OUT OF BOUNDS By Geary Leason

This story was passed on to me by a homeless man I met under a bridge in Little Rock. He wanted people to know what had happened to him, so that others perhaps might benefit. (Editor’s note: this story is rated PG-13).

Uslys Gubmint, the third child of eight, grew up in a low income family, but as his parents were diligent and careful with their meager earnings, they were able to keep all their kids in decent homemade clothes and fed them good, but inexpensive staples – meaning a lot of vegetables grown in their backyard. Uslys’ father, Dab, was a logger who worked long hard hours. One thing that Dab Gubmint swore was that he would never owe “no one no money, no how!” “Neither a lender nor a borrower be!” he hollered daily to his family. The family learned to live on what they earned, made, and grew. Wholesome and self-reliant, the Gubmints under Old Man Dab, were relatively content.

Uslys, the man of our story, paid attention in school and was rewarded with a small scholarship to UA Monticello. He covered all his expenses working odd jobs, mindful of Dab Gubmint’s mantra regarding borrowing. He obtained a BS in Forestry Science and went to work for Georgia Pacific immediately after graduation. While at Monticello, Uslys met Sheila Musthavit, a buxom lass, who stole his heart on their first date. Uslys had little experience with women so he was easily taken in by Miss Musthavit’s outward charms. He did not do a background check nor seek character references on her. Blinded and melted by her bounteous charms and the generous dispensation of the same, Uslys chose to spend the rest of his life with Miss Musthavit. He paid dearly for this lust propelled decision.

Married the summer of his graduation, the young couple found a used double-wide to rent near the town where Uslys worked. The young couple furnished this beat-up abode with the usual hand-me-down leftovers from his and her parents and rounded it out with items from the local thrift store. Not too long after, however, Sheila began expressing a need for a few more – and better things – to make life a tad more enjoyable. First on her list was a 42″ flat screen TV, with a sizeable console to support it. The next necessary item Sheila put in for was a two-seat leather recliner.

Needless to say, a guileless and thoroughly mesmerized Uslys had a hard time saying no to this luscious creature who brought him pleasures beyond his wildest dreams. As the 42″ TV chewed up the $785 he had in his checking account, the two-seat recliner required some financing. The Lazy Boy store gave him the credit via their financing package and Uslys brought home the loot. Sheila was very pleased and she gave him an extra helping of “sugar” that very same afternoon.

Once Sheila realized the hold and power she had over Uslys, there was nothing, absolutely nothing, that would not find its way into her dominion. The double-wide was history as they bought a new 3200 sq. ft model home in the Shady Lane subdivision, with great thanks to the CountryWide Mortgage Company who loaned them the entire purchase price of $180,000, requiring no down payment.

Then came the new Honda SUV at $32,000 and a fancy wardrobe compliments of Dillard Finance. A piano and a teacher for Sheila and their youngsters followed. The Gubmint house soon overflowed with the goods of the world.

Meanwhile Uslys had worked his way up the corporate ladder but he was oblivious to the looming fiscal abyss Sheila’s passions for things had dug for them. Uslys knew trees and bark, but he was an ignoramus when it came to money and borrowing. Uslys sent in the minimum monthly amount, paying no attention to the escalating interest charges on Sheila’s seventy-five credit cards, the mortgage and the car loans. The thoroughly over-romanced Uslys was following Sheila up a mountain path of unpaid and overdue debts, unaware that at the top of this mountain was an active volcano. With his eyes only on Sheila’s rear, Uslys did not see the signs on the path screaming DANGER AHEAD!

Next Week: Uslys suffers nasty volcanic ash burns: Bankruptcy, Repos, Divorce, Foreclosures, Attachments, and THEN EVEN SOME BAD STUFF!

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