Tuesday, July 01, 2008
MR. BURN-A-KEY IS STEALING MY MONEY?
I didn't mean to overhear the conversation, but it's funny how baby monitors and older cordless phones interact over the 900Mz range. Just after breakfast I heard this through the baby monitor.
[Baby breathing and twisting in crib...]
"OFFICER, THIS IS CLARENCE JOHNSON AND I'VE BEEN ROBBED!"
"This is officer James O'Malley, and you need not shout Mr. Johnson."
"WHAT? YOU NEED TO TALK LOUDER. SEE I WAS IN THE WAR AND LOST MY HEARING. WORKED ON JETS IN KOREA. ONE OF THEM BLEW UP RIGHT BESIDE ME."
"All right Mr. Johnson, I'll speak up."
"THANKS SONNY - SOMEBODY DONE AND GONE STOLE MY MONEY."
"Are you alright?"
"YEAH, YEAH, I'M FINE BUT MY MONEY'S GONE."
Ok, when did this robbery take place."
"IT STARTED A FEW YEARS AGO AND THEY'VE BEEN STEALING A THOUSAND DOLLARS A MONTH."
"Well, that's a lot of money Mr. Johnson."
"AND I NEED IT. I'M 87 YEARS OLD AND LIVE ON MY SAVINGS."
"So did the thieves break into your house?"
"NO, NO, THEY BEEN TAKING IT STRAIGHT FROM MY BANK ACCOUNT."
"Well, I'll need to transfer you to our fraud division."
"NO, NO, I ALREADY TALKED WITH THEM AND THEY SAID IT AIN'T NO FRAUD - THEY'S AS WORTHLESS AS LIPSTICK ON A DUCK."
"I'm sure they are doing the best they can. I'll see if I can help you. Now how did these crooks steal your money?"
"WELL, DON'T TELL THE NEIGHBORS, BUT MY WIFE, God rest her soul, AND ME SAVED FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS IN OUR YEARS FROM ME WORKING, AND MAYBE A LITTLE FROM BESSIE'S DADDY WHO HAD THIS LITTLE FARM OUTSIDE OF DALLAS."
"That's a lot of money."
"I'D BEEN GETTING LIKE 16 HUNDRED DOLLARS A MONTH FROM MY SAVINGS ACCOUNT. A MAN CAN LIVE LIKE A KING ON 16 HUNDRED A MONTH."
"Ok, keep going."
"LATELY IT STARTED GETTIN SMALLER EACH MONTH. 16 HUNDRED, 14 HUNDRED, AND NOW ONLY 600 DOLLARS! THEY'RE STEALING MY MONEY!"
"Ok, calm down Mr. Johnston, and you really don't have to shout. I'm not the one with the hearing problem."
"Mr. Johnson, what's happening is that your interest rate is just going down. It was 5 percent or so a few years ago and a good bank savings rate these days is 2 percent. That's all that's happening. No one is stealing your money."
"WHO IN TARNATION MADE MY RATES GO DOWN?"
"Well, the Federal Reserve Board sets interest rates and they had to lower them recently to help out some bankers who were in trouble."
"BANKERS? ARE THEM D*** BANKERS HAVING TROUBLE PAYING THEIR LIGHT BILLS? ARE THEY SWEATIN LIKE PIGS IN THE TEXAS SUMMER?"
"You don't have to shout Mr. Johnson. Ben Bernanke and the Fed have to save the banks or everyone will panic. They are doing all of us a favor by lowering interest rates."
"SO THIS MR. BURN-A-KEY IS STEALING MY MONEY?"
"No it's not him, he's just helping the banks and everyone else to not panic."
"IS HE CAUSING THE GAS PRICES TO GO UP? I WENT TO FILL UP..."
[My baby starts crying and needs a few minutes of comforting...]
"...no, no Mr. Johnson, the price of gas is also due to inflation which is about three percent."
"THREE PERCENT EH? MY SON SAYS THE INFLATION RATE IS SEVEN OR EIGHT PERCENT - I THOUGHT THAT BOY WAS FIBBIN."
"Well, no Mr. Johnson, if you calculate inflation like it was done a few decades ago your son's right - it's about seven percent, but since then all the presidents have fiddled with the numbers to make inflation look smaller so they wouldn't have to pay all that social security cost of living adjustment."
"SO INFLATIONS AT SEVEN PERCENT AND I'M EARNING 2 PERCENT? I'M LOSING LIKE ... FIVE PERCENT A YEAR ON MY SAVINGS? WHERE'S MY MONEY GOIN? WHO'S STEALING MY MONEY?"
"Just a minute Mr. Johnson I've got some police work to do."
[Whispering:] "Marge, I'll take a raspberry filled and an eclair...oh... grande please."
"Ok, I'm back. Now Mr. Johnson, no one's stealing your money and fortunately for you , you have four hundred thousand in the bank you can just withdrawal some of that for your light bill."
"SONNY, ITS KINDA EMBARASSIN BUT THE MONEY'S IN A THING AT THE BANK. BESSIE'S DADDY WASN'T THE TRUSTING KIND AND HE'D GONE AND PUT IT SO I CAN'T GET AT IT - JUST GET THE INTEREST MONEY."
"Mr. Johnson, I've got to go now. Sorry I can't help you. Maybe you could buy a fan and turn the lights down in the evening and go to bed earlier."
"WHAT DID YOU SAY SONNY, SEE I WAS IN KOREA WITH THESE JETS..."
[Our baby started really crying over the monitor and that was it for the phone call.]