Finding that Alter’s 1/8 scale Exelica is sold out across the entire planet, I turn to the last resort of the fiscally imprudent: Yahoo Japan Auctions. As the mouse pointer hovers over Paypal’s Send Money button, my common sense intervenes.
COMMON SENSE: Hello.
ME: Why, hello there. It’s been a while since we’ve chatted.
CS: Indeed. What do you think you’re doing?
CS: Yes. Us, in fact.
ME: I’m going to commission a deputy service in Japan to bid on Exelica.
CS: Yes, well, that’s what I meant. What are you doing? Do you know how much this is going to cost you?
ME: I do. The total payment is listed right on Paypal’s summary page.
CS: And you see nothing wrong with this?
ME: No. Should I?
CS: Of course you should. Let’s set aside the financial cost for now. Can you even read the auction listing?
ME: Well, no, but the translation seems good.
CS: Allow me to read this back to you: “State of the body size, A Second Hand Ranking. 1/8 scale, no shortage.” Do you know what that means?
ME: It seems clear enough to me.
CS: I’m sure it does. I’ll continue. “Any description, can not verify it unopened. NOTE, We are listing items you are purchasing used goods from consumers.” What do you make of that?
ME: Well, it seems that what I’m bidding on is new and unopened. Or it might be used. I dunno.
CS: Right, you aren’t sure. You don’t know if this thing is new or used. And you’re going to bid that much money?
ME: I thought we weren’t talking about the cost now.
CS: The figure could be used. Look, if it is, you don’t know what it’s been through. You’ve seen those bizarre websites where people do disgusting things to their figures. I’m talking revolting. You’re half-Jap yourself. You know perversion runs in their blood. It’s ingrained in the genes.
ME: The slur and overly broad generalizations are completely unnecessary.
CS: Fine, I apologize, but the salient point remains. Do you really want to take the risk?
ME: I don’t see the alternative. I’d get Exelica from an American seller if I could but she’s sold out. Believe me, I’ve looked everywhere. Nobody’s selling her, nobody’s hocking her, this is the only chance I’ve got.
CS: And that brings me to the next point. Why do you want her so badly?
ME: Well, look at her. She’s an awesome figure. And I liked Triggerheart Exelica. It’s a fun game.
CS: You didn’t even get a quarter of the achievement points.
ME: I didn’t say that I’m any good at it.
CS: Let’s get back to the price. Do you really think you can afford this?
ME: Sure. It’s worth it. And I’m a patriot.
ME: I’m a patriot.
CS: What are you talking about?
ME: The economy is in a meltdown, right? I read that spending is the path to recovery. So I’m putting my two cents into this effort. The people should thank me.
CS: … I’m not even sure how to respond to that. Look, first off, you’re sending the money to Japan. That doesn’t make you a patriot; if anything, it makes you a traitor.
ME: Well, remember how Obama talked about a new spirit of sacrifice? I remember it verbatim. And if I do forget I’ve got it bookmarked on Youtube. I’m sacrificing here.
CS: Second, you’re misunderstanding all of this. And that isn’t what he meant. He wasn’t exhorting you to buy pervy plastic figures.
ME: How do you know that? You don’t know that. It’s for us to interpret, not to ask for clarification.
CS: Look, you’re just starting your career. Your savings are a joke. At the rate you’re contributing to your 401k, you’ll be lucky to retire by eighty. Why not put this money to productive, intelligent use instead?
ME: That’s a long time from now. Medical technology will be unbelievable then. Think back to fifty years ago. They barely even knew what DNA was. They probably still bled people with leeches or lampreys or whatever to get rid of the bad humors. Fifty years from now, I’ll still be able to work.
CS: You don’t know that. Look, I understand that you want this figure. But you don’t need it. It’s a nice figure, but there’ll be other nice figures that won’t cost nearly this much. And you’ll be able to get them new, and you won’t have to go through a Japanese middleman that you know nothing about to do it.
ME: Right …
CS: So why not let it go? Put the money somewhere else. Put it into your 401k. Put it in bonds. Put it to good use somewhere.
ME: … I think this is a good use. I think I’m going to send the money.
CS: Don’t do it.
ME: I think I will!
CS: Are you crazy? You’re out of your mind!
ME: Ain’t it cool?