“Just going over my notes for a big math test next week. What’s shakin’?”

“I don’t know how to tell you this, but… I need a favor.”

“You’re not asking me to loan you money again, are you?”

“But tickets for a really good concert go on sale this weekend, Rick, and I’m a little short when it comes to the service charges.”

“Didn’t you just ask me for money to buy Bryan Adams tickets?”

“Er – Yeah, but that was yesterday.”

“And didn’t you ask me for a small loan right before Halloween so you could buy tickets for George Jones and Insane Clown Posse?”

“Er – Yeah.”

“I thought 2002 was going to be the year you took control of your expenses. You know, learn to budget, how to spend wisely and all that.

“I’m trying, Rick. Honestly, I’m really trying. I tell myself that I’ll plan ahead and set money aside for HEM and Angelique Kidjo, but whenever I see a new show announcement I just don’t know what comes over me.”

“Do you think I work my butt off at my after-school job at the nuke plant just so that I can pay for your concert tickets? I’m only a high school student. I’m not made of money. You’ll just have to learn to say ‘no.'”

“Listen to you. You make it sound easy. You don’t know what it’s like. Whenever I walk by a Ticketmaster and see those tickets for The Pretenders, and Erasure sitting in the display window, I just can’t help myself. My heart starts hammerin’ like a jackhammer, my pulse goes crazy and before I know it, I’m standing at the counter looking at the seating charts.”

“You need some help.”

“I know I need some help. But more importantly, I need some money to buy tickets for “Shaolin Wheel Of Life”. Are you gonna give it to me? Huh? Huh??”

“Get a grip on yourself, man. Sheesh.”

“I’m trying, Rick, but I can’t wait any longer. GIMME SOME MONEY TO BUY Jimmy Buffett TICKETS OR I’LL SMASH YOUR TEETH IN.”

“Alright, alright already. You don’t need to get violent. Here. Here’s a Franklin. That should cover it.”

“Thanks, Rick. I’ll never forget this.”

“Yeah, whatever.”

“No, really. I mean, I really appreciate this.”

“Uh, uh.”

“Oh, and Rick?”

“What now?”

“Please don’t tell your mother about this, OK?”

“I won’t, Dad.”