Well, I guess I went and broke the economy. I'm sorry. I'd add a cute little ``whoopsie'' except that's too cloying for the personality I like to present. Even ``whoops'' sounds colloquial. I'm not even sure where I was going when I went and broke it. My point is I screwed it up and the economy went all kerblooey and I'm sorry for that and for writing kerblooey, which isn't the sort of word I feel comfortable using. I wanted to underscore how serious I was.
Part of the problem is lots of loans given to people who couldn't pay them back unless they got new loans they wouldn't be able to afford until they got bigger loans after that. Sure, this probably seems like a silly thing to do, now that it's getting everyone all uptight, but it's a whole lot of fun giving them out. Have you ever gone through oddly-sized documents and drawing little curly x figures by lines for people to sign? It's giddy fun, especially if you find someone who'll sign anywhere you curly-x, which was the only limiting factor lately. And then there's the stapling and photocopying and stamping and all this great stuff. It's hypnotic.
I started a couple months back, scribbling a couple curly x's on a photocopied article from a writers' magazine explaining to use correct words and write compelling characters, and created $48 million in perfectly untrustworthy debt. Then, since I had a big number written down, I could take my number and wave it around until sharp investors came to buy it with other loans. Their loans had less advice about how to have a thesaurus, but had more beautiful words like ``debenture'', and I sold fast.
Better, since someone was willing to swap one paper for another, that meant someone else could sign papers about signing papers, and those would be chock full not just of places to confidently draw in x's and sign but also have even higher concentrations of those beautiful-sounding financey words. Could you resist any activity that doesn't take a lot of time and lets you get closer to words like ``debenture'' or ``collateralized'' or ``fiduciary''? Be honest. And the folks signing liked this too because they could sell the loan I hadn't paid yet (I've got maybe $180) for even more stuff to sign and everyone was happy.
With that started, where could I stop? I suppose once I'd photocopied the entirety of the writers' magazine would be one place, but it turns out anyone can put curly x figures and wait for signature on almost anything and then this fun activity follows. In a pinch someone can even use the backs of Burger King receipts, which means you don't just get stuff you can notarize (and nobody is strong enough to resist a collateralized notarized fiduciary amortization, don't even joke about it) but also can enter a survey for a code good for a small order of Cheesey Tots.
Obviously, though, while this was jolly good fun for me it must have inspired other people to do the same thing because I know there's unspeakably awful debts out there that I didn't create. I mean, right before it did whatever it was it did the other day, Washington Mutual was carrying over $36 billion in depreciated bagel equity. I know that's not me. I'd have eaten the bagels, maybe not all at once. And now they're talking about it being $700 billion to fix the economy. It's not actually going to be that much, though: it's really only $694 billion to fix. The rest is the tip, which at under one percent of the bill is going to make us all look embarrassingly cheap.
I'd like to point out this didn't have to happen. If I were better-distracted by my video games I'd be too busy to get everybody into fixes like this. For example, after I got this great World War II simulation I spent plenty of time playing that and you haven't seen any Worlds War II starting up, do you? Again, I'm sorry, and thanks for picking up the pieces.
Trivia: The ``New Nine'' astronauts --- the second class, selected with Project Gemini flights in mind --- attended Walter Schirra's launch on the Sigma Seven Mercury flight. The launch was two days after they first had to report to NASA/Houston, and barely two weeks after their selection was announced to the public. Source: Deke!, Donald K Slayton, Michael Cassutt.
Currently Reading: Disaster! The Great San Francisco Earthquake And Fire Of 1906, Dan Kurzman. This is one of the books I got from my father clearing out an aunt's son's room while renovating. I was asked to take any books that looked interesting and sell the rest to The Book Garden (that's in progress); somehow, I've taken in a half-dozen disaster books including three on the 1906 Earthquake And Fire. I'd like to say I have wider interests than enormous disasters,