There was a man named Wibberly, Leonard Wibberly–and he wrote "The Mouse That Roared." "The Mouse on Wall Street" is the third installment, the third book in the series. They are listed inside the front cover of "The Mouse on Wall Street."
Like the other two installments, "The Mouse on Wall Street" concerns the world's–or Europe's?–smallest nation (On page the fourth the official word is: "one of the smallest sovereign states in the world"; "being only five miles long"), which means we are talking about the Duchy of Grand Fenwick --- that's the Mouse, you see --- it's near France, you see --- one of the smallest states in the world, and here in his third installment in the "Mouse" series --- apparently, if they are all like this one, they are witty little excursions relative to life as Wibberly sees it in 1969 or thereabouts --- and quite a bit better than any book you'll see today I might add --- the little bitty Duchy receives a windfall of riches, from investing, and via the Wall Street investment world or crowd. The origin of the windfall lies in a rather improbable series of events that are quite beyond the scope of this review. But at any rate the citizens of Grand Fenwick (i.e. white people) suddenly find themselves with a lot of addition moolah-boolah. (Mazel Tov.) This is in addition to their normative economy which is wine, a Pinot wine it is, and wool it is. You see, that is the whole economy, two products–but suddenly they have a lot more to contend with in the form of a large inflow of Wall St. money, large amounts of what Daniel Korten thinks of as the abstraction of money. There is some sort investing going on that is covered in a previous book in the series, something which I don't know about --- because, I don't really read all that much, ok? The strange thing here is that all the extra money does not help. That is sort of like the point. The point of the book or what the book's economic theories hinge on; what the humor (and it is considerable, but stops short of "side-splitting," which is "naked," by David Sedaris last week–a book that almost did me physical laugh-damage in my lungs or my sides or something) consists of: the joke that the influx of money is bad, not good. Ha ha ha. Well, let's pick up on page 58, a speech in which the bartender speaks to the Prime Minister (there is a Prime Minister, as well as a Princess who comes compleat with consort). The first P.M. was deposed by the labor or union man, Bentner, who is the new P.M. Anyways, he has created an alliance with the old P.M.–but, despite this successful alliance with the two political parties– the new PM Bentner has become depressed by the recent events in the Duchy, and he wanders off in a sort of daze, ending up in the taproom. He tries to have a glass of wine: it's the local wine, Pinot Grand Fenwick.
And because of the country's disastrous money mistake or money troubles, the wine now costs more! And darts aren't free anymore, either. Here's what the bartender has to say:
"I'm getting sick of the mention of money," he said. That's all that people talk about here these days. You know what all that money did, to my way of thinking? It killed interest in life. There's been many an evening here when I've listened with pleasure, while serving my customers, to three hours of good talk of shearing, wood carving, archery, gardening and--yes, treating colic in babies. It's been a treat to be among my fellow human beings. I'm not a very religious man, Mr. Bentner, but listening to talk like that, kindly and good humored, I couldn't doubt for a moment but that God Himself was right here listening with me and enjoying it just as much as me.
And now look what's happened! The talk is money, money, money. How much is there going to be? What's going to be done with it? Who will get what? Who owes what to who? How much will go in taxes? It makes you sick. It's killed living, in my view--killed it stone dead. It's replaced it with something that isn't worth having at all.
-a lovely book,
I dare say