Today’s guest is Founding Father, noted author, inventor, printer, and much quoted world traveler, Benjamin Franklin.
RG - Mr. Franklin, welcome to What’s so Funny? Our nation is going through a difficult economic period right now. You have a reputation for being very frugal. What advice do you have for the American people to help them cope with inflation and high unemployment?
BF – Thank you, Russell. I went through some tough times myself, especially as a young man. I wrote volumes of one-liners, proverbs if you will, on the importance of fiscal responsibility. People used to follow my advice and live comfortably. Today, too many Americans overextended themselves. They think the word “save” means buying at a reduced rate. One woman I knew went to so many shoe sales that she saved until she was broke.
RG – So, we should all adhere to the “penny saved is a penny earned” adage, is that what you’re saying?
BF – Absolutely, except now, with the devaluation of our currency and the fact that it costs more than one cent to make a penny, I’m rephrasing the quotation to say, “a Benny saved is Benny earned.”
RG – I know you have some interesting opinions regarding religion. Do you ever attend church?
BF – Occasionally I’ll visit a church, but you’ll never see my face in the offering plate. George will be stacked ten-deep in there, a few Abes, one or two Hamiltons, and maybe a Jackson on Easter. Ulysses and I stay parked firmly in the wallet until we get to Walmart or the liquor store.
RG – I’ve seen the T-shirt with your quote about beer and God. How does that go again?
BF – That was a misquote. People steal your words and twist them to make a few dollars for themselves. What I actually said was, “Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine, a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.” It means the same thing, but won’t fit on a T-shirt.
RG – Much has been made of your affection for the ladies, especially during your time in France while raising funds to support the revolution.
BF – Yes, I’ve been labeled a womanizer when in fact I was more of a flirt and a tease. Women control 90% of the money and 100% of the sex. Raising money for a fledgling country that might fail was not easy. The only way to get the money was through the women. In times of war, men are called upon to make sacrifices for their country. I did what I had to do.
RG – So, you were an eighteenth century James Bond?
BF – Exactly! Why do you think my picture is on the one-hundred dollar bill?
RG – Thank you, Mr. Franklin, for making time for this interview. I’m going to put you back in my wallet until we get to Walmart or the liquor store.