Monday, April 13, 2009

Clinks and Clanks

For a change of pace, here’s a poem by Ogden Nash which seems appropriate for these lean and troubled times.

Bankers Are Just Like Anybody Else, Except Richer

This is a song to celebrate banks,
Because they are full of money and you go into them and all
        you hear is clinks and clanks,
Or maybe a sound like the wind in the trees on the hills,
Which is the rustling of the thousand dollar bills.
Most bankers dwell in marble halls,
Which they get to dwell in because they encourage deposits
        and discourage withdrawals,
And particularly because they all observe one rule which woe
        betides the banker who fails to heed it,
Which is you must never lend any money to anybody unless
        they don’t need it.
I know you, you cautious conservative banks!
If people are worried about their rent it is your duty to deny
        them the loan of one nickel, yes, even one copper engraving
        of the martyred son of the late Nancy Hanks;
Yes, if they request fifty dollars to pay for a baby you must
        look at them like Tarzan looking at an uppity ape in the
And tell them what do they think a bank is, anyhow, they had
        better go get the money from their wife’s aunt or ungle.
But suppose people come in and they have a million and they
        want another million to pile on top of it,
Why, you brim with the milk of human kindness and you
        urge them to accept every drop of it,
And you lend them the million so then they have two million
        and this gives them the idea that they would be better off
        with four,
So they already have two million as security so you have no
        hesitation in lending them two more,
And all the vice-presidents nod their heads in rhythm,
And the only question asked is do the borrowers want the
        money sent or do they want to take it withm.
Because I think they deserve our appreciation and thanks,
        the jackasses who go around saying that health and happiness
        are everything and money isn’t essential,
Because as soon as they have to borrow some unimportant
        money to maintain their health and happiness they starve
        to death so they can’t go around any more sneering at good
        old money, which is nothing short of providential.

Ogden Nash

[Post ends here]