Way back in like 2005, my Honda Civic EK was stripped and I was without a car. I eventually would end up with a BMW 3-series, but there was a short period of time where I was without a car and basically willing to take anything I could get my hands on. I almost ended up with an early 90s white Mazda Miata.

I was still at the University of Texas as a student and had formed a graphics design and marketing firm with a few friends of mine. We had delusions of grandeur, and we were about to be taken for a ride—and it wasn't in a car. We made a contract with a woman to do her advertising work. I was the copy writer (this will surprise no one, given that I am now one of the paid writers on the Gawker network). In any case, she was trying to get rid of the Miata, and when I realised her asking price was near my cut of the contract fee, I offered to take the car in lieu of my salary (of course, I test drove it, and was quite pleased with it).

The checks to the firm bounced, and to this day, one of those checks is framed on the wall of the graphic designer as a warning to those of us in the creative field—be careful about doing work without Seeing The Money. I never saw the Miata either.

Lesson learned... And I didn't get stuck with a Miata.