Gee willikers! You elected officials are makin’ me feel like a real Andrew Carnegie. I appreciate it, I really do, but I can't accept this. I don't need nothin' special or luxurious. I am just a regular guy with simple tastes and One Dollar rent.

Look, pal, I love nothin’ more than grabbin’ some coins and runnin’ down to the nickelodeon to pass out from shock after seein’ footage of a scary train comin’ right at me. But now that the movin’ pictures are closed down cuz of this dang Spanish Flu, I'm actually savin’ money! Funny how things work out that way.

Now, yes, I will grant you that the flu has had a teeny bit of an effect on me financially. I did, in fact, lose my job at the Unregulated Hazardous Machine factory. But I've learned to adapt. While I miss my 9-year-old coworkers and the company thugs who bonk me on the head with batons when I ask for a bathroom break, I'm actually enjoyin’ my free time by rediscoverin’ my old hobbies and pastimes. Besides, if I ended up with that $600 you're talkin’ about, I'd wind up usin’ all my time just tryin’ to count that high.

I'm a “silver linin’” type-a fella, honest. I could sit around mopin’ about gettin’ fired from UHM, but I'm takin’ advantage of my time now. Playin’ tiddlywinks, chewin’ on a long piece of straw, watchin’ motorcars as they pass and imaginin’ what kinda millionaire must be inside that thing. That millionaire lifestyle just ain't for me. That's why I can't accept this exorbitant amount of cash. Six Hundred Dollars… Listen to yourself! That's almost One Million dollars! What do you think I would do with money like that? Eat gold-plated caviar at my new mansion in Timbuktu? That's just not my style. My tiny workin'-class brain only needs a couple pots and pans to clatter around to keep myself amused.

How am I supposed to explain this to my kids? I’ve a baker’s dozen young children, smeared with dirt and ash, spendin’ their free time in the alley gettin’ bruised up playin’ kicksmack. They are still learnin’ what it’s like to be alive in the real world. What lesson do you think their impressionable minds would learn? Seein’ their father become rich without even liftin’ (or losin’) a finger in an unregulated hazardous machine… that’s how I’ve been told a child becomes a moral deviant like a gambler or a drinker or an artist. Some of these kids are almost marriage age! And what eleven-year-old man should walk down the aisle thinkin’ that feedin’ his family is more important than some convoluted ethical litmus test that I’ve thus far struggled to elucidate?

Now you’re tellin’ me my lousy neighbor Rotgut Pete deserves $600, too? Okay, now I know you’re goin’ too far. I wouldn’t trust Rotgut Pete as far as I can throw him. And I haven’t been able to throw nothin’ since the machines at work yanked my shoulders out of their shoulder holes! Nope, if givin’ $600 to everyone involves givin’ it to scoundrels like Pete, I’m against it.

Sometimes I feel like you government-types are bein’ too nice to folks like me. I don't need to be coddled, no sir. How am I supposed to build character and work ethic without havin’ to constantly be concerned about whether or not I'll have enough food to eat. You don't think about things before you do them, do ya? Listen, I've had someone summarize the general gist of Faust for me, and all I have to say is “No deal, satan.”

Nope, you can point your big-wig checks elsewhere. I don't need any handouts. You could send that money to someplace that really matters. I'm sure there's an armed conflict or two the Hearst newspapers are cookin’ up that would be way better suited for that lifetime supply of money. That kinda cash would be wasted on a fella like me. I'd just squander it on food and bills.


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