I got a great deal on “No Laughing Matter: A Collection of Political Jokes” at the latest Baraboo library book sale. Its authors contend that jokes can be a method of coping with an unsavory situation. Jokes, they say, show that people care and that “they entertain hope” for change.
How ironic that shortly after buying this book I began hearing not political jokes, but banker jokes. These jokes were aimed not so much at Baraboo’s branch of the Wells Fargo bank but at the Wells Fargo corporate office bankers, who are located in North Carolina.
The Carolina corporate office has arrogated, from the Baraboo branch, administration of the Chester Bible trust, which provides scholarships for Baraboo High School graduates.
Since doing so, Wells Fargo has charged unreasonable legal and accounting fees, according to the Baraboo Community Scholarship Committee. The BCSC, which intends to administer the trust for free, has gone to court to wrest control from Wells Fargo.
When the local branch administered the fund in 2010, the bank charged $8,000 in fees while distributing $36,000 in scholarships. The Wells Fargo North Carolina bankers administering the fund in 2013 charged $27,000 in fees while distributing “about $12,000.” (No, I did not transpose those numbers.)
But I digress, back to the banker jokes now making the rounds in Baraboo. A couple of them are aquatic in nature.
Joke No. 1: What’s the difference between a tragedy and a catastrophe?
A tragedy is a ship full of North Carolina Wells Fargo bankers administering the Chester Bible Baraboo High School scholarship trust fund going down in a storm; a catastrophe is when they can all swim.
Joke No. 2: If O. J. Simpson and a North Carolina Wells Fargo banker administering the Chester Bible Baraboo High School scholarship trust fund were both drowning and you could save only one, would you go to lunch or read the paper?
A couple more are non-aquatic jokes although the last does involve swimming — sort of.
Joke No. 3: Three guys walk into a bakery; a North Carolina Wells Fargo banker administering the Chester Bible Baraboo High School trust fund, a government employee, and a tea partier. The lady behind the counter puts out a dozen gingersnap cookies. The North Carolina Wells Fargo banker administering the Chester Bible Baraboo High School scholarship trust fund rapaciously pockets 11 of the 12 cookies and then tells the tea partier that the greedy government worker is trying to steal his cookie.
Joke No. 4: What’s the difference between a North Carolina Wells Fargo banker administering the Chester Bible Baraboo High School trust fund and a sperm?
A sperm has a one-in-a-million chance of turning into a human being.
If it’s true that “Jokes show that people care and that ‘they entertain hope’ for change,” I hope the folks at Wells Fargo get the message and make the necessary change.
Gordon Gekko famously said in the movie “Wall Street,” that “Greed is good.” But it ain’t especially great for public relations.
Robert Reid, Wisconsin Dells