I saw “DWI — You can’t Afford It” written on road signs along Interstate 40 as we passed through Texas on our recent vacation. What an interesting angle, I thought. I guess that since the fact that the risk of killing innocent people, as well as themselves, isn’t enough of a deterrent for drunk drivers, the state of Texas decided to make a financial case against driving while intoxicated. I was intrigued. What other ill-advised human behaviors could also be discouraged this way?
Adultery — You Can’t Afford It: Someone once said that the best financial decision anyone can make is to stay married. Adultery is not only emotionally devastating, it is also the quickest way to cut your net worth in half, aside from a gambling rampage in Vegas. And unlike Vegas, what happens in a marriage doesn’t stay in the marriage once things get ugly.
Diarrhea of the Mouth — You Can’t Afford It: Haven’t you ever just lost your mind and all of your tact and said something that you wish you could take back so that no one knew you even thought that, much less said it? It can cost relationships, career advancement and a lifelong good reputation. And you can never take it back. Ever. Apologies are important, but a stupid remark is like a baby, it can’t be unborn and it remains your responsibility for as long as it lives.
Barn Door Left Open — You Can’t Afford It: I think this error is infinitely more horrifying to the owner of the barn door (and the menagerie that dwells therein) than the usually mildly amused viewing public. Unless of course the all important added protective shield of underwear is absent and then this event can be upsetting for all involved and it could cost the offender eye contact with the violated for quite some time.
Hocking Loogies in Public — You Can’t Afford It: Aren’t officials in China working on the issue of public etiquette so the Olympic spectators from all over the world will find China a pleasant travel destination? I wonder if their campaigns to curtail spitting in public and other offenses have been successful and if so, are they using financial pressure? I also read that the Chinese are correcting many of the incorrect signage that confuses English speakers due to translation errors. This reminds me of when I was in Barcelona, Spain in 1994 and went to a Chinese restaurant. On the menu there was listed a tempting, though mysterious, item. It read, “Three Delicious”. That was it. I didn’t risk ordering the three delicious.whatever they were.
Shaving Your Eyebrows Off and Drawing New Ones On — You Can’t Afford It: As a woman, I sympathize with the never ending challenge and expense of hair maintenance (such as Bikini Waking – When DIY Isn’t Worth the Savings). However, when I see a woman who apparently one day just said “Screw it!” and took a razor to her eyebrows and then drew on new ones, I am sometimes struck dumb. Sadly, I usually stare. I know this is wrong. But inexplicably, these women don’t just draw on new eyebrows of normal proportions. Often, they illustrate a whole new clown face of exaggerated arches and therefore look eternally surprised or alarmed. And this appears to be contagious, and I seem to be particularly susceptible because as I study their artwork, my fascinated expression mirrors theirs.
I’d like to ask the Texas authorities if their “You Can’t Afford It Campaign” had decreased incidents of drunk driving. If so, maybe I’ll send a few of these ideas their way and see what other progress can be made.
Image courtesy of motg