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.


Wendz said...

This is a crazy story - some people just never grow up...poor baby indeed.

There's nothing you can do.

If they do end up on the streets, is there some sort of social welfare that would at least take the baby in? Maybe you could tell Hank he stands to lose his baby?

Beccy said...

Hank obviously has a few loose screws, it's the baby I feel sorry for.

Sally Lomax said...

I had wondered what had happened to Hank...

Could Hank not get a better paid job even? Presumably he has done other things other than clean? Could he even get a full time job as a cleaner in an airport or a school or something?

ChrisB said...

I agree with beccy and wendz it's the baby who will suffer. I've said it before Hank must begin to take responsibility. Hank's pop is clearly no sucker. I'd go for the cheaper flat and save the $500 but actually I wouldn't have got myself into this situation in the first place. Hank sounds like a brat stamping his feet and threatening when he doesn't get his own way or am I being unfair - no don't think so. Enid and the man must not feel responsible.

billyboy said...

Hank has what you might call the merdus touch. Everything he touches goes to shit.

No helping them I am afraid.

nikki said...

wow, this is giving me a headache.
hank needs a swift kick in his behind. i feel bad for the baby.

Sally Lomax said...

Thing is Enid - whatever happens, I think that you should perhaps withdraw yourselves. It may be hard, but it isn't your problem. With any luck Mrs. Hank will crawl back home to her parents or something, with baby, and Hank will go elsewhere. She must wake up soon...........

enid said...

thanks everyone. you've been a big help - it's easy to get an odd perspective on this kind of thing until you share it.

love, enid.

wendz, enid and the man don't know of any social welfare, but they are going to ask around. they do think that olga probably knows far more about molvania than they do, though.

beccy, you're so right. enid feels sorry for the baby too.

sally, hank has done other jobs, lots of them. his real problems are that he won't learn molvanian, despite having masses of free time and a molvanian wife, and his attitude. he got a job on a building site in the summer, but lost it in a few days because he didn't get on with the foreman. really enid thinks billy, chris and nikki are right - hank behaves like a spoilt kid. she thinks there's no helping him until he learns to help himself. which sounds a bit smug but isn't meant to be.

sally, enid and the man are just hoping for a natural withdrawing when they go to america. until then they are hank's only income so they feel they can't just sack him now. they are telling him the move is coming in a month or two, and they may stick to that even if it doesn't.