ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE TERM "CASH COW"?Collins English Dictionary describes ‘a product or acquisition that produces a steady flow of cash...’. The slang dictionary (must get me one of those) further describes ‘a dependable source of money; a good investment’. Wikipedia goes on to explain that ‘a “cash cow” is also used sarcastically by sales and business people to describe a customer or organisation that has no control over its spending; quite often used to describe a business where spending is out of proportion to the services or goods received.’
IT APPEARS THAT ALONG WITH BEING A WOMAN,
mother, friend, daughter, sister, and colleague, I am also now a cow. Of the cash variety. It seems that along with making a nice dinner, keeping a clean (enough) house, partaking in my parental taxi driving responsibilities, and buying corsages, at my core I am merely a glorified ATM.
Granted, I’m softer than the metal varieties found at the local shopping malls – although one might argue not as glitzy, shiny and bright. You don’t need to leave the house to utilise my services. I’m certainly a lot more user friendly, don’t charge transaction fees, and my pin number seems to be “Mum, can I please have...”. And best of all, there seems to be an inexhaustible supply of funds – for everybody else.
SO, WHO IS MILKING THIS CASH COW FOR ALL IT'S WORTH?
The teenagers, of course! My teenagers to be more precise. But I have an inkling teenagers the world over are all in on this plot to extort funds from all unsuspecting adults. They mean well, I’m sure. I’m pretty certain they don’t wake up each morning plotting and scheming evil ways to extract every last drop of moolah from Mum. But that could be because now summer holidays are here they aren’t actually rising til midday.
And why are all the animals paying homage to money ugly and overweight? There’s the bull on Wall Street. There’s the seemingly innocuous pig who helps children begin their financial building blocks filling its tummy with coins. And the naive cash cow. Now, granted I’m not in the best shape, I know I’ve let myself go a little this past decade, but cow just seems so mean. Heifer even does not conjure up images of a pretty picture - rich bitch, wealthy whale, money mule, prosperous porcupine, affluent ass, I just can’t seem to find a polite, loveable way to describe a holder of monetary wealth...other than B.A.N.K.
I AM NOT EXACTLY CASHED UP AT THE MOMENT EITHER,
having been on an extended break from work since early August. I’m ‘self employed’ too, which means broke! One day I’ll be a published author, but in the mean time... 6 weeks of school holidays and Christmas/ New Year make being cash-poor all the more a tightrope walking act (whilst juggling knives for good measure). Like most parents, I want to give my kids everything they need, but somehow end up giving them everything they want as well!
IF I WAS AN ACTUAL BANK
- besides being hated by 95% of the population - I would be one of those American, Icelandic or Irish ones that is on the verge of bankruptcy. I’d be condemned for almost creating my own little family-GFC (no, for those that know and love me, that’s not the Geelong Football Club, but the Global Financial Crisis) by lending money far too easily to those who have no ability to repay the debt (granted, this sounds a little like me with my parents, but in my defence I have a mortgage and real bills to pay – unlike the young adolescents in my home who only have to worry about investing in hair gel and how many text messages they can get for their buck).
SO EFFECTIVELY, I'M A FINANCIAL PINATA.
A complex layer of pulp and glue that gets beaten almost daily with the solid whack of the teenager’s stick - that often comes disguised in the shape of a hug or tilted head and a cheesy smile that prompts parents everywhere to say “what do you want?”. They will not stop the incessant beating until like a ticker tape parade down 7th Avenue all my $5, $10, $20 and $50 notes float softly around me til they hit the ground (who am I kidding, I don’t have $50 notes anymore!). The coins fall hard and fast (like when you turn a piggy bank upside down and shake the bejeebies out of it), and if I’m lucky one might roll under the sofa for me to scurry to later so as to have 20cents in my purse; giving me a false sense of my own financial security. They really are like a swarm of locust in that they crowd, inundate, mob and distract you and eradicate all money from you before they move on.
SO PLEASE TAKE PITY
on all those parents you bump into on your next trip to the shops. They look beaten and down trodden for a reason...they’ve been beaten like a cow shaped piñata, and had all the buttons on their personal ATM poked, prodded and pushed. There is a reason teenagers look so darn excited and happy about the opportunities that abound...they’re flush with your cash!
ASK ME FOR MY LAST 20CENTS -
the one I had to roll around in cat hair and crumbs to reach under the sofa (I told you in the beginning my house was only clean – enough) – and watch me throw a tanty big enough to rival that of a 3 year olds after a party of raspberry cordial and fairy bread. This cash cow is taking a stand and is thinking of introducing harsh transaction fees in 2011 (by way of gardening and household chores).
I don’t want to be a cow anymore...i’m quite partial to alpacas myself, they’re cute, loveable and known for their fine fleece and breeding qualities. Might actually make me some money! J