I Have a Bridge to Sell You

I was listening to a podcast a few days ago and the host made an offhand comment. “If you believe that,” he said, “I have a bridge to sell you.” This immediately got me to thinking about how unfair that phrase is to the hardworking people whose job it is to actually sell bridges.

I’m sure selling bridges is already a daunting task. They’re expensive. There are permits to contend with. Environmental impact studies must be made.

Plus, you can’t just bullshit your way through the sales pitch. A bridge may look simple enough — it’s a structure that lets you cross a body of water without getting your shoes or tires wet, right? — but there’s more to it than laying down a really long plank and calling it good. You’ve gotta be well-versed on abutments and pier caps, arches and girders, wing walls and deck slabs. Even with all that knowledge, you have to know which type of bridge to recommend. Is a truss bridge a better solution than a cantilever bridge? When should you go with a suspension bridge versus a cable-stayed bridge? Will a beam bridge be more effective than a tied arch bridge?

And you have to be savvy enough to understand that the bridge over troubled water in that Simon & Garfunkel song is a metaphorical bridge. It’s not real.

Clearly, people who sell bridges already have an uphill battle. An idiom implying gullibility puts them at an even bigger disadvantage. If you walk into a meeting with a bunch of city planners and say, “I have a bridge to sell you,” they’re going to eye you suspiciously. “I’m not falling for that, buddy,” they’ll say, before showing you the door. Nobody will ever believe you!

It’s all George C. Parker’s fault. He was a con man who struck it rich “selling” the Brooklyn Bridge to unsuspecting immigrants. The cops had to forcibly remove a bunch of his victims when they tried to erect toll booths. True story. Parker was convicted of fraud and sentenced to life in Sing Sing prison, where he died in 1936. But the damage was already done. Bridge sellers all over the world are still paying for that shyster’s exploits almost a century later.

In a show of solidarity with bridge sellers, I’m vowing to never again use that phrase. Will you stand with me? With us?

Thought I’d update you on my crypto journey thus far. Six weeks in, and my assets are up $27.73. Hardly a windfall, but the last time I checked in, I was a whopping 8 cents richer. Cryptocurrency has performed solidly this past week. Oddly enough, the war in Ukraine has been a boon for crypto. Zelensky’s government has raised over $100M in crypto donations, which is helping to legitimize it. Some experts are predicting the use of cryptocurrencies will accelerate.

I continue to automatically invest $25 per week in Bitcoin and $25 in Ethereum, on different days of the week (Tuesday and Thursday). I currently own .00349743 BTC and .06743669 ETH. Oh, and $11.05 in Stellar Lumens. That one is valued at 22 cents apiece, but it was 20 cents when I got in, so percentage-wise, that’s been my best ROI. It’s nice to own a bunch of something rather than a minuscule fraction. Coinbase gave me $10 in Lumens for free for watching some videos, so…even better!

I will admit to having second thoughts last week. I have another $900 to invest, but I started to think about how I could use that money to buy a remote starter for my car and still have a few hundred dollars left over. Awfully tempting. But now that it’s springtime, and we probably won’t have any more subzero temps, it seems less urgent. Plus, I can’t pull out now. That would be letting down Ukraine.

Besides, nobody gets rich without taking a few risks.

Maybe if I let it all ride, I’ll have enough to buy the Brooklyn Bridge in 20 years.

37 thoughts on “I Have a Bridge to Sell You

  1. Love the new trivia, my sympathies to the hordes of bridge-sellers everywhere 😁 Imagine how cats must feel with “let the cat out of the bag”, which is really an insult to cats that were put as a substitute for a “more precious” creature that was was being sold…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I don’t think I’m in danger of buying either a bridge or crypto so I’m safe. I wonder if in the future, “I have a bridge to sell you,” will be updated to “I have some crypto to sell you.” I hope you’ll be one of those not trying to set up a toll booth to get your money back.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly! This was money that was just sitting in an account I no longer used. Figured I’d never even miss it. Until I started thinking about remote starts apparently…


  3. I get that with the warming temps a remote starter seems superfluous and not much fun to spend money on, like buying a bulky winter sweater in May, but DO IT! I got one and love it! When the icy cold weather hits (in what? September where you live?) you’ll let out an audible “Thank you Travel Architect for convincing me to stay the course on the auto starter.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the bridge-selling saying trivia. I learned something today without meaning to. Who knew there were so many types of bridges?
    Darn- with all that money coming in, you’re gonna have to plan something big for yourself. Maybe a trip to Trader Joe’s?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, if I can put up a toll booth, that’s an unlimited stream of income that could help fund my retirement years. Although, what am I going to do with the extra cash…buy more bridges? Erect more toll booths? Buy more bridges with that cash?! This is rapidly turning into a vicious circle.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Interesting about the selling of the bridge. Thanks for all the fun facts in here.
    Glad you’re earning money, even if not a ton. Not yet, anyway. I wonder if come November you’ll be wishing for that remote starter and cursing yourself for spending it on crypto. OR, you’ll be buying that starter with your crypto earnings! Here’s hoping.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oooor, you’ll make enough from your crypto by next winter to buy it. Okay, yeah, I see your dilemma. I say, save out what you’ll need for the starter and spend the rest on crypto. Maybe if you buy the starter “off season” it will be less expensive.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Talking of cats, yesterday at work I took an 8kg Maine Coon out of a carrier…to be faced with the growing realisation that I had a very large cat to get back in a very small box… careful re-packing was required. Maybe a bag would have been easier?

    Liked by 1 person

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