One day a regularly appointed Bank Inspector went into a Stronghold of Finance situated in a One-Night Stand and found the President of the Institution crying all over the Blotter.
“Why these tears?” asked the Official. “Are the Farmers paying off their Mortgages?”
“Worse than that,” replied the Elderly Man, whose Side Whiskers were a Tower of Strength in the Community. “We are entering upon an Era of Extravagance. The Tillers of the Soil are no longer Hewing Wood and Drawing Water. They are now hewing Holes in the Atmosphere and drawing Gasoline. Not many Years ago [the] Simple Agriculturist drove into Town in a South Bend Wagon with Red Roses painted on the Dash- Board and stopped at the Bank long enough to tie a Chattel Mortgage on his Cow, with Interest at 2 Per Cent. a Month, payable in Advance. Nowadays he comes zipping up in a This Year’s Model of the Kokomobile with Torpedo Body, Fore-Doors and Red Cushions and draws out his Balance so that he can get Extra Tires and a Speedometer. Every Hired Hand has become a Chauffeur, and the Jay that used to wear Gosh-dingits and drive a $80 Pelter now wears Goggles and drives a Roadster with four Lamps hung out in front of it.”
“Why are you annoyed by these Evidences of Prosperity?” asked the Official. “The humble Farmer has been the Goat for 2,000 Years. Now he is catching Even by burning up the Turnpike, while the City People who feel sorry for him are sleeping on the Fire Escapes and saving up to see the Movies.”
“You do not grasp the full Horror of the Situation,” said the President of the Bank. “If all the Reubs withdraw their Deposits in order to buy these expensive $1,200 Cars, our Reserve will be so badly depleted and Normal Conditions so badly disturbed that possibly I will have to Cancel my Order for that $7,000 French Limousine which I picked out at the New York Show.”
Whereupon he resumed his Weeping.
Moral: It is Time to call a Halt.
The Local Pierpont – Knocking the Neighbors