mr. washington and his friends
my seventeen-year-old just got a driver's license, along with regular access to my seventeen-year-old jeep. so, he had to learn a few things. the first order of business was to show him how to pump and, more importantly, purchase gasoline. i normally pay with a credit card at the pump, but we both anted up at the counter so we could split the costs. dang. i'd forgotten how fifty in cash money stings much worse than fifty on the card.
as an academic, i'm not supposed to pay much attention to my personal financial status, though the visceral power of cash over electronic transfers probably explains my preference for paper paychecks over direct deposits. when morale is flagging, it helps to remember that i actually get paid to do this job. and, of course, that the job pays a lot better than any other job i've had.
on this point, a friend in the office suggested we lay in a supply of thin black briefcases for grad and faculty recruitment purposes. we could cash out financial offers or start-up funds in one dollar bills, secure them in 50-note currency straps, and pack them into a stylish attaché case. if a recruit starts to waver, we'd pop it open dramatically, saying, perhaps mr. washington and his friends might change your mind. we don't have huge funds to throw around, but we can usually chip in fifty for gas.