“Final day!”

Wait. What? This is it? Is my life really over? I read the message and wondered if I was allowed to call into work dead.

I re-read the message and heaved a sigh of relief. It wasn’t my personal last day. It was just another sales ad popping up in my phone notifications — the fourth “Final Day” notification I’d gotten from the same company that week.

I only hope that when the bony reaper comes calling on my actual Final Day, he’s about as accurate with his prophecies as those sales folks are.

I get up early in the mornings with my wife. She likes watching local programming while she gets ready for work. Interspersed throughout the actual programs are messages from people screaming at me to buy stuff. Cars. Furniture. Even lawyers. All morning long, for 30 to 60 seconds at a time, somebody’s making me spill my coffee while they yell at me to spend more money.

Nobody asks for anything in a conversational tone. Oh, no. I guess they figure the louder they yell, the more money I’ll have, as if there’s some meter attached to my bank account that spikes with more volume.

If it really worked, my neighbors would be calling the cops on me while I screamed for a few more dollars.

Thanks, yellers, but I’ve already got a truck. I have furniture. My backyard has no need for a tractor. Those RVs sure look nice, but I don’t want to spend that much money just to walk past one sitting in my driveway.

If I had one of those super-cool houses on wheels, I wouldn’t have time to use it. I’m too busy trying to make money for all the other stuff people want me to buy. Like water and electricity. My house and truck note.

Oh, and if I ever need more than one lawyer, I’ll run for president.

I’m even seeing commercials for toilet paper. Toilet paper. Dude. Who’s not buying toilet paper? And why do people need an ad to remind ‘em they need it?

If I follow others’ marketing plan, I’m supposed to buy a new phone every year or so, even if the one I’ve got is still working perfectly fine. Why do I need a phone with three cameras when I’ve only got two eyes?

I can’t even scroll through the babies and puppies on my social media news feeds without some digital panhandler throwing something else at me.

Hmmm. Do I really need that new golf shirt? The one that looks exactly like the one I bought last year, except for maybe with the threads running in a different direction?

The “must-have” messages must have forgotten to check my pay stubs. If it’s all the same, I prefer to wear stuff until it falls apart before re-stocking. No need to remind me every week.

Man, it’s gotten to where we can’t even celebrate our favorite team’s latest win. Let my Cowboys win on a Sunday, and all through Sunday night and Monday I’ll get tons of emails and other messages: “Celebrate with the new gear! Final day!”

They’ve got me hoping the ‘Boys go on a long losing streak. Otherwise, I’m gonna run out of money helping them celebrate.

If I’ve ordered anything from a website in the past decade, I’ll spend the next decade or five trying to get them to stop begging me to buy more. “Hey, remember that bobble head frog you bought back in ’09? It needs a buddy! Buy 12 and get one free!”

Can’t wait to tell my wife I’m blowing our Christmas savings on some more bobble head frogs.

Those marketing execs would have much better luck calling one of my lawyers. They make more money than I do.

Buy buy baby, buy buy, they sing in their Backstreet Boys chants. Every day up until our final one. Just because we don’t need it or can’t afford it is no reason to hoard our hard-earned pennies, right?

Short of burying my money in coffee cans around my property, I’m not sure how to avoid my final days from those sellers. I mute my TV when someone starts yelling, and I try blocking ads like Wonder Woman blocking bullets with her bracelets. Where’s my dad to remind them — like he had to do with me — that money doesn’t grow on trees?

‘Cause I really don’t think the ones wanting all our money understand the simple fact explaining why I try to ignore ‘em.

I, like everyone else I know, ain’t made of money.

Gary Stallard is a regular contributor to the Opinion page of The Lufkin Daily News. His email address is garylstallard@yahoo.com.