No Substitutions in the Diner of Life: On The Blue Plate Special Mentality
In the American Diners of the early 20th century you could order a meal called a Blue Plate Special. The name came from the blue plates the meals were served on. I’m sure some diners used other plates, but the name stuck.
The plates had dividers that remind a modern man of a frozen TV dinner. Also like the TV dinner, the food was of lower quality and lower cost. You got an entree and two sides that change with the seasons or location and availability.
The biggest thing you should know is that there were absolutely NO SUBSTITUTIONS.
Why No Substitutions?
If you own a business, you should understand immediately. The ingredients simply cost less. Anything a customer might want to substitute for simply costs more.
If you allowed someone a substitution, your profit margin goes down. If your profit margin goes down, your profit goes down. You do that enough and you won’t be able to pay the bills.
Why is any of this relevant? Because I choose to view life through the lens of a business perspective.
The Business Perspective
If an idea holds up in business, that means that it is a sound formula. You can change the variables of that formula to a different context. That gives you a new use for the formula and solutions to whatever life throws at you.
It doesn’t matter what business we’re talking about, whether it’s the diner of the 1950s or a modern shoe store. It could be absolutely anything.
All you have to do is know the formula is sound and know which variables should change to fit the new context. If you do it right, you can get a lot of useful answers.
With that in mind, we’re going to talk about a Blue Plate Special in the Diner of Life.
The Diner of Life
We’re going to move the formula, a metaphor if you’d rather think of it like that. First of all, the “diner” is Life.
You can order whatever is on “the menu” or you can order “à la carte”. The currency you pay for your “food” with is time. This can be in any form of time, whether that is through actual time investment or in money.
Money is simply an expression of the value of your time. How much money you make is an expression of your ability to convert your time into a tangible representation of your time’s value.
If you don’t make as much money as you’d like, maybe you’re inefficient at converting your time into an accurate tangible representation of your time’s value. Maybe your time just isn’t worth much.
Lucky for you, neither of these things matter because you can pay for your “food” with either time or money at The Diner of Life.
Your “food” is your lifestyle. Your way of life itself. Of course, you don’t eat the same thing for every meal, but you don’t live the same lifestyle your entire life either.
The “menu” is the life plan you’re programmed to want from early childhood and is reinforced by society as you age. The “restaurant staff” presupposes you’re going to order something off of the menu, because most customers do. Ordering “à la carte” is living only the way you want without the things you don’t.
The “restaurant staff” are influencers, people and institutions who convert their time into money by getting yours. Whether you order what they expect or not, they will still be able to profit from it.
You are, after all, only one customer in The Diner of Life.
Dining on a Dime at the Diner of Life
In this formula, this metaphor, what is the cheapest way to eat? What’s the path of least resistance?
The prevailing opinion in the circles I travel is that anything on the “menu” is. Living the life you’re told to want.
Simple logic will tell you that can’t be right, because you’re able to order some expensive things on the “menu” of life. You will just get some things you want…and some that you don’t.
Hell, the majority of people are doing that. Some are happy and some aren’t, and some will do things differently next time. Just about all of them, though, are spending MORE time than if they’d ordered only what they wanted.
With that said, only ordering what you want isn’t less expensive of a time cost in and of itself.
If a guy orders a “burger and fries” priced lifestyle and you just order the “lobster”, you’re still going to be spending more time. You might be happier than that man, but you’re still not “dining on a dime”.
No, the least expensive is the “Blue Plate Special” life.
The “Blue Plate Special” Life
The Blue Plate Special is food. You can live off of it. But you didn’t cook it, you didn’t choose what you get, and most importantly, there are no substitutions. It takes the least amount of effort on your part possible.
What is the lifestyle equivalent of this?
The life of a parasitic, useless person.
Now, you might think that the least expensive lifestyle is a minimalist lifestyle. You’d be wrong, because a parasite spends much less time than a minimalist.
All a parasite has to do is find someone to leech off of. A minimalist is seeking the optimal balance of time investment to happiness relative to what they want.
You might think that there are many, many types of people who are living a parasitic lifestyle. You might think they choose to do so for a multitude of reasons. And you couldn’t be more wrong.
Parasites are Simple
Parasitic people are very simple: they are either lazy and stupid or they are entitled and evil.
What’s more, these people are the same people who spectacularly destroy their lives at least once. Who are these people?
- The man who lived off of his mother’s income and in his mother’s basement in his mid-life because he never had a Dad and no one made him learn hustle.
- The career arm-candy woman who thought she could perpetually “trade-up” men of means until age and infertility proved her wrong, and she finds that none of her skills are marketable.
- All drunks and junkies, regardless of the life they had before they used.
- All politicians, regardless of professed personal belief or affiliation.
- Anyone whose sole source of provision relies on a handout organization, state run or not.
- And many more!
You might say, “Well, obviously the entitled and evil people are bad. But the lazy and stupid people didn’t know any better.” You would be wrong.
Why “They didn’t know any better!” Is NOT Valid
The truly, truly stupid are often given a free pass. Compassionate people believe they have an obligation to protect these people. To provide for them.
This empathy is not only misplaced, it is outright undeserved and even harmful.
You must understand and remember that these people are not lazy OR stupid. They are not lazy BECAUSE they are stupid. They are Lazy AND they are Stupid.
If you could wave a magic wand and make these people intelligent, they would become entitled and evil people.
They are lazy, which is a passive and half-assed sense of entitlement. The only reason they are not evil is because they aren’t intelligent enough to be evil. A better question is HOW are these people evil? HOW are they entitled?
They want a substitution on their Blue Plate Special.
They want to have it all. Hell, they believe they are entitled to having it all. They deserve it! And by God, they’ll get it one way or another.
If you need to rationalize this in the metaphor of the diner, they bribe the waiter to give them something someone else ordered.
The currency of Life is TIME, not paper money. But the waiter isn’t Life or some spiritual entity, the waiter is a member of the restaurant staff, and in this metaphor they are the influencers of society.
This bribe metaphor can get very convoluted, but it doesn’t need to. Maybe it’s a government check (getting money without sacrificing time), or a rich husband, or “Daddy’s Money”, or status, or sexual favors.
The point is that the parasitic person gets a pass…at least on this meal.
Now, being that Life isn’t going to go out of business, the normal rules SEEM to not apply. They very much DO apply, but they apply in a different way.
This can’t go on forever. Something is going to give. In the metaphor, the waiter ends up fired.
In real life, REALITY catches up with them. This is the part where they’ve fucked up their life.
No Substitutions in the Diner of Life
We will now drop the metaphor. There are no substitutions on the result of a parasitic lifestyle.
A rich parent will eventually die, and the useless child will likely be middle aged. They’ll have never worked an honest day’s work in their life, have zero marketable skills, and no prospects for employment. They will search for a new host to leech off of. But they will get no substitutions.
A beautiful young sugar baby will age, and a high status man will have the resources to replace her with a new beautiful young woman. Embittered and lacking any marketable skills beyond her body, which has become a niche item, she will also search for a new host. She will find no substitutions.
Drunks and junkies, even if they have to get sober for a while, inevitably return to their drug of choice. Many will embrace homelessness and shamefully beg before they attempt anything productive. Their cycle of self destruction will only get worse.
Politicians are the professional shameful beggars, they are just significantly more effective at converting their time into money. They, and anyone else who lives on handouts, see zero incentive to ever actually work. But what goes on behind closed doors has a way of coming out, and coming out at the worst time for them.
It should be obvious why these people are evil and entitled or lazy and stupid now. They are looking for these substitutions to the detriment of other people.
And the best part of it finally catching up to them? Their fucked life is entirely their fault. They ordered it, they deserve it, and they get no substitutions.
But they are stupid and lazy or entitled and evil, and they do not care. They will still want a savior.
I will never be that savior. I have no sympathy for these parasites.
No Substitutions. None. Not Ever. They will burn in a hell of their own creation, one way or another.
I’ll light a cigar on the cinders without a word to any of them.
Live Free, Make Money, Pack Iron
Business and Bullets