My friend Farnsworth, a Wall Street stockbroker, called last night and said, ``How's the writing game going?'' `` So-so at best.'' I said. ``Same here,'' said Farnsworth. ``Well,'' I said, ``from the news, I see that at least you and much of Wall Street just got your swine flu shots, unlike the rest of us, including women and children.''
``Yep, and naturally everyone's making a big deal out of it,'' Farnsworth muttered.``Fact is, I could have gotten two or three, but I didn't want to deprive the rest of the country, so I said no to H1N1 refills, as did many of my Wall Street friends. But, oh no, I'll bet you won't see that in the news.''
I met Farnsworth years ago when we both worked for the same brokerage house in Los Angeles. We were margin clerks, the person the broker calls to see if a client is eligible to sell short or buy long or whatever. In any case, as you can tell by my ``whatever,'' I wasn't very good at it.
I was fired after a shady client sold a couple hundred thousand dollars worth of a particular stock and, because I am terrible at keeping records and my files were a mess, I sent him three or four checks for the amount. Fortunately he didn't flee the country with a fortune (probably because I likely missaddressed some of the envelopes) but my office manager was peeved and I was ushered out the door, Farnsworth waving goodby with tears in his eyes.
``Hey, remember the time you – '' Farnsworth continued. ``I don't want to hear it,'' I said, knowing Farnsworth for some strange reason loves bringing up that story. Anyway, for the first time I had him on the defensive, even though it took a national catastrophe to get the upper hand.
``What are you doing with your bailout money?'' I said.``I'm not buying stock, that's for sure,'' he said.`` Just kind of hunkering down in my Manhattan apartment and Conneticut country house when not sunning in Bermuda, waiting it out just like the rest of the country – only, of course, I've had my flu shot.''
Causes Steve Hauk Supports
City of Pacific Grove Public Library, Pacific Grove, California; Animal Friends Rescue Project, Pacific Grove; Animal Welfare Information and Assistance,...