I am not a number...yet...

For some obscure reason, “The Prisoner” was very popular in Israel when I was a kid. Something that has to do with reruns and nothing to do on long summer vacations.

I distinctly remember scenes with a giant white ball suffocating people trying to escape some place, and the main actor (No. 6), yelling at someone "I AM NOT A NUMBER!".
I wonder what he was on when he invented this ball. Probably something you can still get in Berkeley – actively or passively.

Giant white balls as prison guards - what happened to the good old personal touch
of a clubbing someone to death?

In the US, however, you wish you were a number. Until you are a number, you’re basically a nobody. And being a nobody is apparently worse than being somebody bad or with bad reputation.

What number would that be do you ask?

Is it a telephone number that makes you a somebody?
Certainly not.

Is it an ID number? A driver’s license number? A bank account number?
Any of those would be logical, so naturally they're not gonna work.

Today’s prize goes to the credit rating score, fondly known to locals as the FICO score, which I must admit sounds a little like a fu-k you score.
FICO stands for Fair, Isaac, & Co.. To me, “Fair Isaac” sounds like the typical name of a used cars salesman. Can’t you hear the jingles already?
“Come to Fair Isaac. We’ll give you 15% off of any car in stock, even those that actually work”.

Building your credit history in the US is easy. You just need a credit history to get one.

Yes - you need a good credit history to get credit, which builds you credit history. Catch 22 anyone?

People make very good use of their credit history in the US.
Want to rent an apartment for $30,000 a year? Show us you paid on time for all those $5 books on Amazon.
Want to buy a car for $15,000? Let’s make sure you’re actually using that 10% student discount on a $2.35 Cappuccino every day.
Some workplaces even use your credit report to decide whether to give you a job or not...

I think that when everyone is more afraid of losing their score than actually losing their credit card, it has officially turned into an Alice in Wonderland type of world.

Do you think that instead of a credit score, I can ask AmEx to send me a set of flamingos for my Croquet practice?

- Ron

2 replies on “I am not a number...yet...”

  1. I love tour blog, a great point of view on america, from a non-american with the experiance and a fine sense of humor to do such. Common sense is apparently not all that common depending on where you live.

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