Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Chicken in Every Pot

About a hundred years ago, I was a personal banking officer for Wells Fargo Bank's Newport Financial Center Office located just up the hill overlooking the Newport Center and, a little way beyond, the Pacific Ocean.  As one of the first twelve P.B.O.'s in Southern California, I shared the rarefied air of coastal Orange County long before it became known as the "O.C.".

P.B.O.'s at that time served the top 20% of the office's retail banking portfolio, so in Newport Beach, my clients were the same folks who were responsible for much of the development which led to the "O.C." moniker in later years. I processed investment transactions, helped their wives open their safe deposit boxes, and get emergency replacements for their college kids' lost credit cards during Spring breaks.

One thing I never did do, however, was to be paid any more than a P.B.O. in any other part of the South- land.  So along with the tellers and operations officers I usually brown-bagged my lunch and ate in the staff room unless I had a lunch with clients or had the odd extra $10 for a cafe meal down the hill at the shopping center.

On those rare occasions, I would walk down Newport Center Drive across our parking lot and over a weed-grown dune into the back side of the shopping center, where continuing on a direct line brought me to the back door of the luxurious Nieman Marcus department store. 

What a treat it was to short-cut through that palace of ostentation!  Christmas was my favorite time of year, as they always had something ridiculous on the sales floor-one year, as I recall, they had a Rolls Royce smack in the middle of the joint where you had to physically negotiate around it to get through to the other side.  If I needed to fill up my eyes with sparkly and shiny, all I had to do was go out to lunch.

No surprise, then, that this year's Nieman Marcus catalog ad in the L.A. Times caught my eye.  Now that I am a simple-living, local-foods-eating, progressive Davisite who is contemplating raising my own backyard hens for fun and fresh eggs, LOOK what Nieman has in store for ME. The above French villa-inspired hen house (complete with library) can be mine for $100,000-delivery not included!

Can you imagine how all the chicken coop bikers on the Tour de Cluck would envy me? My henhouse would be, if not the envy of all the other backyard chicken-keepers, at least be the most expensive. Yes, and isn't the timing fortuitous.  Why, just last night my loving spouse reminded me I haven't yet made up my Santa wish list.

So I'm really glad I didn't spend all my allowance yesterday on a bunch of cyber stuff I don't need....I can put it towards a $100K chicken coop that NOBODY needs.

If there is any doubt left in anyone's mind that the 1% can cough up a bit more in taxes, look no further than Nieman Marcus' catalog.

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