My father, when he was a young lad, came across a small ad in a magazine. The headline read "How to get rich". It would cost him a valuable 25 cents to find out this prized bit of information, which, back in the early 20s, was quite a lot of cash to the boy. So he scraped and saved, and then after sending his hard-earned quarter in to the claimant, he stood by patiently for several long weeks, waiting for the good news to arrive.
The letter did come. Dad excitedly tore open the envelope. Happy day, happy day!
Then from it he removed a small white card. Printed on one side were the words, "Work like hell and save your money".
We tend to forget things, us humans. At some point later, this intelligent young man found another tempting offer hiding among the back pages of another slick publication. This one professed a sure-fire way to kill ants. Guaranteed to work. No doubt about it. After all, it claimed to be “sure-fire”.
This was certainly what he needed, so he began saving up the money, one cent at a time. The mailman eventually dropped off a small package at my father’s doorstep. He ran to the kitchen, telling his mother, “It’s here!”
She smiled as he began ripping into the box, overjoyed by her son’s enthusiasm. She half-smiled as he withdrew a small wooden block from the carton, followed next by a tiny wooden mallet. But the smile vanished like a fair-weather friend as he read to her the short list of included instructions.
1. Place ant on block.
2. Strike with mallet.