October 15, 2008:
A blatant allegory
Mighty nice place of business you have here.
It'd be a right shame were something bad to happen to it. Real flammable, all
this paper you have here. It'd go up in the snap of a finger.
No, I'm not with the maphiya. It really hurts me when people assume a big
guy in a suit has to be a crook. Look, I'm here to help you. I'm selling
insurance. Fire insurance, theft insurance, vandalism insurance, the works.
I wish Guido over there would stop playing with his lighter. It makes me
nervous. Little guy like you, if you asked him to stop he'd probably just
laugh. Hey, Guido, knock it off, would you? That's better. I mean, I know
you say you can't afford insurance, but you can't afford NOT to have it
either. Some firebug comes by when I'm not here to tell him to quit it,
the place goes right up.
Good, you're a smart man, you can see we'll work well together.
About that loan your friend wants... well, look, I'm not made of money.
You already owe me more than I care to think about, and a nice guy like you,
I wouldn't want to have to put you in collections, if you know what I mean.
But you're a good guy, and I know you're good for it. The real problem is
that I'm strapped for cash myself - you know Joe who usedta live down the
street? Yeah, the guy with the Porsche and that big house? Always talked
of making it big on the daily double, so smooth you'd figure sure he'd win it?
Nice guy. Stunning guy. His pension wasn't up to the payments on the car
and the house, and you know how he loved them. Couldn't choose between 'em.
So he came to me for a loan. Figured he'd refinance, and when he made it big
he'd pay me back, we'd all be happy as clams, him with his fast car in his
big garage, me with the satisfied feeling I get from making other people
So to cut to the quick, I lent him more than was a good idea - you know how
I'm a soft touch. And, well, you know how it goes with Joe. If he's short
on cash, he bets it all on the long shot - helps him out big when it comes
through, but sometimes it doesn't. And even the best of guys, there comes
a time when you've got to say no more - if I'd let him slide back in August,
I wouldn't've been able to help you out that time you missed work for a
couple weeks. So eventually I wound up having to collect. Trouble is, the
long shot didn't come in and Joe didn't have any cash - and now I'm stuck
with this house and this car. And look at the market these days. Nobody's
buying. I'll be lucky if I get half what I gave him back.
So, let me get right to the point. I don't have any cash on hand now. But
you've worked with me a long time, so you know how the insurance business
goes, if you know what I mean. If you'll just help me land a few stubborn
sales, I'll be able to help people out again. You'll be doing everyone a
favor, trust me - those misers who won't buy insurance just wind up costing
everyone else money, so the sooner we take them under the wing the sooner
we won't have to worry that some fire's going to spread and take out other
people's stores too.
I must say, this has been a wonderful partnership. Wouldn't you agree,