I went most of my life without a credit card because I have the kind of self-control that would likely start with me buying a few moderately-priced but unnecessary items (“Hedgehogs are on sale? I’ll take thirty.”) and would promptly spiral into a situation in which the floorspace in my apartment would be replaced with puppies, stylish boots and “As Seen on TV” x-ray goggles and then I’d have to buy a jetpack to get to the bathroom without smooshing them all. This way of life is probably not a good idea for health and noise complaint reasons, but the thought of jetpacking around my apartment shooting dog treats from a hand cannon while drinking milkshakes out of one of those beer helmets almost mitigates the fear of devastating credit card debt and potential eviction, particularly the prospect of training my seven puppies to howl in harmony like fuzzy widdle von Trapps and riding their coattails to the top since I seem to have no discernable talents of my own. I’d make my curtains into dog costumes if they weren’t so ugly and my idiot hands didn’t have the dexterity of a toddler doing calligraphy with their feet.
I did have a credit card when I was younger for emergency purposes only. I never used it as I had yet to come across any emergencies, until I was on a road trip to Toronto and the dodgy motel I was staying at required a credit card for “insurance reasons,” which I assumed meant “tried to shotgun a can of Labatt and spewed poutine all over the bedspread.” For this I gave them the credit card, as my idea of rockstar hotel partying is a few awkward jumps on the bed and free access to an iron. And then I went about my merry way.
A few days after I returned to the land of deep-fried hotdogs and reality TV, I received a call from the credit card company. “Miss, we regret to inform you that there have been some suspicious activity on your credit card.” Interesting, I thought. I only used it the one time and decidedly did not trash my motel room, so this, indeed, is suspect. “What were the charges?” I asked. “$5,000 at Best Buy and $1,000 at Target,” the agent said. “And $0.99 on iTunes.”
$0.99 on iTunes. One song. Someone stole my credit card information, charged six grand in electronics and various Target wonderments, and then bought one song. This immediately began to obsess me. What was the song? They had access to the entire iTunes library, they could have purchased anything their thieving heart desired, and they bought one song. But what was it? “Smooth Criminal”? “Highway to Hell”? Naughty by Nature? Or were they more elegant than that, stealing instead something like “Killing Me Softly With His Song”? It definitely wasn’t “No Scrubs.” I’m sure of that.
The charges were recouped, but they ended up getting away with it. Wherever the bastard is, I hope he’s sitting on his new stolen futon eating stolen Corn Nuts listening to “U Can’t Touch This” on his stolen stereo. No other song is possible. That has to be it. That is what I choose to believe.