News in briefs: multiple births and “bad” banks

Doctors in Texas have reported yet another record-breaking multiple birth. An unidentified woman delivered eleven babies in about 45 seconds early Tuesday as a team of 125 specialists assisted.

The babies, being called “eleventy-uplets” until someone figures out the proper Latin root words, are all remarkably healthy despite their tiny size and early deliveries. The eight boys and three girls are believed to represent the largest multiple birth ever recorded.

“You can imagine what it was like to have that many infants coming out at that rate of speed,” said Dr. Andrew Crisp, chief of obstetrics at Dallas’ Parkland Hospital. “I’m just glad my team was already wearing safety glasses for medical reasons, or someone might’ve had an eye put out. Those kids were just flying outta there.”

It was believed the mother, identified only as a 25-year-old teacher, was taking fertility drugs, and lots of them. There was some speculation from relatives that she confused the medication with her favorite candy, jujubes.

Ultrasounds taken just days before the birth clearly showed eight babies in the woman’s uterus, so doctors were already prepared for an extraordinary procedure. There was a brief pause after the eighth newborn emerged before doctors discovered the existence of three more – one hiding behind a kidney, one in the mother’s handbag and the last in an easy chair in the hallway outside the delivery room.

The mother was reported resting comfortably following the historic delivery. The babies have taken over a nearby Hampton Inn until they reach a healthy enough weight to be released.

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The proposal being floated to create a so-called “bad bank” to contain shaky mortgages and other toxic assets is already being fleshed out by Treasury Department officials who would oversee such an effort. In fact, sources say, a working prototype has already been established in a Washington, D.C. suburb and is testing various business strategies with actual banking customers.

The new office, tentatively called the “Worst National Bank of Maryland,” will not only be aggregating assets that other banks are trying to get off their books, but will be test-marketing new policies and services keeping in line with their charter, “to really suck as a bank.”

“We know most banks currently serving the public are not very good,” said vice-president of marketing and community relations Robert Hanschu. “We know people are fed up with hidden fees, high credit-card interest rates and difficulties in getting a loan. But we think we can take that ‘screw-you’ attitude to a whole different level.”

Customers will notice a difference as soon as they arrive on the property of the WNB. The parking lot is broken asphalt, the grass is uncut and the windows are covered with plywood boards. There’s an ATM drive-through on one side of the building that’s actually a converted tool shed, with one side cut out to display an old TV screen, a telephone keypad and a mail slot configured to simulate the cash machine. Inside the shed sits a homeless employee who will pull your ATM card through the slot while making whirring noises with his mouth and then dispense your cash. The bills may be smeared with blood, mucus or feces but are still fully negotiable.

Inside the lobby there’s the usual armed security guard but he’s just as likely to rob you as protect you from criminals. There’s a rope to guide you to the tellers’ window though instead of velvet it’s made of razor wire. A small desk off to the side is set up for those opening new accounts, who get to choose from a dangerously rewired toaster or a 2003 calendar as their introductory gift. There’s a counter for customers to fill out their deposit slips and other paperwork, with the requisite pen chained to the surface. The tellers are also chained in place.

Most standard banking services are offered with a twist. Checking accounts with a minimum deposit of $1,000 offer modest interest – “You have a thousand dollars?” asked one teller as he rubbed his palms together. “That’s very interesting.” There are secured safety deposit boxes “around here somewhere,” she noted, and a line of CDs that aren’t actual investment vehicles but instead are compact disks featuring recordings from all the top hitmakers of the 1990s. Both auto and home loans will be available in the near future, and will be largely similar to the awful loans found at standard banks.

Federal officials are also looking at this retail concept as a potential vehicle for disbursing funds being made available through the economic recovery stimulus now working its way through Congress. Customers representing different problems in the economy could line up outside a small office in the lobby while government officials would throw money at them.

“I think the bad bank idea can really go far,” said Hanschu. “Almost as far as I’ll be going just as soon as I can embezzle enough money to get to the Caymans.”

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One Response to “News in briefs: multiple births and “bad” banks”

  1. E.F. Misanthrope Says:

    Two blogs for the price of one… and both free! Prodigious propagations!!! Is there no end to the creativity of Davis, as profligate as a pre-crash bank and as fertile as an eleventy uplet mother?
    Is it just me or does anyone else think that in an overcrowded world fertility treatment is rather a bad idea? I think we should have the opposite: sterility treatment for all. I’ll get Obama onto it! And lest some irony-starved flamer berate me for this comment, it’s not to be taken seriously.
    I loved the new banking concept of Davis. This is certainly the bank of the future. Mind you, the entire world is suffering from such a logic deficit lately that some stick-in-the-muds might object to this revolutionary banking experience, preferring to stay with the present system, in which
    Obama borrows 900 billion from American taxpayers, or rather the taxpayers’ children, and ‘lends’ it to bad businessmen. This is the stimulus package of the crack head, if you ask me, but who am I to question the logic of drinking more (borrowed) alcohol to dispel a hangover?
    And who I am to veer off target-another classic from Davis W!

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