7 – NOT THIS TIME BANKSTERS

 

“Slow down. Check this out,” Lance said, as they motored out of Des Moines, headed for the Twin Cities. On the side of the road, in front of a nondescript, lower middle class house, was a card table, stacked high with canned goods, root vegetables, and the current currency of the realm, toilet paper. A simple, straight forward sign delivered a message of hope – FREE. TAKE WHAT YOU NEED.

“That’s beautiful,” Kitty said.

“Yeah, “ Lance agreed, “but they should have added one thing.”

“What?”

“Get it before the banksters do.”

The printing presses on the magic money making machines were running, in overdrive, 24/7, all around the world. Although word had not yet gotten out, the banksters were lined up at the end of those presses, drooling, with their one-for-you, one-for-me wheel barrows.

“Scum,” Kitty said, spitting out the window. “I don’t know if they can get away with it as heinously as they did in ‘08. I hear the Occupy people are planning to set up a guillotine on Wall Street to convey the message.”

“Nice,” said Lance. “The heads should land at the top of a slide, roll down into into bowling pins. Call it Bowling for the Big Bailout Bucks.”

“It has to be different, this time,” Kitty started. “They’re gonna have to bring in universal basic income. My guess is that a big chunk of that money will be earmarked for high tech companies. Good for the geeks, but all that new tech they create will put a lot of people out of jobs. Replaced with AI. Robots up the yin-yang, everywhere you look.”

“I think you’re rigt.”

“If the profits earned by those tech companies goes into Swiss bank accounts, instead of back into job creation and universal basic income, there will be blood in the streets. Barrels out it. If that blood does not come from the cops and military slaughtering the revolting poor, it will come from  the revolting poor slitting the throats of the revoltingly rich.”

“None of that money should end up in the pockets of corporate execs through convoluted shell games. If that happens, you’re rigt,there will be violence. Some smart guy once said something about… how did it go…ah, yes, those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable.”

“JFK. Guess they didn’t like that message. Sent their reply to him in Dallas, special delivery.”

“Use it, or lose it,” said Lance. “If they’re making gobs of money, and not investing it into companies that create jobs, take it away from them.”

Lance opened a pack of smokes, shook one out

Kitty snapped. “Not in here, you don’t. Put that thing away.”

Lance did as he was told, and started running his mouth again. “It’s just pure greed. Greed is an omnivorous, insatiable demon. Anyone infected with the soul-sucking disease is ugly to the marrow, no matter how pretty they may be on the surface. The poor gluttons stagger around, oblivious to the beauty before them, in a perpetual quest for MORE.

“They were animated into this material realm hard wired to believe that the acceptance and love they need to be happy is wholly dependent on their ability collect any and every form of material wealth, and if that means committing unconscionable acts, so be it.

“From the moment our species slithered out of the seas, and bounced down from the trees, greed has been the cancer that devours our humanity.”

“That’s good, dude! What was it Bob Marley said? Some people are so poor that all they have is money.”

“Great line.”

“You know the name Nick Hanauer?”

“No.”

“Oligarch. One percenter. Got in on the ground floor of Amazon. Filthy rich. He gave a TED Talk, six, seven years ago. Warned his fellow plutocrats that if they don’t start sharing the wealth, wait… how did he put it? Rigt. When people would ask him what he saw in his crystal ball, he answered, ‘I see pitchforks.’ It was a message. A warning, to the ‘Let them eat cake,’ crowd.”

“Amazon, huh? I’m gonna put them out of business.”

“That’s what I hear. You’ve been trying to get to Richard Branson with it. But you’re not saying what the idea is.”

“Ideas cannot be afforded intellectual property protection. If I tell you the idea, it’s as good as yours. I’m hooped and out of the loop. And if I just throw it out there, some Bond villain could steal it, and use it for evil, instead of good.”

Kitty laughed, “Old Leather Pussy?”

Lance laughed, “Maybe! I like that. I guess I could work the idea into a screenplay, Bond vs Old Leather Pussy screenplay. I might actually make a few bucks from it.”

“Didn’t you just say something about use it, or lose it?”

“Unlike vast fortunes in Swiss bank accounts, no one can know what’s inside my head. Can’t be taken away. Can only be given away.”

Affecting a German accent, Kitty laughed, “Ve have vays of making you talk!’”

Laughing, Lance pulled the pepper shaker out of his pocket, and said, “Yes. I saw that. So, I won’t have to use this on you?”

Kitty laughed so hard she almost swerved off the road. “That’s hilarious! No, you won’t have to use that… when the time comes.”

“And that time is coming soon?” Lance asked, with hope in his voice.

“I’m gonna resist the temptation to crack wise about cumming too soon.”

“Too late.”

“What? Did you just cream your jeans?”

Lance laughed, “No. I mean you just cracked wise about cumming too soon. And you knew it before you did it. Strumpet.”

Strumpet. Nice word!”

Great word! I like hussy, too.”

“Everyone likes a hussy, Lance.”

“Anyway, dear, old deadbeat dad wants to know about my Commonwealth idea?”

“Yeah. That’s one of the things he wants to talk to you about. He instinctively knows that it will play a large role in shifting us out of the putrid age of crony capitalism, and into the new age of capitalism with a human face.”

“It will. If I can convince someone to build it. And cut me in for a few crumbs. He’s really been paying attention to me, huh?”

“Evidently so. Anyway, we’ll get to all that In Thunder Bay. But, you were saying money gets a lot of space in your book. Care to share? Sorry, I’ve been absolutely engrossed with Riff n Raff, I’m on my third reading of it, and haven’t gotten around to your offering. ”

“Sure. Just pull over and let me piss, first.”

8 – FUNNY MONEY

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