Wednesday, February 11, 2009
One of the guys I knew at K.I. was Polish. He was happy being there because it was far enough away from Hamtramck (at the time a Polish neighborhood in Detroit) that he didn't hear many Polock jokes, just Finlander jokes. Every once in a while he would tell me about his scheme for becoming rich and tell me about it as he thought up new ideas. First he would develop plastic coated paperclips (he was slightly ahead of his time) and convince the government to replace the regular paperclips with plastic coated ones as they would save on wear and tear on the paperwork. After the government had filled the supply chain with plastic coated paperclips, he would introduce new and improved color-coded plastic coated paperclips. You could have red for Top Secret, yellow for Secret, and blue and green and other colors for other classifications. Of course the government would have to buy the all-new color-coded plastic coated paperclips even though they are fully stocked with the plain plastic coated paperclips. After making his fortune by selling the plastic coated paperclips (color-coded and otherwise) he would invest his money and develop Hamtramck West. He would buy up some desert land out west and build his town. At first he had trouble figuring out how to build basements in the sand, then he hit on the idea of using large shipping crates like they use for shipping household goods overseas. Just sink several of them together in the sand and roof them over and you have a ready made basement. He didn't plan on putting a house on the basements as Poles just lived in the basement anyway. (Jean Shepherd [he wrote A Christmas Story, the one that ran for 24 hours on TBS last Xmas] wrote a story about a Polish family living in the basement while the upstairs part of the house went unused. They even painted the furnace robin's egg blue.) I think the only industry he planned for his town was a brewery.