The Poverty Line has lost its pizzazz, time to reach for the Sushi Line

Perhaps I’ve mentioned that freelance travel writing isn’t a cash cow career path. It’s more like a cash squirrel career path. And not those fat, waddling squirrels in Central Park either. I’m talking those emaciated, wild-eyed squirrels you see on safari, that are so deranged from malnourishment that they’ll mix it up with six lions and a crocodile for a bite of baby water buffalo…

There are no baby water buffalo wandering around the Killing Batteries Command Center in downtown Minneapolis, but there are a few sushi places with good lunch specials. Furthermore, I need new glasses. So I’ve daringly decided to test the upper limits of freelance travel writing earnings potential, turning my back on the Poverty Line and clawing like a starving, nearsighted squirrel for the Sushi Line.

The Sushi Line, a concept cleverly hatched by my distinguished Lonely Planet colleague Robert Reid, perfectly encapsulates the income and resultant lifestyle I’m aiming for. Living at the Sushi Line doesn’t mean a five bedroom house with high-end home theater components or a diamond studded Blackberry or a custom painted Vespa… Well, a Vespa wouldn’t hurt, maybe with a classy little horn that plays “La Cucaracha”?

The Sushi Line is, in fact, a very modest standard of living. Mr. Reid sums it up like so:

“I have a theory that all humans are born with the right to live at or above ‘the sushi line,’ meaning you have the means to go and get sushi whenever the desire arises. Not every day. But when the occasion comes up, you don’t have to count pennies. Just go, eat, enjoy, get the green-tea ice cream. Write a poem, relax. Next day ramen will be fine.”

That’s all I’m asking. And some waterproof hiking boots.

Meanwhile, does ‘Sushi Line’ belong in the popular lexicon or what? Since I’ve given up all hope on ‘jackhole’, I’m going to refocus my broad influence on popular dictum and start pushing ‘Sushi Line’. Please lend a hand. I want Jon Stewart to use it on the air before Thanksgiving.