It’s the Most Wonderful Time…

#8 below. Long standing goal on my bucketlist.

I’m not talking Christmas, or Superbowl Sunday; the weekend long bender that is AWP, or summer break. I’m talking about the most fantastic time in the life of a starving liberal arts student. That date you anticipate on your calendar in late August when looking over a credit card statement whose minimum payment is larger than your grocery bill for that month while you eat ramen that you’ve infused with Thai chili sauce to make your food choice feel slightly more exotic.  It’s the time of year where with a good enough sense of denial and a strong imagination you can pretend that you are inheriting a large sum of money from a rich uncle you have never met who has just passed away. That a heist went wrong and you discovered the stashed duffel bag in an abandoned house while walking home late at night from Brooklyn Deli.

That’s right, it’s student loan time! And next Wednesday the elves hard at work at EWU’s financial aid department will mail out hundreds of checks amounting to a shit load of cash. It’s a time of prosperity, of buying unprocessed food and of pretending that tens of thousands of dollars aren’t floating around in space somewhere accruing six percent interest every year.

I have very definite, practical plans as to what I’m going to do with my money this year. However, lately, stuck awake at 3 o’clock in the morning, TV blaring out neon blue light into my bloodshot eyes, syndicated reruns of MASH and Frasier continually hopscotching over one another, these plans give way to elaborate fantasies.

Here’s a list of hopeful purchases I intend to make with the money that I composed midway through a 3:30 episode of Everyone Loves Raymond.

1 and 2. An Industrial Deep Fat Fryer  that can cook over 10 pounds of french fries in a minute and The El Nacho Grande Cheese Dispenser. Recently my girlfriend and I became vegetarians. This has been a much healthier lifestyle choice, however the food can be bland at times. A head of lettuce, an artichoke, even a whole zucchini would be greatly improved by being deep-fat fried and injected with nacho cheese.

3. There’s a site I frequent when I’m uncertain of the future and the number in my bank account is negative. It’s called Here you can view entire islands for sale in hundreds of locations across the world. There are some reasonably priced options.  On special for only $26,000,000  in the U.S. Virgin Islands is a 510 acre gem called Great Hans Lollik.

4. The Nemo 100 miniature Submarine. Starting at $230,000

5. A Zombie-Proof House: a necessity for the impending apocalypse.

6. Own Real Estate on the Moon. As Seen on TV.

7. One of the Largest Italian Truffles Ever Found. Purchased for $216,000. Also to be deep fat fried and injected with nacho cheese.

8. To Be able to Make it Rain. In fact go beyond that. I want to cause a hurricane. I want it to be  monsoon season. To have cash flying everywhere, flinging up handfuls of the stuff from the balcony of my zombie-proof home on my island in the Caribbean.

These are just some preliminary ideas. More than likely the sum will go toward settling outstanding debts, paying bills, and insulating myself against another cruel Spokane winter.

What plans do you have for your student loan checks?











  • Brett says:

    When Jess Walter’s the Zero came out, I didn’t have the money to buy it, so I waited until my student loans came through. I explained this to him, but got nervous and panicked. I then said, “But I had to have it, because good books are good.”

    He wrote that lovely little aphorism in the inscription and I have never lived it down.

  • Leyna Krow says:

    Hahahaha! Love this.

  • Monet says:

    I’m gonna pay my rent four months ahead and go to a movie. Probably Twilight with Neal. And then I’m going to buy tires because mine are bald. And then finally I’m going to but a shit ton of canned food because I know the drought will come again.

    • Tyler says:

      That all sounds fabulous minus the Twilight. My cupboards too will be overflowing with spaghettios and creamed corn. When the end of times come we can use containers of chef boyardee as currency in the cannibalistic new world.

  • Shira Richman says:

    This is the hungry time for those of us on 9-month pay schedules. I haven’t been paid since May. Two more weeks until my next paycheck. Thank goodness for the library and canned food.

  • Cathie Smathie says:

    This made me chuckle since it’s sooo true. I always see the sudden surge in $amount and think “where can I travel to with this?? Europe mayhaps?” and then have to reel it in and remember the 20something list of practical necessities.

  • MelinaCR says:

    You’re joking, but I really did fund a whole trip to Europe on my student loans after I got my MFA. And a trip to New York on spring break before that.
    I don’t know what kind of gourmet canned food you all are buying, but that loan money lasted me long and well.
    You kind of better do something good with it.

  • Katrina says:

    I bought a ukulele with mine last year. I think I’m going to be more practical this year, though. I need a bike. And… maybe some new sneakers.

    • Sarah Hulse says:

      I bought a fiddle last year, but I justified it as a writing-related (and therefore school-related) expense because the protagonist of my novel/thesis is a fiddler and I needed to, uh, conduct research. It’s all in how you rationalize.

  • tanya.debuff says:

    I used my loans primarily to catch up on bills each quarter, then lived off the rest, which lasted for about a month and a half. Then bills got behind and I’d do the same thing the next quarter. It would have been lovely to save it, but alas, there was no fucking way.

  • Julips says:

    Why would you fry an artichoke? I mean, I love slathering boiled artichoke leaves with heaping tablespoons of mayonnaise, but frying?!

    • Tyler says:

      It’s a universal law that literally everything is better deep fat fried. Artichokes aren’t exempt from this fact of nature.

  • Constance says:

    Mice and soft food

  • Seth Marlin says:

    Question from the n00b: Any overages, do they arrive by mail? Or am I going to have to head into Cheney? Thanks guys.

    • Tyler says:

      They’ll arrive in the mail sometime next week so you can avoid the chaos of the financial aid office. Also, you can set up direct deposit through your Eagle Net Account for future loan payments.

  • Cathie Smathie says:

    Take a weekend trip to Florida to meet astronauts? Anyone?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *