a spending addiction. At the end of every month you end up practically penniless, and the support checks from your father have been quite generous.
I've never even heard of someone spending money like you do. Well, I take that back. There was that one rock star who spent himself to death, the one that really, REALLY liked children. You know who I'm talking about, right?"
Junior didn't answer, but from the look on his face, Rose could tell he was stunned.
"Anyway, back on subject, there is a termination clause in the trust that causes you to be cut off immediately and indefinitely if you ever borrow money. That includes all type of loans for any reason.
You borrow money against the trust; you're cut off.
You take out a mortgage from a bank; you're cut off. You go to a pawnshop and pawn your watch; you're cut off. You get some sort of payday loan or something similar, which poor people use; you're cut off. You go to a loan shark; you're cut off.
Do you understand what I'm saying, Mr. Hopenhammer?"
"Yes, I understand," answered Junior with just a little hint of hurt in his voice. In his heart, he knew there was only one reason for his father to insist on such a clause. It was because his father didn't trust his judgment, and had absolutely zero respect for him.
Looking right into the lawyer's eyes, Junior exclaimed, "I've never borrowed any money! When I spend what I have, I just wait until the next check comes in.
Why would he think that I'd want to borrow money?"
Leaning back in his chair to get in a more comfortable position with his head resting upon his folded arms, Rose answered, "To be perfectly honest with you, I think Mr. Hopenhammer Senior is just concerned about his money. What monies you are to receive every month from the trust fund is, in reality, only the interest paid out from over a hundred million dollars. The principle stays in Mr. Hopenhammer Senior's control.
If you were to borrow against the trust fund then someone outside the company would have claim to a small portion of his money. And the one thing in this world that Mr. Hopenhammer cares for more than anything else, is himself."
Suddenly, Rose shot up from his seat, remembering that what he said was being recorded, and muttered, "Oh, shit!"
"... Oh well," said Rose sitting back down and trying to get comfortable again. "The truth is the truth. So, he will just have to deal with it.
OK, back on topic, it’s really not that bad of a clause. I kind of wish I could do the same thing with my wife's credit cards. Ordinary people have a hard time understanding the concept of paying interest and how destructive it truly is.
On a brighter note, your father did leave instructions that if you needed more money than your monthly stipend for real estate or a legitimate business venture, he'd be willing to consider your request. Basically, the ball is in your court. You can keep living the life of a rich playboy, in which case, you're on, your own. Or if you choose to live by society's rules and turn your life around, then he would be open to having a more normal, father/son relationship."
Junior didn't have to think about it very long. "Screw the 'ole man!" thought Junior. "I'll spend what I get, on whatever I want, and whoever doesn't like it can kiss... MY... ASS."
With a check coming in every month that was big enough to choke a horse, Junior made lots of friends everywhere he went. He stayed in the finest hotels, which could run into thousands of dollars per night. He only dressed in custom tailored clothes and ate at the most exclusive restaurants. But it was the women that cost more than everything else combined. Jewelry, clothing, sports cars, whatever it took to get into the ladies panties that's how much he would spend.
Most months he had a few thousand dollars lying around before his next installment came in. However, there were times when he was so broke that he had to stay in homeless shelters or sleep outdoors until more of Pop's money came in on the first day of the new month.
During the final days of an exceptionally fun filled month, Junior found himself flat broke after his latest girlfriend had spent his last dollar in an angry, clothes fueled, shopping spree. Luckily, Junior had the good fortune to be in southern California in a city, which had a nice, homeless shelter. And he planned on ridding out the last few days of the month on a clean cot, watching basic cable television.
Counting down the hours until he was a man of means again, Junior met a friendly hobo who couldn't stop talking about the time he had spent in Thailand. The bum claimed he
used to be a computer consultant until he was sent to Thailand on a job. Once in Thailand, he fell in love with a Thai lady and consequently lost his steam of income when he failed to return to America.
Eventually, he developed a drinking problem, spent all his life's savings, and sold all of his worldly possessions. The special lady, who had turned his life upside down, dumped him. A good-hearted member of his family took mercy upon him and sent him a one-way ticket back to the good 'ole US of A.
The bum said everything was incredibly cheap there. Everyone smiled all the time, and the ladies were all beautiful. That's all it took for Junior to decide on his next destination, Thailand.
Some things may be cheaper in the Land of Smiles, but the expensive things are even more expensive. Junior ended up sleeping on the streets during the later part of his first two months there. The last few days of his second month in Thailand after having blown all of his monthly allowance on extravagant living, nearly seen the death of him. He had to spend four, consecutive days outdoors during the rainy season. Somehow, he found his way to the hospital just as new trust fund money was filling his bank account, and reasonably priced medical care saved his life from double pneumonia.
It hand taken a lot of hard knocks, but Junior finally learned his lesson. On his first day out of the Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok, he paid a month's advance on a penthouse suite in a luxury, high-rise hotel, all-inclusive with meals and car service. Freed from the threat of poverty for a whole month, he was ready to kick his partying back into high gear.
And so there was Junior being mesmerized by the hypnotic swaying of the dancing naked Thai girls; trying to figure out with all his might, which one would be the best in his bed that very night. Focused like a laser beam on the task at hand, he didn't notice the dark stranger in an even darker corner of the club watching him, instead of the girls.