In which Mr ABS tries to help his wife come to terms with his new situation and comes into uncomfortably close contact with a Porsche 911.
My novelty value is wearing thin. When I was first made redundant, my wife received reams of sympathy from the other school mothers, who tried very hard to reassure her that things would get better soon. Two of them even put me in touch with their banker husbands to see if they could help find me a new position.
These days, however, those same mothers are confiding to my wife that they're concerned their husbands will be sent home early with the contents of their desk in a cardboard box. If this happens, the wives are apparently more worried about how they'll cope with a stay-at-home-man than with the tribulations of life with a lot less money.
My wife hasn't been able to put their fears entirely to rest. Our money concerns have been massaged by my current temping gig, but there's no guarantee it will last long enough to reduce the mortgage to any manageable size. Talks about copying the US rescue plan for struggling mortgage borrowers are unlikely to help us as the rescue will only apply to borrowers with mortgages of less than 100k, which make ours look like an anorexic midget.
Nevertheless, my wife's concerns that we may default on our mortgage are eclipsed by the trauma of having me around the house. Unleashed from the need to work from 7am to 9pm, I have discovered new interests, the latest of which is 'visualisation'.
I gleaned the visualisation technique from a self-help show on daytime TV (I've given up on the books on the basis that screen-based information transfer is more efficient), which expounded the idea that if you really want something in life, all you need to do is visualise it.
The guy on the show wanted a Porsche 911 and was visualising it hard. Before I got struck by the credit crunch, I also wanted a 911. I'd delayed the purchase only because I thought it sensible to keep a cash buffer until I'd de-leveraged my mortgage with the bonus I thought I'd definitely get. I was also steeling myself for the inevitable ruckus it would cause with my wife, who does not approve of such frivolities.
In the absence of the bonus, visualising the 911 seemed a good bet. However, before I could do this, I needed to refresh my memory. Last week, therefore, I took the family on a small detour via the local dealership in our battered vehicle. Once there, I decided to try some visualisation before the image faded, and managed to reverse into one of the 911s displayed on the forecourt. My wife, for some reason, found this unacceptable and unleashed her wrath before I'd even opened my eyes.
We managed to make a swift exit, which was fortunate as colliding with a 911 could have had a nasty impact on my solvency and credit rating. Last month, I ordered my rating report from Experian and was stunned to see that my credit score is of 999 out of 1000.
This is an absolute joke: Experian must have hired S&P's CDO team. But my wife does at least have one vestige of respectability to cling to while I try and visualise the resurrection of the market for ABS.
In the meantime, this will be my last diary entry. It's been great writing it, and even better to read all your feedback. Hasta la vista until the market returns.
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