Try this the next time you're behind on your bills: Send the bank an IOU.

Something like this: "Sorry, but I'm out of dough. But I'll do my best to pay you back some time in the really near future."

How do you think that would go over?

Don't laugh, California's about to try it.

Apparently things are so bad and its deficit so big that it can't make good on any payment to any one, so it's about to essentially not pay anyone.

So, if you're from California and you have a tax refund coming, could you live with an IOU?

Well tough, you're gonna have to.

All because California has less than a month's worth of cash left in the state treasury and no hope of replenishing that cash anytime soon.

Hence the IOU, which I guess is better than a simple "screw you." Which I guess is worth trying for me and you.

We can't pay our bills, let's all write a note. I'm sure the folks at Visa would be more than understanding.

American Express? Well, they just became a bank holding company because they couldn't pay their bills. I'm sure they'd be fine with our not paying theirs.

And that tuition payment? I know for a fact academic types are bleeding hearts, they'll probably offer to just let it slide.

After all, if it's OK for Arnold to say, "I'll be back," what's wrong with me saying, "I'll be back too. I'm just not sure when."

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