Thursday, March 05, 2009

Hodges & Hodges Financial Advice for Failed NY Bankers

Still A Working Farm?
Photo Circa 1972/73
(Somewhere near Topeka, Kansas)

In the disinterested interest of helping a select few of those many poor folks rendered unemployed by the recession that has accompanied this current financial mess, Cousin Bill and I offer this free advice to you bankers: Move to Kansas and take up farming.
"But," you may well protest, "I'm a New York banker who knows nothing about running a farm."
No problem. You didn't know anything about running a bank either, but your ignorance didn't keep your confidence in check. If you can simply regain that level of ignorant confidence, you will be well-qualified for the farm 'job' that we can offer you.

Here's the deal, which we shall elucidate in the rambling Hodges style. Cousin Bill (along with somebody named "LeRoy") was on one of his "Weekly Ramblings" through Kansas and vicinity, taking in the broad vistas that stretch from one grain elevator to the very next one eleven miles off in the majestic distance. Up close, these elevators look somewhat like the one above, and they are quite elevating, in our opinion. Cousin Bill, for instance, had an elevated conversation with a local farmer in Offerle (a town name to have fun with):
At an Offerlie service station, LeRoy and I briefly conversed (talked "farming that way") awhile with a tall, lean, elderly, grain elevator baseball hatted farmer, obviously in need of communication with someone other than a prairie dog. He advised "his farming now consisted of collecting a monthly check from the state of Kansas, that entity paying him more to idle his ground than he was making with his corn and alfalfa crops." He did tell us, "the main reason Kansas did that was 'cause they found he was pumping out way too much ground water for irrigation, and said if he'd shut off the pumps they'd just pay him not to grow." He was a nice guy, interesting and would have talked for several hours if we'd had the time.
This nice, interesting guy had an odd propensity to speak of himself in the third person, as evidenced by Cousin Bill's quotes, but let's not focus on marginal things. The important point is that you need only threaten to pump ground water to irrigate your Kansas farm, and the Great State of Kansas will pay you a good money not to pump that water.
"Hold on," you may well say. "I'm already not pumping ground water in Kansas, but I haven't received any money."
Yes, that happens, so we have to ask a personal question. Have you actually threatened to pump water? Cousin Bill and I thought not. Moreover, and this is the sticking part, you need to actually have some land in Kansas, else the threat won't work. Allow us to anticipate your next objection that you own no land in Kansas and have no money to purchase any. Well, don't let your New York state of penury close you off from your Kansas state of pecuniary reward. There's free land in Kansas:
Several communities in Kansas are offering free land and other incentives. Our goal is to help our rural areas sustain and grow economically. We welcome you to take a look at the various communities.
Just visit the website of Kansas Free Land, choose your preferred isolation, settle down to the modern farming way of life, and covertly but unmistakeably threaten to pump some of that precious Kansas ground water. We guarantee you that this will work if you just have the right degree of ignorant confidence. Of course, you may have learned something about basic economics from your recent debacle, so you might need to forget some of that. You need only learn not to ask too many questions about whether this all makes any sense and just wait for the money to start rolling in to your account in a local bank (if there is one) in return for your not farming.

Technically, you'll still be unemployed, but at least you'll have land, home, and cash . . . a bit like what you had before. Not quite as much money, of course, but beggars can't be choosers.

Come to Kansas, you wunch of bankers!

By the way, click on that explanatory link only if you're not offended by certain 'expletives' in fiction . . . a bit of expletive infixation, one might say.

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At 9:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you really come up with this Onionish idea yourself or was this a collaborative effort over a few beers? Satire that's fit to print in the NYT.

At 9:33 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

It's my own, but I did borrow the travel anecdote from Cousin Bill's "Weekly Ramblings" email.

Thanks for the kind words.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 11:59 AM, Blogger Bill said...

And you're correct-it is Offerle, not "Offer Lie".

At 12:14 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

At first, I thought that "Offerlie" was the name of some obscure chain of Kansas service stations, but Wikipedia insisted different.

I wonder if anybody will follow up on our 'advice'.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 12:24 PM, Blogger Barbara said...

This has nothing to do with the farming advice, but wanted you to know that the person referred to as "somebody named LeRoy" is Bill's brother-in-law. He's also known as my husband!
Your cousin,

At 12:50 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Cousin Barbara, there are just too darn many LeRoys in this world, so thanks for specifying that this one belongs to you.

I'll try to remember.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 4:05 AM, Blogger Bill said...

Guess the (b.i.l. LeRoy) mentioned in the "W.R." didn't spell out the LeRoy connection. I should have clarified same on reading the Blog, however I was so stressed about the the mispelled Offerle and the farmer's third person quotes, I forgot about clarifing LeRoy's role in life. Sorry, Barbara! And LeRoy!
I'm older now and writing like Uncle Cram, er Cran.

At 4:08 AM, Blogger Bill said...

Make that clarifying!

At 4:56 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Bill, if I'd more closely read the genealogical document that you sent some weeks ago, I'd know all of these kinship details already.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 11:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once one of my favorite nephews:

Not only do I have stainless steel plates, screws and pins in my right ankle, and a titanium prosthesis in my hip area, but also the right half of my brain only functions occasionally.
That is why I write my own unique style.
But don't worry, you aren't all that much younger than me, and your day will come.
With those encouraging words I sign off.

At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


You might ask how those bone replacements would affect my writing style?
Well, the toe bone is connected to the.......and eventually to the finger bone....and finally the head bone.

At 2:18 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Uncle Cranium,

I'll 'kneed' to 'bone up' on these things in my preparation for old age.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *


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