And now, we have formalized our decision by swearing him in as the forty-fourth president of the US. We got our change we think. But he has not changed much yet - except the words.
The words are important. The words of the past administration had been words about fear, security, and about threats - everywhere there were threats. The words made us feel safe at first. We thought that someone else was worried about our safety.
But then we wanted change from these words. Those words made us act out of worry. They divided us. They sullied the reputation of the country abroad.
There are certain times during the year in which the people of the White City are suddenly and inexplicably unavailable. Between Christmas and New Year is a flexible gap of weeks in which people phase in and out of our space-time continuum. Then we are all here until May when the Easter-May Day vortex consumes a good 30% of our acquaintances.
At the moment, the remnants of the citizenry who are in Belgrade are hiding from the sun. Meetings get put off, people on the other end of the phone sound like they just woke up from an afternoon nap (even in the morning), "lunches," which already begin late as far as my hunger cycles are concerned, begin to drift more and more toward the evening.
Of course, this set the wheels spinning. It does not take much, admittedly, but spinning they were set nevertheless.
He was referring to the Great Blic List of 50 Most Powerful Foreigners – published today – from which my humble foreignness was inconspicuously absent. In reality, the lists that I could hope to be on would be more like
List of 50 Bald People
List of 50 Big-Mouthed Complainers
List of 50 Inconsistent Bloggists
List of 50 Foreign Curmudgeons
List of 50 People who Really Do Not Belong on a List of 50 People Published in the Press
A banker’s first and best duty is, of course, to extract all the money from your pocket, mattress, closet, or left shoe and lock it up securely in its vaults.
Never mind all of the advertising you have seen to the contrary telling us about FREE CASH, NO INTEREST, SWISS FRANCS, and Gosh-my-bank-wants-to-buy-me-a-new-house! In the end, your dinars must wind up on the other side of the teller’s counter, ostensibly waiting for you to collect them later, otherwise we would have a lot fewer bankers clogging the arteries of Belgrade with Mercedes, BMWs, and Jaguars.
(If I were a banker, I think I would be the guy in the Astin Martin.)
There has long been an unwritten psychological boon which comes with this. We shop when we are feeling down. We shop when we are feeling good. We feel empowered even if we do not buy anything. The very idea that we COULD decide to exchange money for the good on display before us is a powerful notion.
There is a mixed blessing about staying behind in the White City during August. The streets are empty if you wish to drive your car, but often there is no one waiting for you at your destination. There are fewer people in lines in the supermarket, but much of what you need to buy will not be stocked until September.
My factory has for years produced the best possible Bicycles for Tropical Fish (BTFs). We had no rivals in any market! No one made a better BTF in the entire world. Rightfully, we were very proud of this achievement and our factory output surged with Pride in Workmanship, a Strong and Healthy Work Ethic, and most of the other jingoes which the US auto industry Nawabs were singing over the last few weeks. The thought of getting the US Congress to bail me out has lifted my spirits greatly!