How to Waste a Billion Dollars

“Have you ever spent a billion dollars on a prank Greg?!”

“No, I can’t say that I have.”

“Well let me tell you, it was amazing, stupendous, glorious, and then it all went wrong. Can you imagine how crushing it feels to spend a billion dollars — a BILLION dollars — on a prank, to have it fall flat?”

“Again, no, I do not know how that feels.”

“Well, I’ll tell you how it feels. It’s like those scenes in the movies, where the guy sets up the bucket to have it fall on the next guy’s head who enters the room, but then he ends up entering the room and has the bucket fall on his head. It’s like that — except that bucket is holding a gold bar the size of Vermont.”

“Sounds to me you would be dead.”

“A normal man would Greg, a normal man would.”

“But you’re not a normal man?”

“Hell no! I’m Johannes Kiddington, I am a man who stands above men.”

“Who had the universe’s largest gold bar fall on him.”

“You’re not helping Greg, I thought you were supposed to help me, I thought that is why I pay you.”

“Jo, you pay me to do card tricks.”

“I KNOW WHY I PAY YOU! It was a rhetorical question, anyway, it’s crushing, truly crushing. You use all this money so that you can trick your first born son into thinking he’s an actual wizard. You set up his life so that he is convinced he’s the next Harry Potter, except without the whole living in some abusive house hold thing. No son of mine would live in some shack in the back yard!”

“I’m pretty sure it was a cabinet under the stairs.”

“Yeah, yeah, whatever, point is, I built up this lie. It was like my own little Truman Show you know? Start when he was just a little guy. Sixteen years later and you know what happens?”

“I do know, but I also know you will tell me anyway.”

“You’re darn right I’m going to tell you anyways. Turns out the kid actually is a wizard! I mean he actually can wave a wand and POOF! Stuff happens, crazy stuff too, crazier then I could ever imagine.”

“I know, can you imagine how useless sleight of hand is when you can actually cause a card to change with your mind?”

“Greg, this is not you time, this is me time. We can get to your troubles when I’m done ranting about mine.”

“Sorry, Jo, go on.”

“Yeah well, I just can’t believe I went through all that trouble. The special effects studio I bought to try and emulate magic in real time. The magicians I hired to think up crazy effects to make him believe, really believe he was a wizard. If I had known he could do it all along I would never have done any of it.”

“I know Jo, I know.”

“Yeah well, it’s too late now. You know, you’re really easy to talk to Greg.”

“Thanks, Jo. So what do we do now?”

“I guess we just wait for the little man to show up. It’s not like either of us can do anything.”

“Yeah, I can escape from a pair of handcuffs but trying to break out of a magic reinforced dungeon is a whole skill set I do not have.”

“A billion dollars, gone, that’s the true magic trick.”

“Who knows, maybe this dark wizard guy has some gold stashed somewhere.”

“Maybe, maybe, either way, I’m going to get some rest, no use complaining if you can’t change the situation. That’s what I always say.”

“Didn’t you just complain for the last half hour?”

“No, that’s called therapeutic ranting, it’s a processing of my emotions. What am I paying you for anyways?”

“To do card tricks.”

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