Dear so and so

Dear Secretary Henry M. Paulson,

Hank my man, what is up? Long time no chat Mister Secretary of the Treasury. I know you are busy right now trying to get almost a trillion bucks out of the wee little tax payer but I had a little request. See, I own a restaurant and it is going pretty well. We have been open for almost three years and we are starting to make a few dollars (just barely past breaking even actually). I mean we ain’t getting rich and probably never will (we’re in it for the love Hank) but we aren’t throwing money at it like we did for the first two years. The problem is we would really like to live a little bit higher on the hog as they say and we would like to be doing that like right now. Plus our employees could really use health insurance, preferably with dental benefits and no penalty for preexisting conditions (you know, like the health benefits that you get as a member of the federal government). We also need a new a/c unit and we have to replace the exhaust duct that goes to the roof (have to bring it up to the ever changing fire code you know). The duct has to be made of 10 gauge black iron or some shit and that ain’t cheap Henry. Plus one of the kitchen sinks is leaking again and the floors in the dining room should really be sanded and refinished. The floor in the kitchen needs to be sealed where it meets the wall and the whole thing should be leveled so that water doesn’t run into the corners when it is being cleaned. Some of the dining room tables are getting kind of wonky and should be replaced. Oh yeah, when it rains really hard water seeps in through the back basement steps (literally a creeks worth of water) and I think we need to dig up the whole backyard/garden to create better drainage. If we are going to do that we might as well put down new pavers in the garden because the stuff back there now is like from the Seventies and shit. It would also be great if we could winterize the garden so we could seat more people so we could bring in a little more cash. I almost forgot, we really need a new exhaust fan for the hood as well as replacing the duct because the fan we have now isn’t powerful enough and when you have like two things on the grill the kitchen fills up with smoke and me and the other cooks start crying like babies. Plus it is hot as fuck in there in the summer so we really need the new exhaust fan and hopefully the kitchen can get in on that new a/c as well. Speaking of cool air, the basement is butt ass hot as well so we would need the a/c to go down there too. You know now that I am thinking about it we should maybe have a wine room built in the basement. I know it sounds posh and unnecessary but if we are going to serve expensive bottles of wine they shouldn’t be sitting around in 100+ degree heat all the time. It’s even hot down there in the winter because of the radiator pipes. We could also use a new set of stairs going into the basement but a nice paint job and anti-skid stuff would do for now. Oh, did I mention that we need a new compressor for the walk-in and a “sleeve” for the ice machine. Actually, if I could I would just rip out the whole basement and start over so it was nice and perfectly clean. You know what else would totally rock? An espresso machine! We could totally use one of those. I wouldn’t mind having some new saute pans as well. Jeez Hank I could go on forever about all the stuff we….tap beer for the bar Hank! Think about it that would be awesome. So anyway, like I was saying, I could go on forever but I won’t bore you with the details (you don’t seem to like those much anyway).

So all these things do cost money Mister Secretary and that is something we don’t have a lot of right now. Sooooo……Henry since you have basically “been handed the reins of government” as Bob Herbert put it, I thought I might ask for a tiny little hand out. Now I know you like to give the big bucks to those guys who like to live recklessly until it all blows up in their fucking faces and then they beg for hand outs like those “welfare mothers” you all hate so much but I thought maybe you would give us a little bit of scratch anyway. I know we have been overly responsible and haven’t borrowed tons of money from the Chinese (none). In fact, we have done almost all of this with our own money (It’s called “savings” and you might recognize the term from the Keating Five/S&L Crisis of the 80’s and 90’s) so you might look at us as being too upright and responsible for any sort of unfettered hand out. But I am going to ask for one anyway. Hank, and I am sorry to ask you this after having not talked to you for so long, would you give me a million dollars? I know it’s a paltry sum but that would set us right for the foreseeable future I think. If you like I could go and try and borrow as much money as possible at ridiculous terms from some dude in Chinatown. Then when I couldn’t pay it back and he was coming to take my wife into slavery until I came up with the cash, I could come to you and ask for the million bucks. I would be willing to do that if it would make you more inclined to give me the cash. Anyway, let me know asap because if you don’t a black hole will open up in the basement of my restaurant and suck us all into oblivion.

Sincerely,

Iceberg Wedge

P.S. If you could give it to us in cash that would be great. 50,000 twenty dollar bills would be perfect.

P.S.S. Don’t forget about the black hole. Chop chop Hank. Chop chop.

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