SAY MONEY, HONEY

Money.

Isn’t that a tidy little word? Pretty, really. It has class. Stands boldly but primly in black ink on a white page. Everybody talks about it. It’s never out of style. Five letters. Two syllables. Anybody can say it and it rhymes with honey as my lede proclaims.

But what is it? It’s a medium of exchange. It comes in different forms.  Different folks in different countries bandy it about in different fashions. In America we have  long green stuff with different faces on it. George Washington’s displayed on the one dollar bills, Benjamin Franklin’s on the hundred. I think Americans like to flash their Benjamins. Today the Washingtons, although hardly anybody  calls them that, are more useful in a bonfire than they are in a department store. Today they’re almost as useless as the penny. (Abraham Lincoln’s mug  is stamped there on some kind of round yellow metal coin that is useful as a weight. It can also be used in  plastic sandwich bags filled with water and clipped to the back of a chair at a picnic. Somehow this odd combo repels flies. Honest. Try it and see.)

I digress.

We also put the green stuff in banks, who jot numbers down on paper and send us monthly accounts as to how much money we loaded off on them so we can write numbers on pieces of paper called checks that we can exchange for whatever if our credit is good. These slips of paper sometimes bounce, which is a factual–but fascinating– feat  for a piece of paper to do and  disagreeably frowned upon by he who accepted the thing in exchange for the hamburger you ate.

A few of us still have a book called a savings account with numbers in it that tell us how much money we’ve stashed. Most of us prefer to see those numbers go up rather than down.  Unfortunately, quite often the banks go belly up and  a cipher, called a zero-as in it’s naught there any more– is rather disturbing. Arabs invented the cipher. They called it ‘sifr’ or ’empty’. Shepherds would send sixteen sheep out to graze and none–zilch, sifr, zero–would return. Maybe that’s what happens to savings accounts?

Confusing. Checks bounce and money saved grows legs and vanishes. Poooof. It’s enough to give you a headache.

I think Americans are addicted to money. We worship it. You get to be a really big time head honcho if you’ve got a bundle of the stuff and I’ve read that 1% of the people in the world–not all Americans– own half of it. Those of us at the bottom, that’s you and me, own 1%.

Weird.

And they, the 1%ers, need more. They always need more. What do they do with it?

How many yachts and Ferrari’s do they need, anyhow?

But, what really fries me, is the awe, the kowtowing, the knuckle undering  that gets plumped on those blokes.

“You mean, like Donald Trump?”

Say money, honey.

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