dilemmanade
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
 
A true story...(Posted by C)

About eight years ago, when our previous dad, Bill, moved out, Mom married this guy, George, who didn't know anything about farming, but who was good to have a beer with.

She coulda married this guy Al, but George had a swagger. And a fake Texas accent that matched his boots. He'd polished his "Aw, shucks" til it shone.

Then about four years ago, there was this guy John, who tried to get Mom to divorce George, and marry him instead. He said, "Look what he's done to your farm!" Mom had to admit that a lot seemed to be going terribly wrong, but George convinced her to "stay the course" and that things would turn around soon. He told her that John was a namby-pamby, flip-flopper who lied about his time in the war.

Well, things have only gotten worse. And now Mom is ready to be rid of George. It'll take until January, but he'll be gone.

Then last week, George comes in, gathers everyone around, and says there's going to be a "crisis" of a scary kind if all us kids don't raid our piggy banks, and give him all our money.

It's really hard to explain, he said. And there's no time, he said. "Quick, quick! Give me the money. No, don't think about it. There's no time for that. Just give it me quick! It has to be right now. Quick! Before it's too late."

And he's got this friend with him, a guy I know makes a lot of money, but not from working, but by knowing how to get money to make money for him. Mostly by knowing people in government. It's pretty complicated. And he says, "You kids can trust me. I'm a pillar of the community. Look at this suit! It's worth more than your car. There really is a crisis looming. Better just give us that money now. I'd hate to think what might happen to you if you don't act quickly and give us that money. To restore confidence. Right Now."

One of the older and wiser kids said, "That sounds scary. We'd better do it."

Another older and wiser kid said, "Yes. But we need to add some toothless oversight provisions to quiet down some of the younger kids. Let's hurry, and thereby demonstrate our seriousness."

Then Crazy Jane, the redhead, says, "Wait. You don't actually believe this guy, do you?"

"Oh, come on now Jane," says the first older and wiser kid. "I know George has lied before-- heck, about everything that comes out of his mouth is a lie. And I know he's neglected the farm, and spent all our savings, and put us into debt..."

Crazy Jane is shocked. She says, "You do believe him."

"Well, of course we believe him," says the second older and wiser kid. "He wouldn't lie about something as important as this, would he? And he's got his friend with him there, too. Look how nice his suit is! And his friend is telling the same story, though I'll admit it isn't much of story, I mean, just telling us it's hard to understand and we better give them money. To restore confidence. Right Now."

"Whatever the crisis is, it isn't my fault," says Crazy Jane. "And I shouldn't have to pay to fix it."

"But we are the older and wiser kids," says a third older and wiser kids. "And we may not know all the details, but we know that the economy is very complicated, and that when it comes down to it, you let the guys like George's friend here-- and would you look at that suit!-- run it, get horribly rich from it, and demand that we pay for it when they mess up. Oh, and Right Now."

"I just don't feel good about it," says Crazy Jane. "Something stinks."

"Oh, Jane," says George, kindly. "Janey, Janey, Janey. You've gotta look at the big picture. We need to inject confidence into the system. It's your system, too, after all. Do you want the entire farm to go to the Chinese? Is that what you want?"

He moves the curtain to one side, and peeks out window. Looking for Chinese, I guess.

"That's it exactly," says George's friend. "Without your money coming to me right now, the whole economy will go straight to hell. I might lose millions in the stock market. And if you've been following my advice and putting your retirement savings in the stock market, you'll lose a lot of money, too. Unless you empty those piggy banks. Right Now."

The second older and wiser kid-- the one who so sagely suggested toothless oversight provisions-- piped up with, "If it'll make you feel better Jane, we can give them a bunch of the money now, and make them come back tomorrow for the rest. We won't be able to stop them from taking it, but, if we feel like it, we can ask them to please explain again why they need it. Let's hurry, and thereby demonstrate our seriousness."

Well, of course it all made perfect sense. Especially the compromise agreement put forward by the second older and wiser kid. But the little kids revolted. They refused to open their piggy banks.

George, and his friend, and the older and wiser kids all say we'll talk about it again tomorrow.
 
When life gives you dilemmas, make dilemmanade.

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