Have you seen Big Hot Dogs made in Chicago, Illinois? According to the company’s web site, bighotdog.com, “The BIG HOT DOG measures 16″ long and 4″ in diameter and is made of 100% veal, beef, pork, every Tuesday in Chicago, Illinois. The BIG HOT DOG differs from normal “tiny” hotdogs, in that it is 50 times bigger, weighs 7 lbs, has 50 servings per BIG HOT DOG.” Wow, what a gift that would make for the meat lover! I mean this thing looks enormous! The photos on the company’s website show it dwarfs the standard hot dog bun. It is a piece of processed meat living large as a novelty food item. I’ve never eaten one of these dogs so I can’t vouch for the quality or taste. I’ll leave the taste test to you. What I’m most interested in is the appearance of the Big Hot Dog.
So what does this have to do with borrowing money? Let me introduce a fictional character called “Big Chicago” who lives large in the standard bun of his finances. He spends more than he earns and has an artfully decorated outward appearance of success. To bridge the gap between his cash flow and his spending appetite he borrows from a buffet of different credit sources. “Big Chicago” has a luxury car that’s the envy of the neighbors but is leased with an extreme implied interest rate. The house he owns is much more shelter than he needs and the negative equity causes lost sleep and dreams of a strategic default. He thinks about sending his lender some “jingle mail” otherwise known as a letter of abandonment with the house keys in the envelope. He goes to happy hour at the local bar where his friends suggest he buy a second home in the same neighborhood under the guise of a rental property and then bail on his existing home mortgage. That way, they reason, he gets a similar home in the same neighborhood at a lower price. All of this is done to maintain an appearance of wealth and success known to impress most people. I make a living by analyzing credit and “Big Chicago” doesn’t make the grade.
“Big Chicago” has been living over the edges of his financial bun. He is a one-man act trying to win over his audience with displays of wealth but the façade is becoming more transparent each day. When he’s done with his financial walk in this world others will pick up the broken pieces.
Join the discussion: How have you been living over the edge of your financial bun? Do you want to change?
- Tube steak that’s doggone good – or at least fun (theglobeandmail.com)
- Hot Dog Hazards (attorneyatmom.blogspot.com)