My Last Hundred Bucks: Science Fiction, ‘Firefly,’ and Fees
by Choire Sicha
$100! It is a lot of money, and yet, it is also not a lot of money at all. Where did your last hundred bucks go, Choire Sicha?
$6.99: Amazon Kindle store, “Year’s Best Science Fiction: First Edition” (1983).
$7.99: Amazon Kindle store, “Year’s Best SF 7” (2001).
$15.35: Momofuku Milk Bar, Carroll Gardens, dessert and coffee for four.
$2.22: Amazon payment for Justin Wolfe’s Letter.ly.
$15.25: Van Horn, catfish sandwich with “homemade pickles” and lemonade, early dinner alone.
$27.40: Whole Foods, water, crackers and a megapack of Pearls probiotics because I had astounding heartburn for four days and actually this stuff fixed that entirely? It was amazing, I take back everything bad I ever said about hippies.
$5.97: Apple iTunes store, final three episodes of Firefly, which I had been watching on Netflix before I went traveling and then didn’t get to finish so I just paid for it. But at least I paid for the SD version to watch on my phone, instead of the more expensive HD version, which is kind of funny. I know “transmitting data” costs someone money, but it’s hilarious that we pay more per pixel or, if you like, more per megabyte, in consuming cultural products now. Though I guess that’s not at all unlike how longer paper books cost more to make and are therefore more expensive, am I right?
$10.00: Bank of America “external transfer fee.” I no longer pay my rent in cash but now I do pay $10 for the favor, but that’s less than the cost of my time that it takes to go to the bank and get cash. This is only the most egregious of all these examples of how the majority of my money goes to big companies.
The remainder: Let’s be honest, it all went to cigarettes or to overdraft fees and the autopaying of bills, to which I pay no attention, and so of course those two things are permanently entwined.