Tuesday, March 6
the saga of hank continues
last wednesday, hank demonstrated his mastery of logic like this: "if he doesn't send 2,000 bucks, we'll never get to the usa. the landlord will throw us out and the baby will die. so i win."
"what sort of winning is that?" the man asked.
"pop doesn't get to see his grandson."
it's hard to argue with this kind of insanity, so the man didn't try.
rewind. in last month's thrilling episode, enid and the man had paid hank's rent to save his family from being evicted onto the snowy streets of kernib. the next time he saw hank, the man lectured him: "we're moving to the states in a month or two*, so you can't count on us paying you for much longer. anyway, you don't earn enough from a few hours' cleaning to pay for that flat. and we're not going to bail you out again, dead babies or no dead babies. so you've four weeks before you run out of money. either olga gets a job or you move somewhere cheaper. ideally back to dniperpropersk." (olga has a flat there, so there'd be no rent to pay.)
(*optimistic to spur hank on a bit. at this rate it will be next winter.)
so the weeks go by. does olga get a job? no, she wants to be an air hostess, and those kind of jobs don't come up too frequently. when enid suggests she should lower her expectations to, say, the usual level of people on planet kernib, hank agrees but says she has her heart set on it. enid suggests that a better plan might be setting her heart on not spending next month in a bus shelter.
do hank and olga go back to dniperpropersk? again, no. when the man asks why, hank responds that "olga doesn't want to." the man asks why olga prefers the prospect of sleeping on some icy kernib concrete to a comfy mattress in a warm room in dniperpropersk. hank treats this as a rhetorical question.
so what do hank and olga do? write to daddy, of course. hank sends an email to pop in west virginia demanding the cash to buy a spouse visa for olga so they can escape molvania. 2,000 bucks, he says.
pop, who has obviously known hank a little longer than enid and the man, asks for proof. in a surprise twist to the story, hank provides it. ok, says pop, i've sent you $1,500 already this year, so here's the extra $500.
of course, as enid's astute readers will guess from the need to bail him out, hank has already spent pop's $1,500. so here's a quick quiz for you. you're hank and you've been given $500. you're living in a flat whose monthly rental is $300 and your monthly income is $240. do you (a) move to a cheaper flat, rental $100, live off $120 (possible if not fun in kernib) and save the $500 towards escape to your homeland, mother of the free? or do you spend it on rental for your current place and a bit of high (well, less low) living?
(b), of course. which leaves us where we started - hank protesting that unless his father coughs up the whole sum, he'll never see his grandson. in fact, hank will renounce his us citizenship, and die in "this god-forsaken scumbag of a country." poor hank, enid thinks he's going mad. poor baby, with hank for a father. what should she do?
for those who are new to the hank story, here are parts one, two and three.