Monday, December 19, 2011

“Pop, I know he’s an awful schmo but I love him.” Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation.

The other day I was hating the bank but today I was in love with the bank. It seemed more like the bank of yore we used to trust as a competent institution. I met a teller named Elisa today. The sign in front of her window said, “Ask Courtney how you can quadruple your rewards.” So while I was waiting for my cash, I said, “Courtney, How can I quadruple my rewards?”
“I’m not Courtney,” she said, “I work here part time on Saturdays. My regular branch is in Amagansett.” Then she told me how to quadruple my rewards but after explaining it all, we decided I was better off staying with what I had.
“The sign should have your name on it. You explained everything in a couple of minutes and sized up my situation.” This hasn’t always been the case with my bank. Last summer I saw a sign in the bank window that said: "Get five times the national interest rate." Oh, boy, five times the national interest rate. I’ve got a bunch of dollars just sitting there and they could be making me some serious cash.
When I went in to inquire about this offer no one could figure out what the offer meant including the manager of the branch. I told this to Elise. “They were clueless,” I said, “but I let it go. I’m often clueless, myself.” “I doubt that,” said Elise. “I was just clueless a few minutes ago at the supermarket,” I insisted. “I don’t think you could ever be clueless,” said Elise and I left it at that.

Five times the national interest rate it turned out was 0 .80%. How did we come to this? In the old America, interest and dividends used to be touted as a reliable way to build your nest egg. They would show you how $20. if left alone in a savings account for about eighty years would grow to $1,000,000 thanks to the miracle of compounded interest. I liked everything about the “old America.” I miss Jimmy Stewart. I wish Jimmy Stewart was running for president. I recently saw him in a film called “Mr. Hobbs Takes A Vacation.” Roger and Peggy Hobbs, nice plain names. His children called Mr. Hobbs “Pop.” On one occasion, his daughter says about her fiancée “Pop, I know he’s an awful schmo but I love him and that’s all that matters.” If any of my children said that about their spouses, I would fall down with apprehension but Mr. Hobbs just hugged his daughter in understanding. He liked the schmo, too. It was the same with Spencer Tracy in “Father Of The Bride.” He thought his future son-in-law was a schmo, too, but tolerated him. I miss all that.


  1. I'd vote for Jimmy Stewart in a heartbeat. Now, he knew how to earn interest. Remember in It's a Wonderful Life? Papa Dollar, Mama Dollar. Let's hope you have lots of babies. Not an exact quote. Maybe he could just be in charge of the banks...

  2. I love the idea of Jimmy Stewart running the Federal Reserve. And Gregory Peck could be Secretary of State, how could any world leader not listen to Atticus Finch?

  3. I know. Mr. Hobbs and Atticus Finch. Perfect.