Can I Venmo You?


by Alex Swanson

Yes, of course, I don’t want this type of transaction going on my Dad’s card anyway. Cash would also work, but it’s so cliched these days. Besides, cameras are on the rise. Those NYC link weird-things have ruined the haven of the street corner, and, to be honest, lingering outside of Dig Inn to complete our transaction just doesn’t have the same charm as it used to. No, Venmo works just fine.

Just make sure, when you venmo me, to make the description cryptic. I don’t want there to be a noticeable trend or blatant description. Some non-distinct foliage or chilled-out smiley will do the trick. That’s what my last few business partners have done and I think it’s worked out great. Nothing suspicious about an ever-growing forest of generic shrubbery blossoming all over the old Venmo newsfeed. Indeed I think it’s quite festive, especially around Christmas time. And the affirmation it gives me is just beautiful. You might think integrating a financial service with a social media platform might be a weird or dangerous thing, but it just works. Any old sucker can post a picture of an artfully-branched tree on Instagram or Facebook and scrape up a few likes. The challenge, my friend, is to achieve double-figures in the venmo sphere. You’re looking at a true social media polemarch. Sip it in.

And let’s not forget the ease of Venmo. Gone are the days of cash withdrawal and depositing, of awkwardly lining up at Citibank intermittently itching yourself among the other first years who were duped, at the cusp of NSOP, into setting up an account. Gone are the days of taking the 1 down to the dimly lit Western Union festering off an untraversed exit from Times’ Square and shiftily passing over a crinkled, well-loved manilla left over from your UWriting days just to wire $29 into your other account. Gone are the days of misplacing your liquid profits in the pockets of various chinos only to find them stolen from the soggy pile of neglected laundry rent from the washing machine in retributory anger. Gone are the days of change.

But let’s get to the real point of Venmo: how it makes me feel. I like—nay love—the power of having a constantly growing pool of virtual cash up in the cloud. It’s always fun to look at the numbers just sitting there. Occasionally I’ll whip out the app on the subway just to conspicuously trawl through my transaction history. (I never pay). Occasionally I’ll leave my phone locked when a notification announcing my recent venmo profits comes my way.

My dollars—so intangible yet so beautiful in their incorporeality. So up-in-the-air, so ripe for spending! Money multiplying eternally in her profits, ever-pregnant like the rats beneath my feet.  Venmo, the rock upon which I found my fiscality! You, good sir, the congregation listening to the good word of VENMO! Pray with me, beseech the coin-less God that I worship, beg for his salvation, cry out the sins of your dollar-billed self, and purge your inner soul from the grittiness of—I shudder to even say it—the cash economy. Venmo me and live, dear friend, venmo me and thrive, venmo me and feel the weight of the world pass through you only to be detached from it. VENMO ME!


by David Swanson

Did you really think I would even consider that offer? It’s people like you who have desecrated the society I once cherished. You know what I love? It’s not puppies and it’s not women: it’s cash, cool breezy cash that seductively wrinkles around your finger. You ever felt a crisp, clean bill straight out of the press? I have: it was lit. I frame particular noteworthy notes, ones that are just so pure, ones you can use as a ruler, measure your goddamn drywall with. I look upon their framed glory. Minutes, hours, all time stills as I stare into that glorious eye in the pyramid, into the soul of Benjamin.

But you wouldn’t understand that, would you? You’re one of those neo-millennial wankers that I see way too often these days.  One of those displaced, whiny nerds I used to shove into lockers. Now you’ve made a comeback and it seems you’ve somehow acquired klout enough to pervert the minds of a whole generation. You’re nothing special, hiding behind a black mirror, staring at a goddamn screen all day.

I look up, I look ahead. People notice my glare and get out of my way. You know why? Because I hold my power in my wallet. I radiate power. From my wallet. Heh. And I can see you cowering too, sinking ever further into that cushy prison so you don’t have to rely on good old-fashioned people skills to get you through life. I hate it. I hate you.. I will not engage in your petty culture, tweeting about my fucking breakfast in the hope that I get a few likes that might make me feel like somebody out there gives a damn. I will not update people constantly about my son that was born two days ago. If they want to know about James, they can enquire. And I will certainly never describe the nature of my financial interactions with the touch of a finger upon a pad! I would rather slit my wrist with a crisp $50.

Bring back the barter, bring back the exchange. Bring back some vestige of a vaguely social world. Since when did an emoji become an acceptable form of greeting. If you side-down wink at me, I will end you. I divorced my wife after she blew a kiss to me online. How difficult is it to blow an actual kiss? It’s not. It’s fucking not. I’ve tried it. People like you tainted her, Venmo tainted her. Venmo is the cockroach I shall stamp on, the baby I will drop, the bullshit I refuse to wade through.

This world needs a hero, and I am that hero. Cash is my lance, coin my shield. Come at me, come at me with your useless pixels and your fancy, obnoxious talk about how easy you’ve made life. You haven’t made it easy; you’ve just allowed idiots to exist, given them an opportunity to thrive when they didn’t even deserve the chance. Fortune favors the bold; Venmo favors the incompetent. You’ve allowed idiots into our society. Watch as they tear it to paperless shreds! Why can’t you just like cash: it’s treasure, manifest treasure, damn you. It’s something you can hold and cherish, like the pelt of a freshly-slain beloved lion from a well-known national park. Enough: save your penniless proverbs for the peasants and go to the ATM before I smite you.

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