Sunday, May 04, 2008

"Money makes the world go around..."

must be funny..."
(Image from Wikipedia)

Some readers may recall that I attempted early last March to get a successful old Ozark friend to charitably support me and my family. In return for that support, I offered her "the moral satisfaction of contributing to the happiness of a fellow human being," but she seemed content with her moral dissatisfaction . . . or possibly her immoral satisfaction.

I had given up on persuading my old friend to do her Christian duty, but the letter that I received from Theresa F. Rodrigues inspired me to try again:
As you will recall, my request for your money was refused, but some other money might be coming my way . . . . If you change your mind, [however,] you can always still contribute to supporting my starving children...
My friend took a look at the letter from Ms. Rodrigues -- along with the image of the Ecstasy of St Theresa, by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, which graced my blog post on that topic -- and she replied:
Before reading your blog I was thinking how beautiful the statue of Ecstasy of St. Teresa was and wondering if it was commissioned by Hugh Heffner. I have suspicions about the diary entry describing Teresa's experience and wonder if some of the words are just a little re-arranged to veil the true situation.

Then I read your blog and realized that you used it as an illustration for the story for just that reason. Art lover, sure!

I have recently gotten several new e-mails of this sort, but none with quite the creativity of yours.

I have reconsidered your request for money and have decided you are right that I should give it to you. If you send me half the amount you require, I will just send a check for twice the amount and you can have the surplus with no questions asked. Better yet, I will just bring the money to you! Sooner is better. I have a similar arrangement with my boys, except they are sending checks to me . . . very soon I hear.
Great news, that, but I had a little question -- and perhaps a better suggestion:

Your suggestion sounds like a really good deal -- sort of like a rebate, but much better.

But . . . I'm a bit unclear on the details:
"If you send me half the amount you require, I will just send a check for twice the amount and you can have the surplus with no questions asked."
I sense an ambiguity. Let's say that I need 10 dollars, so I send you 5. Now, would you be planning to send me twice the amount that I require (therefore 20 dollars) . . . or merely twice the amount that I send you (therefore 10 dollars)? The remark about "surplus" suggests the former.

Either way, I'd be happy, so I'm agreeable . . . but I find myself a bit short of cash. Cash flow problem, you understand. So, if you could send me the half-amount that I need, I will send it back to you, and you can then send me the double-amount that you meant.

How does that sound?

Best Regards,


P.S. I need a lot more than 10 dollars. That was just an example. Really, I could easily accomodate all of your savings, no problem. So, why not just send it all, and we can avoid the extra paperwork.
I've not yet heard back, but I feel confident that my old childhood friend will find herself persuaded, decide to avoid all the paperwork, and come through with those funds that I have inquired about.

Of course, other readers are also welcome to enjoy that promised "moral satisfaction of contributing to the happiness of a fellow human being."

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At 3:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha! If it would help with inspiration for your fundraising efforts, I'll gladly send you my collection of 419-scam EMAILs (I keep them next to the file of EMAILs offering bodily enhancements of various, well actually only one, kind).

However, the collection is so vast that I will need just a small token amount in advance to cover Internet postage ...

Sigh, if only these people would get REAL jobs.

-- Ishmael

At 6:17 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Ishmael, thanks for the offer of assistance. I wasn't aware of internet postage, but obviously, all of these emails can't be sent for free. As economists and thermodynamicists tell us, there's no free lunch! Discounts, maybe, but you can bet on leftovers.

Anyway, I'll be happy to cover that postage, but I have a cash-flow problem (as mentioned in my blog post), so if you would send half the amount, I will draw what I have from my bank account and then send the full amount to you so that you can pay the mailing charges.

Or just give me some money.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 9:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I need an accountant. I think you might be the man. Interested?

At 9:39 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Michael, honesty and self-interest compel me to admit that as an accountant, I'd be no-account.

I'm creative merely in talking about money, not in actually handling it.

I'd be a good theoretical economist, though...

Jeffery Hodges

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At 10:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am actually interested in the promotion of happiness in two, 9not one0 human beings....(1) my wife, Linda Gay, and (2) myself. That is much better than the selfish notion of "another human being."

At 10:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My ( and ) did not transfer properly, making it appear as possibly 90 others, far beyond my capabilities, or even desire.

At 2:54 AM, Blogger jeanie oliver said...

Dear Professor,
I will send you a blank check. I owe you anyway for my diploma--
I'm going with your idea-blog about the Ozarks--I also owe you for this advice and I owe you for the orginal blog advice about family, religion,etc.Even though I forgot it for awhile!!!!
Heck, I'll just send you a pad of checks!

At 4:31 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Sorry, Uncle Cran, but biblically speaking, you and your wife count as just ONE:

"Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be ONE flesh." (Genesis 2:24)

By contrast, I am speaking of THREE -- due to my marriage union and my two "starving children."

Furthermore, I think that others have the duty to support me as they support themselves, for that surely follows from the command in Leviticus 19:18: "thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."

Not to mention the duty that requires you, my uncle, to support me and my family, for "blood is thicker than water." That's a biblical reminder that kinship trumps baptism. I can't seem to locate this prooftext at the moment, but its point is that "whatsoever a man oweth to a neighbor, that doth he also owe to his kin, and even more so, yea, verily, even unto 70 times 7."

In short: pay up.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 4:36 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Jeanie, one blank check will do nicely . . . unless you have several bank accounts.

At any rate, I assume that this promised blank check is already in the email.

Did you have the postage to post it? You might not have known about internet postage (though you must have read Ishmael's comment).

Concerned but hopefully expectant...

Jeffery Hodges

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At 5:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeffery, I think that Biblical reference is in the book of Parables, next to the verse that says, "Verily I say unto you, he that tooteth not his own horn, his horn shall not be tooted." Another nearby verse is "He that sitteth on a cactus shall rise up again quickly, speaking in other tongues. Keep speaking.
You may go ahead and ask 70 times 7 and we will see how that works out.
It might be best to take Jeanie's check in the meantime.

At 6:21 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Uncle Cran, I've already broadened my appeal on this by yet another blog post.

Jeffery Hodges

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