Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Parable of the Family That Went Broke

Rick Jones, a marketing executive at Lockheed Martin, called his family together to share some grim news.

“My job was outsourced,” he explained. "I got a pink slip."

“Oh dear,” said his wife Jill. His children Emily and Rob were, for once, speechless.

“The good news is that I have been offered a new job,” explained Rick. “Unfortunately, it’s only half time, and half the pay, with no benefits.”

“Oh dear,” said Jill. “How will we manage?”

“We will have to make sacrifices,” explained her husband. “We will have to sell our house and move into an apartment.”

“Oh dear, “said Jill. “Is that really necessary?”

“I’m afraid so,” said her husband. “Not only that, we can’t pay the tuition for our kids’ education. They will have to drop out of college.”

“What will we do?” cried Rob and Emily.

“You’ll have to find jobs,” replied their father. “I hear there are openings….at Wall Mart.”

"Oh, Daddy! That's terrible!" cried the children.

"I know," said their father, sadly. "But we have no choice. We're broke."

“What about health insurance?” asked Jill.

“I am making enough to pay for my own,” said her husband. “You and the kids will have to chance it without insurance. Take your vitamins and hope for the best.”

“Oh dear,” said the wife. “What about your Jaguar. It’s worth $50,000. Couldn’t we sell that?”

“No way,” said Rick. “I worked hard for that Jag.”

“And what about your membership in the country club?”

“That’s off the table, too,” said Rick. “What is life without golf?”

“And your summer cabin?”

“The one by the best trout stream in the state?” cried Rick. “You can’t be serious. It would be insane to give that up.”

“What about your gun collection?” asked Emily. “You told us it’s worth millions.”

“I can’t believe you’re suggesting we sell our guns,” replied her father heatedly. “They’re our security, and your legacy. What would we be without the family guns? In fact, I am proposing that your mother get a part-time job so we can pay the storage fees.”

“Oh dear,” said Jill.

“It’s very hard, I know,” said her husband, tears welling in his eyes. “But we have to be realistic. We’re broke.”

With that, he adjourned the family gathering and everyone went their separate ways.


The next day, the children received a call from their mother and rushed to the house.

A moving van was sitting in the driveway and the mother explained her plan to the children.

“I have packed my bags and have the key to the storage unit for our gun collection,” she said with great excitement. “And I have found a dealer willing to buy them for a handsome price.”

“Good job, Mom!” cried the kids.

“You betcha,” she said, grinning. With that, she and the children drove off, sold their guns, moved into a pleasant condo, and lived realistically ever after.

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