Time = Money = Misfits (Pirates of the (Jerk Chicken) Caribbean)

Man, this dickhead’s time-keeping; thinking the world revolves around him.

Between mouthfuls of jerk, he’s waving a finger at me, saying if I sign up—then cancel—the free Audible trial—and then confirm-cancel again, I’ll probably be offered another audiobook, there and then.

“Just make sure you cancel right away,” he says, thumbing brown paste from the corners of his mouth.

To save on a new laptop, he says—so it doesn’t stutter or cry running Adobe, Mac or PC—keep your disk drive storage 20% free. Better, just upgrade the RAM. Even better, clone the hard-drive to an SSD. A fifty-quid quick win and ten times faster.

“Money—no, time—is the most valuable non-renewable resource we have,” he says, getting all soap-boxy.

And it may be the spices on my tongue, but this all feels a bit déjà vu.

He was late turning up. And after I told myself I’d only give him five more minutes, I gave another 10; because it’s January and the sky’s already eaten away the day, anyway.

Moi, trés kind.

In that time I’m already feeling heavier with SCA deadlines piling on.

But I really needed to save a few quid, incognito in a nook and cranny eatery within Brixton, waiting to buy this jerk some jerk.

“Sure. sure,” I tell this mysterious wasteman. “Time. Money.”

Apparently rumour pier-side is about a third of this year’s cohort of BOAT is on scholarship, so most could do with saving some pennies. Cycling or walking into school. The free Pret month. Sneaking beers. Topcashback or Quidco. Moneysupermarket. The free Adobe month; I repeat, the free Adobe month. Every little savings hack or online voucher code helps. But the free Adobe trial only goes so far.

Which is why I’m here; waiting to pick up a dodgy Adobe copy from a tardy stranger.

Photoshoplifting, you might say.

Not everyone can easily afford the Adobe subscription. Creative Cloud is about £50 a month, £16 if you’re a student. That’s not too shy of £200 a year, just for Adobe.

Students be studenting.

“Adobe,” I prompt him. “Photoshoplifting,” I say.

“Tor Browser,” he says, shrugging. “uTorrent, Bit-torrent,” he says flatly. “Basically, ask Reddit. It’s all on there. ”

“Any software. Most school books,” he says, stuffing his face. “It’s all there. Fill your boots.”

“That’s it?” I say, watching jerk drip down his chin.

“That’s it. Tor. Torrents. Reddit. And Bob’s our uncle.”

I stop chewing. “You ever heard of Chip McCoy…?”

He shakes his head with a smile. “You really want a dollar-saving hack that’ll make a difference?” he says, making a kind of I-told-you-so face.

He tells me the school currently runs a referral scheme. Refer a potential student, boom, £500 in your pocket; £500 discount in theirs. If they win a decent D&AD pencil or such, chalk up another £500.

He says in the time that I was waiting for him, I could’ve signed a petition or easily harangued my local MP and education authority, with just a few clicks.

He says that if I really cared about my time, I would have given it to someone else—and gone on here or here; copy/pasted into a tweet or email something painfully straight-forward and dippy like …Good morning [mxblahdeblah], any idea why [blehdableh] council isn’t part of Stride’s initiative with the  @sca2_0? Like Wandsworth, Lewisham, Lambeth, Southwark council…? Saying something super blunt and unhumblebrag to the point like how the SCA is most awarded ad school in the world. That the creative industries contributed £111.7 billion to the UK in 2018.

And helpfully copy the webpage—because people don’t have time to Google shit in 2022.

You know, to be a helpful.

“But you won’t,” he says. “Because most won’t. But it’s not all about you.”

He says, “You’re not the only misfit around here.”

At the SCA, we’re encouraged to be rule breakers.

Hackers, Makers, Teachers, Thieves.

My eyebrow and nostril twitches; jerk déjà vu spice again. “Have I seen you around…?”

He smiles, sucking sauce off his fingers; again, shrugging.

More scholarships means more students, he says.

More students means more misfits, he says.

“Thanks for the noms, Terry.”

And while I start phone-scrolling for MPs, looking for petitions, wondering who the hell this wasteman is—disappeared off down another dark Brixton rabbit-hole—I find this.

And he’s right. It never is just about you.


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