Blowing sunshine? Huh? Big Red Car are you losing it?
Long ago and far away, I used to borrow millions of dollars and jam them into real estate projects of some size and complexity. That meant I worked with a lot of banks.
I had to use banks who were outside Austin because the local loan limits were inadequate for projects of that size. I borrowed money for working capital locally, but project finance required a bit of travel.
When it was clear that I was going to be able to repay all of those loans (meaning the risk had diminished), I would get calls from other banks who would offer better terms — little less personal liability or none, lower interest rates, better business terms, more generous amortizations, longer repayment terms.
There was one guy who used to call on me about once a month. I used to call him the Grin Fucker.
You never met a guy more positive, more optimistic, more full of promises.
I succumbed to his charm and laid out a deal and said, “If you can do this on these terms, then we can do business.”
“We can do it, boss,” he said, as he took the package. I left that meeting feeling very good.
A week later he calls back and says, “Term sheet coming, boss. You are going to be a very happy man.”
When I received the term sheet, the deal offered was not remotely what I had asked for — less money, lots of fees, slightly higher interest rate than I was used to paying.
“Hey, Grin Fucker,” I said. “Not the deal I was looking for.”
There was a pregnant silence on his end for a few minutes before he said, “I told those guys at the investment committee that you were a guy who knew what he wanted and if we wanted to do business we had to meet those expectations.”
We never did end up doing business, but whenever the Grin Fucker was in town we would have lunch and we would talk. No longer about deals, but about everything else.
The Grin Fucker was the most optimistic, the sun-will-come-out-tomorrow guy I ever met in my life. He was a professional at grinning — hence the name the Grin Fucker — and blowing sunshine.
After a lunch with the Grin Fucker, you couldn’t help but feel more optimistic, more positive. I remember telling him I had cut a deal with a different bank and the Grin Fucker said, “That is a damn good bank and they will treat you like a prince. Good on ya. You deserve it.”
So why am I telling you this story?
Because right now America needs some positive energy in the ether.
1. We’re in a fight with the WutangCurse, but we’re bred for that game. We’re fighters. We will win.
2. There’s a Kings X, big win solution out there — a vaccine. Nobody even remotely suggests we will not get to a vaccine. It’s still just a matter of time.
I’m betting it’s a lot shorter period of time because this Donald Trump fellow is going to jam it through like the FDA just jammed through a Emergency Use Authorization for hydroxychloroquine sulphate/phosphate.
3. There are some therapeutic treatments out there that are going to work. We’re due for a good bounce of the dice.
4. This social distancing will work. Hard to do, but it’s like flossing. Needs to be done. Hey, Gen X/Y/Z — don’t kill grandma.
5. The Arsenal of Democracy is kicking into high gear. We have whiskey companies making hand sanitizer. We have car companies making ventilators. 3M is making masks by the millions. This will all come together.
6. We need to make the air like those blue skies in Santa Barbara — I think it’s the positive ions.
So, I challenge you to do your part. Blow sunshine. Every day blow some sunshine. Today, blow sunshine.
I remember a chat I had with the Grin Fucker. I asked him why he was so damn optimistic about everything. He told me, “Never seen a tombstone that said, ‘Joe was a great pessimist.'”
Pessimism is not leadership. It is the dumb way. Screw pessimism. Screw the media. Screw politicians who weaponize the WutangCurse for political gain. A pox on all their houses. <<< See what happened there? I went negative. Blowing sunshine. Sorry.
So, America, the sun will come out tomorrow. We are one day closer to that vaccine, one day closer to tilting that rear view mirror to see the WutangCurse with tire marks across its forehead.
I wonder what the Grin Fucker is doing today? I bet he’s blowing sunshine.
Meet me on the high ground, America, cause . . . . . . . . . America.