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Burn Unit
Level 6: 1668 points
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Last Logged In: June 9th, 2016
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25 + 25 points

Contents of a Character's Wallet by Burn Unit

June 14th, 2006 2:46 PM

INSTRUCTIONS: In Jack Finney's short story, "Contents of a Dead Man's Pocket", the character - clinging to the side of a building - imagines what the world will think of him if they only have the contents of his pockets to consider.

Empty your pockets, your wallet, your purse out onto a table- tally the contents and tell us what the world would think of you, if they had only those effects to consider. Then, decide upon one thing to add to the contents of your pockets, your wallet, or your purse, which will better enunciate the truth of your person to the world.

the narrative They would construct
The dead man ate out a lot. He liked Mexican and Asian foods and liked to drink, cheaply. He was clearly in over his head and probably destined for some kind of consumer hell. What a trusting guy, he loved to take risks flaunting his whole life to anyone who could get inside that back pocket. You get his wallet and you own him, could completely devour his identity. He's childish about it too. The signature on the social security card looks like it was done by a nine year old. And the signatures on the other cards look like the work of a madman. What's he trying to prove? The driver's license says he was enormous. That weight figure is too low. Probably from all that eating out. Clearly in denial.

Wanted to get around the Twin Cities by bus or rail and didn't want the restrictions of a 31 day timed pass--perhaps generous, since his multiple bus passes clearly allowed for a guest to go with him. A bike and a car key too. He prefers to be mobile, and get there by any means necessary.

What is he planning? The churchman's card points at a religious searching. Or is it a professional connection from his seminary days? He attends a seminary but keeps a Burning Man "fucking card" with him too? Which one is ironic? Which one is his spiritual center? Who is HEO? What hope is referenced? Perhaps HEO is related to M? Are they from the church? Or something else, more sinister organizations for this one?

FOR M? Who is M? Is the wallet for M or is M short for something else? The arrow... the arrow. Where have I seen that before...? You feel like the arrow points at a larger movement, at some kind of underground activity afoot, but you can't pin it down.

Is he planning a wedding? An event? Flowers and a pastor's business card? Is he getting married? Who is Eleanor H? Offspring? Wife? Is he planning an event for her? Does he intend to bus them there?

What is this thick white/beige card? Is it a security pass card? One wonders what secure places this madman is allowed access to, with his contradictions and lies and secret plans and his drinking. We only hope he is not part of a government security apparatus, he should be regarded with trepidation, even suspicion. Too many contradictions, too many bad habits.

The raw data
In the left pocket: cell phone, scratched and constantly low on battery.
In the right, seven keys on a saturn keychain.

Lots of stuff in the wallet, it seems.

MN Drivers License
Social Security Card (for real! what a risk!) signed when I was in third grade and had just learned cursive
Luther Seminary Student ID card
Five business cards from my day job (the fanned out bit with PROGROUP on it in the top center of photo)

Healthpartners insurance member card for Jon S Olsen
Healthpartners insurance member card for Eleanor H Olsen
American Society for Training and Development membership card
Dunn Bros. Coffee bean loyalty card (buy 5 pounds, get 6th half off)

$20 super saver bus card
$40 super saver bus card

One dollar in cash
TCF visa check card
"platinum" mastercard
shared visa from my wife's credit union
company mastercard
HSA mastercard check card

business card for pastor at my church
business card for florist
MY FUCKING CARD from Danger D. Hotrod
Yellow postit stuck to the wallet that says "HOPE is the last to die. HEO" which is a note from my mother (initials Helen Edna Olsen) that she stuck on a large check she gave me six years ago to help me through some money troubles and remind me to keep hoping. I stuck the post it in there and it's been reminding ever since.
Array sticker (the circle with the arrow) stuck to the other side of the wallet
The outside of my wallet has faded white writing that says FOR M on it. It used to be white stuff from a liquid paper pen that once read Wallet. FOR MONEY. That was back when I labeled a bunch of stuff to clear things up, a reference to an old Far Side cartoon where the guy adheres labels to things.
A white, unlabeled rfid passcard for my work building

Receipts from
Rainbow Foods grocery
Taco Bell
El Loro
Wilde Roast
Korea Restaurant
East River Market
Taco Bell
Dairy Queen
Trader Joes
1 Bank receipt
1 ATM receipt
where to go from here
What should I add? I think a character business card from SF0 would really round this out. It would add a layer of contradictions (how many jobs does this guy need? how many secrets is he carrying? should we take him seriously or is he to be regarded as a sexless dilettante who fancies himself a bit too much?) while also providing access to the stranger to an even wider world than he's already gained by being able to steal my identity and spend my money or my company's money. It's either that or I would add a photo of my family together. From here it looks a little like "it's all about me." A picture's worth a thousand words. Maybe my character business card needs to include a picture, like that crazy Beethoven calling card from the wikipedia entry.

Well, that's that.

- smaller

main contents

main contents

all the receipts!

all the receipts!



fucking card and sticker were missed the first time I went thru

5 vote(s)


(none yet)

1 comment(s)

(no subject)
posted by Adam on November 3rd, 2007 2:03 PM

I love the contents of people's wallets.

Is it curiosity?

Maybe its just because Im a nosy twat.