By Charles Bukowski


I’ve always had trouble with money.

this one place I worked
everybody ate hot dogs
and potato chips
in the company cafeteria for
3 days before each
I wanted steaks,
I even went to see the manager
of the cafeteria and
demanded that he serve
steaks. he refused.

I’d forget payday.
I had a high rate of absenteeism and
payday would arrive and everybody would
start talking about
“payday?” I’d say, “hell, is this
payday? I forgot to pick up my
last check…”

“stop the bullshit, man…”

“no, no, I mean it…”

I’d jump up and go down to payroll
and sure enough there’d be a
check and I’d come back and show it
to them. “Jesus Christ, I forgot all about

for some reason they’d get
angry. then the payroll clerk would come
around. I’d have two
checks. “Jesus,” I’d say, “two checks.”
and they were
some of them were working
two jobs.

the worst day
it was raining very hard,
I didn’t have a raincoat so
I put on a very old coat I hadn’t worn for
months and
I walked in a little late
while they were working.
I looked in the coat for some
and found a 5 dollar bill
in the side pocket:
“hey, look,” I said, “I just found a 5 dollar
bill I didn’t know I had, that’s

“hey, man, knock off the

“no, no, I’m serious, really, I remember
wearing this coat when
I got drunk at the
bars. I’ve been rolled too often,
I’ve got this fear… I take money out of
my wallet and hide it all
over me.”

“sit down and get to

I reached into an inside pocket:
“hey, look, here’s a TWENTY! God, here’s a
TWENTY I never knew I
had! I’m

“you’re not funny, son of
a bitch…”

“hey, my God, here’s ANOTHER
twenty! too much, too too
much… I knew I didn’t spend all that
money that night. I thought I’d been
rolled again…”

I kept searching the
coat. “hey! here’s a ten and
here’s a fiver! my God…”

“listen, I’m telling you to sit down
and shut up

“my God, I’m RICH… I don’t even need
this job…”

“man, sit down…”

I found another ten after I sat down
but I didn’t say
I could feel waves of hatred and
I was confused,
they believed I had
plotted the whole thing
just to make them
feel bad. I didn’t want
to. people who live on hot dogs and
potato chips for
3 days before payday
feel bad

I sat down
leaned forward and
began to go to

it continued to


~from Love Is A Dog From Hell, 1977 Black Sparrow Press


duba09-1 628

T+I+M+V = Money is funny


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