KIRBY: How money makes the world go ‘round

I made my money the old-fashioned way. I was very nice to a wealthy relative right before he died.

 

—Malcolm Forbes

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They are again talking about tax reform in Washington, which usually leads to that game they play where they shift our money around.

It reminds me of Billy Cooper’s old story of the transitory value of wealth.

It started with a slow day in a small town where times were tough and everyone was living on credit.

A big-city salesman pulled up to the town’s only hotel, walked to its counter, sniffed a few times, then told its proprietor, “Here is a $100 bill. But before I commit to spending it here for a few days, I would like to go upstairs and inspect your rooms.”

“Certainly,” the hotel owner said with enthusiasm. “I’m sure you’ll find them satisfactory.”

The salesman went up the steps and as soon as he was out of sight, the hotelier immediately grabbed the $100 and ran next door to the butcher shop to pay off his meat bill.

The butcher thanked him, but quickly ran down the street to a pig farmer who had supplied the hog.

The hog farmer wasted no time running the $100 bill over to the feed store to settle up his grain bill.

The grain merchant rushed the $100 to the bank across the way to handle a loan he’d used to order more sacks.

And the banker did not hesitate to shuffle out a side door to the hotel to pay off the recent disappointing visit of a bank examiner.

The hotel owner was just sliding the $100 bill back into his cash register when the salesman came down the steps, shook his head scornfully and said, “These rooms will not do. Give me my money back. I’m leaving for the next town.”

The hotel owner expressed his polite regrets and handed the man his money, then watched as he got into his car and drove away, leaving the town better than he had found it because everyone now considered themselves debt-free and better-off.

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TODAY’S QUESTION: Jim Hope asks: “Want to know why you’ll never see an elephant hiding in a tree?

“Because they’re so good at it!”

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TODAY’S REQUEST: Bill Baab, The Chronicle’s famous fishing editor, asks if any of you know anyone “… in Reader Land that can process film and make prints, just like it was during the pre-digital days.”

Bill can be reached on his new-fangled computer contraption at riverswamper@comcast.net … or I guess you could send him a telegram.

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TODAY’S JOKE:The pastor was greeting people after the church service when a little boy grabbed his hand and said, “Don’t worry, sir. When I grow up and get rich, I’m going to give you a lot of money.”

“That would be great,” the preacher laughed, “but may I ask why?”

“Well,” the youngster said seriously, “Daddy says you’re the poorest preacher we’ve ever had.”

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Reach Bill Kirby

at bill.kirby@augustachronicle.com.

 

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