Tuesday, July 13, 1999

Another Day at the Beach


Old Investo looked at the children rollicking on the ocean. They were all at the beach -- swimming, laughing. What fun. Some who had speed boats in which to ride soared on the ocean, going ever higher. Sometimes they would seem to sink as they swept down the big waves, but then they would pop up, riding the next even higher. Even the big liners went higher. Sometimes their weight would make them almost sink, but some brave captain would throw over cargo (and yes, sometimes even crew and passengers), and it too would go higher.

Investo was happy. He too had prospered with his toys. But sometimes a sad thought broke through. In Investo's distant past he remembered the 1970s. For a time he too had ruled the world. He could jump from one speed boat to another, often while one was descending a wave and the next was ascending. The year that he had declared "I equaled my salary in the ocean" he felt, almost, well "god-like."

But then something strange happened. The waves had been the same, the jumps had been the same, but the ocean went down. He had panicked... trying even harder to equal the feelings he loved. But the ocean kept going down, and all that he had gained went out with it. Old Buffo (who was then as old as Investo was now) spoke out. He said that from the shore he could see that the entire ocean was falling just as it had risen before. He stated that in his experience it would go out for a time -- sometimes a long time -- but that it would return.

The children listened, but they hated this new game, and their joy of the ocean was gone. They went then and played bondo, or banko. Amazingly, even the followers of Buffo -- yes, many from the Foolish cult -- lost their joy, and often they went, too. Only Buffo and a few lonely others were there to measure the eventual return of the rising ocean.

Investo thought, "It has been such a long time since the ocean has retreated." And there on the shore was Buffo. But Investo was "different" now. The ocean was always fun -- sometimes more so when there were fewer people. So he put such foolish thoughts in their proper place, and enjoyed the ocean for another day.

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