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It was a rainy Monday when that rare bolt of good news hit our desks. Our longtime contributor Kurtis Kolt tweeted out this article from CBC highlighting a super easy to find out if CRA is holding any of your funds on account. We, as an editorial team, all dropped what we were doing to find out if pennies from heaven were coming our way. Here’s the results—and what we plan to do with the windfall.
I’m not going to lie—I was both excited and disappointed to discover I had an uncashed cheque in my CRA account. Yes, it’s a small thrill to find money somewhere you didn’t know you had some. But the princely sum of $17.34 comes from a return in 2001. You can imagine just how much interest they’ve given me since then! (It’s zero. Of course it’s zero.)
So what will I spend it on? It’s *almost* enough to buy a replacement for the Mac eyebrow pencil that saves my ’90s brows, and I’m about due for a refill. So let’s go with that—and I’ll send a bill to the CRA for the missing interest to cover the rest.
Hello, peasants of the world.
It’s funny, I was just talking with Branny (that’s Richard Branson, we’ve become close) about empire building. We’ve both worked very hard. He became an entrepreneur as a teenager and began growing his various businesses.
Meanwhile, my recently discovered fortune was the result of losing track of various cheques while moving across the country. So yeah, just a couple of tycoons, don’t mind us.
As for what I’m going to use my new wealth for? Well, humble serf, my limits are the mind’s fragile imagination. Expand your horizons. Revolutionize your entire manner of thinking. Maybe, someday, you’ll be able to comprehend the vast possibilities at stake.
Kidding. I’ll probably use it to help pay for a September trip to Europe. See ya there, Branny.
There’s a few ways of looking at this. On the positive side I suppose I can take solace in the fact that I’m not so loose with my finances that I misplace large sums of money. I’m happy for Nathan that he’s got a windfall, but also concerned that his justification for such financial tomfoolery—”I moved from Ottawa to Vancouver so I lost track of ‘various cheques'”—is so thin he must surely be having trouble sleeping if he really thinks about it. But here’s the thing: I’m totally loose with my finances to an embarrassingly degree. Just ask my wife, Amanda Ross—she’d be happy to fill you in, in triplicate with stories of shockingly childish approaches to money that have been my calling cards for decades. If I’m being honest, I thought it wouldn’t be out of the realm for me to have $2,500 to $3,300.
It took me a while to log on to CRA, because being a man-child, I had never set up an online account. And during that glorious wait when the sky was the limit, I thought I might just buy myself a Tom Ford tuxedo. Not from the store of course—that’s like $6,000. But there’s one on Ebay that I’ve had bookmarked for literally six months that’s $2,300 USD. One of the great tragedies of my life is that the one suit that fits me like a goddamned glove off the rack just happens to be just about the most expensive suit you can buy. But I imagine some future grandchild of mine going through my closet after I’ve left this mortal coil and finding the tux and thinking, “Geez, Granddad had some style.” Thinking that…
Zero. That’s how much I had coming to me. Like Michael Corleone in the best scene from Godfather II. I suppose it’s a blessing really. Ratification that I’m not as dire as I thought. But here I am, in this post, with literally nothing to spend. But while it’s total BS that “the best things in life are free,” having no money to theoretically spend does make you more creative. So here goes: this piece from David Foster Wallace on journeyman tennis pro Michael T. Joyce may be the greatest piece of sports journalism ever written. It’s been packaged in a book that Amazon will sell you for $26, but it’s also here for free in all it’s footnoted glory on Esquire‘s site. Wisdom. Beauty. Lyricism. Three words that ain’t in CRA’s lexicon.