David Bruce: Money Anecdotes

• Welsh singer Tom Jones is known both for his voice and for women throwing their underwear at him. The first time a woman gave him her underwear while he was performing was in 1968 at the Copacabana in New York. He was sweating, and since people had been eating at the supper club, a couple of people gave him their napkins to wipe his brow with. Then, Mr. Jones remembers, “This one woman stood up — up with the dress, down with the drawers. Took ’em off and handed them to me.” He wiped his brow with them and said, “Sweetheart, watch you don’t catch cold.” Mr. Jones married at age 16 and has stayed married. While he went to London to make it as a singer, his wife worked in a battery factory to support their young son. Mr. Jones vowed to make it big so that she didn’t have to work and so that he could support his family. One of the great achievements of his life was making enough money that his father could retire from working in the Welsh coal mines at age 50. Tom Jones himself could have ended up in the coal mines, but he contracted tuberculosis at age 13 and the doctor told Tom’s father, “Whatever you do, you can’t put this boy in a coal mine because he has weak lungs.” Mr. Jones says, “And the weird thing is, with weak lungs I’ve become a f**kin’ singer.”

• Yankee pitcher Spurgeon “Spud” Chandler quickly learned that Yankee manager Ed Barrow was a tough negotiator when it came to player contracts. As a very young pitcher, Spud once received a contract that was for the exact same salary that he had earned the year before, although he had been promoted higher in the Yankee farm system. However, he felt that he was due for a raise, so he mailed the contract back with this letter: “I thought that the Yankees were a fair organization and would increase my pay as I moved up in baseball. But, if this is how baseball is run, maybe I should get out of it. Unless I get a raise, don’t bother to return the contract. Just write me a letter.” Quickly, the contract and a letter arrived. The contract did NOT include a raise, and Mr. Barrow’s letter said, “Unless you affix your signature to this contract, don’t bother to return it. Just keep it as a souvenir of your brief career in organized baseball.”

• John Bogle, the founder of Vanguard, tells a story about authors Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., and Joseph Heller. They attended a party together—a party hosted by a billionaire who could easily appear on one of the television programs dedicated to the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Mr. Vonnegut talked to Mr. Heller about their host, pointing out that their host had made more money that day than Mr. Heller had made from all of the many, many copies of the vastly successful book Catch-22 that had ever been sold. Mr. Heller replied that that was OK with him because he had one thing that their host would never have: “Enough.”

• Many college students end up being broke, including flat broke. Peter Strupp of Boston ran into that situation when he was a senior at the University of Washington. He frequented a campus Christian fellowship house, even sneaking into the kitchen to steal other people’s food. Eventually, he was so broke that he could not afford to pay his rent. He says, “The night before I was going to tell my housemates I was leaving, one of them stopped me in the kitchen. We were alone …. He reached into his pocket and handed me a month’s rent, in cash. Before I could say anything, he said, ‘Don’t pay me back.’”

• Comedians have various reasons for going on tour, including needing the money to buy a house. For example, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders decided to go on one final tour as French and Saunders because Ms. French had seen a house in Cornwall that she wanted to buy, but she knew that she didn’t have the money to buy it. Sometimes, the house is not for the comedian’s personal use. Peter Kay went on a “Mum Wants a Bungalow” tour to raise money to buy his mother a house.

• Judy Blume’s series of Fudgebooks have been amazingly popular. Elliott, her grandson, inspired one of the Fudge books. They were eating in a restaurant at Key West, and Elliott asked his grandmother to buy him some wearable art from a street vendor. She told him that she didn’t have any money, so he requested that she pay a visit to the nearest ATM machine. This inspired the book Double Fudge, in which Fudge becomes obsessed with money and with what money can buy.

• Frank Cottrell Boyce met the singer Nico at Eric’s, a punk nightclub in 1970s Liverpool, but maybe that wasn’t a good thing. He told her that he loved her, and she replied, “Really? Do you have any money? I seem to be a little short.” He had two 50-pence pieces, and he gave her one of them, but he could tell that she wanted the other one, too, so he gave her that one as well. That night, he walked 11 miles home, due to lack of train fare.

• Frank Frisch, manager of the St. Louis Gas House Gang, frequently was fined by umpires. The fines kept mounting up, as did a stack of umpire reports against Mr. Frisch. As more and more of his money kept pouring into National League President Ford Frick’s office, Mr. Frisch eventually sent Mr. Frick his electric bill and a letter. The letter said, “Dear Mr. Frick: Since you have all my money, suppose you pay my bills.”

• The Raconteurs have a reputation for producing rock ’n’ roll alchemy. Although they were selling records in 2008, they also made money in other ways than playing music. During their tours, they both played live music and sold their own homemade elixirs. What kind of elixirs? One elixir is intended to put hair on your chest; another elixir is intended to remove the hair on your chest.


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


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Voltaire’s CANDIDE: Chapter 14. The Reception Candide and Cacambo Met with among the Jesuits in Paraguay

Chapter 14. The Reception Candide and Cacambo Met with among the Jesuits in Paraguay

Candide had brought with him from Cadiz such a footman as one often meets with on the coasts of Spain and in the colonies. He was the fourth part of a Spaniard, of a mongrel breed, and born in Tucuman. He had successively gone through the profession of a singing boy, sexton, sailor, monk, peddler, soldier, and lackey. His name was Cacambo; he had a great affection for his master, because his master was a very good man. He immediately saddled the two Andalusian horses.

“Come, my good master, let us follow the old woman’s advice, and make all the haste we can from this place without staying to look behind us.”

Candide burst into a flood of tears, “O my dear Cunegund, must I then be compelled to quit you just as the Governor was going to honor us with his presence at our wedding! Cunegund, so long lost and found again, what will now become of you?”

“Lord!” said Cacambo, “she must do as well as she can; women are never at a loss. God takes care of them, and so let us make the best of our way.”

“But whither wilt thou carry me? where can we go? what can we do without Cunegund?” cried the disconsolate Candide.

“By St. James of Compostella,” said Cacambo, “you were going to fight against the Jesuits of Paraguay; now let us go and fight for them; I know the road perfectly well; I’ll conduct you to their kingdom; they will be delighted with a captain that understands the Bulgarian drill; you will certainly make a prodigious fortune. If we cannot succeed in this world we may in another. It is a great pleasure to see new objects and perform new exploits.”

“Then you have been in Paraguay?” asked Candide.

“Ay, marry, I have,” replied Cacambo. “I was a scout in the College of the Assumption, and am as well acquainted with the new government of the Los Padres as I am with the streets of Cadiz. Oh, it is an admirable government, that is most certain! The kingdom is at present upwards of three hundred leagues in diameter, and divided into thirty provinces; the fathers there are masters of everything, and the people have no money at all; this you must allow is the masterpiece of justice and reason. For my part, I see nothing so divine as the good fathers, who wage war in this part of the world against the troops of Spain and Portugal, at the same time that they hear the confessions of those very princes in Europe; who kill Spaniards in America and send them to Heaven at Madrid. This pleases me exceedingly, but let us push forward; you are going to see the happiest and most fortunate of all mortals. How charmed will those fathers be to hear that a captain who understands the Bulgarian military drill is coming to them.”

As soon as they reached the first barrier, Cacambo called to the advance guard, and told them that a captain wanted to speak to My Lord, the General. Notice was given to the main guard, and immediately a Paraguayan officer ran to throw himself at the feet of the Commandant to impart this news to him. Candide and Cacambo were immediately disarmed, and their two Andalusian horses were seized. The two strangers were conducted between two files of musketeers, the Commandant was at the further end with a three-cornered cap on his head, his gown tucked up, a sword by his side, and a half-pike in his hand; he made a sign, and instantly four and twenty soldiers drew up round the newcomers. A sergeant told them that they must wait, the Commandant could not speak to them; and that the Reverend Father Provincial did not suffer any Spaniard to open his mouth but in his presence, or to stay above three hours in the province.

“And where is the Reverend Father Provincial?” said Cacambo.

“He has just come from Mass and is at the parade,” replied the sergeant, “and in about three hours’ time you may possibly have the honor to kiss his spurs.”

“But,” said Cacambo, “the Captain, who, as well as myself, is perishing of hunger, is no Spaniard, but a German; therefore, pray, might we not be permitted to break our fast till we can be introduced to His Reverence?”

The sergeant immediately went and acquainted the Commandant with what he heard.

“God be praised,” said the Reverend Commandant, “since he is a German I will hear what he has to say; let him be brought to my arbor.”

Immediately they conducted Candide to a beautiful pavilion adomed with a colonnade of green marble, spotted with yellow, and with an intertexture of vines, which served as a kind of cage for parrots, humming birds, guinea hens, and all other curious kinds of birds. An excellent breakfast was provided in vessels of gold; and while the Paraguayans were eating coarse Indian corn out of wooden dishes in the open air, and exposed to the burning heat of the sun, the Reverend Father Commandant retired to his cool arbor.

He was a very handsome young man, round-faced, fair, and fresh-colored, his eyebrows were finely arched, he had a piercing eye, the tips of his ears were red, his lips vermilion, and he had a bold and commanding air; but such a boldness as neither resembled that of a Spaniard nor of a Jesuit. He ordered Candide and Cacambo to have their arms restored to them, together with their two Andalusian horses. Cacambo gave the poor beasts some oats to eat close by the arbor, keeping a strict eye upon them all the while for fear of surprise.

Candide having kissed the hem of the Commandant’s robe, they sat down to table.

“It seems you are a German,” said the Jesuit to him in that language.

“Yes, Reverend Father,” answered Candide.

As they pronounced these words they looked at each other with great amazement and with an emotion that neither could conceal.

“From what part of Germany do you come?” said the Jesuit.

“From the dirty province of Westphalia,” answered Candide. “I was born in the castle of Thunder-ten-tronckh.”

“Oh heavens! is it possible?” said the Commandant.

“What a miracle!” cried Candide.

“Can it be you?” said the Commandant.

On this they both drew a few steps backwards, then running into each other’s arms, embraced, and wept profusely.

“Is it you then, Reverend Father? You are the brother of the fair Miss Cunegund? You that was slain by the Bulgarians! You the Baron’s son! You a Jesuit in Paraguay! I must confess this is a strange world we live in. O Pangloss! what joy would this have given you if you had not been hanged.”

The Commandant dismissed the Negro slaves, and the Paraguayans who presented them with liquor in crystal goblets. He returned thanks to God and St. Ignatius a thousand times; he clasped Candide in his arms, and both their faces were bathed in tears.

“You will be more surprised, more affected, more transported,” said Candide, “when I tell you that Miss Cunegund, your sister, whose belly was supposed to have been ripped open, is in perfect health.”

“In your neighborhood, with the Governor of Buenos Ayres; and I myself was going to fight against you.”

Every word they uttered during this long conversation was productive of some new matter of astonishment. Their souls fluttered on their tongues, listened in their ears, and sparkled in their eyes. Like true Germans, they continued a long while at table, waiting for the Reverend Father; and the Commandant spoke to his dear Candide as follows.


Source: https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Candide

davidbrucehaiku: the hurt’s not over




Broken and single

A heavy load’s on my soul

A hurt’s in my heart


Dark, dreary nightfall

The sky is crying cold tears

And I’m crying, too


I’m hurting over

Someone who doesn’t want me

But I still want him


The hurt’s not over

Dare me to love you again

I can dare so much