The frog story
Once upon a time, a frog walks into a bank.
The frog goes to the front desk and says to the representative at the desk, “Hi! I would like to borrow some money.”
And the bank representative (her name’s Patricia, according to her name tag) says, “Well, I’m sorry, but we can’t serve frogs here.”
The frog looks mildly confused, as frogs do, and replies, “That’s most unfortunate. Why is that?”
Patricia apologetically explains that banks tend to be human institutions and there really isn’t a thing for frogs since frogs never visit banks, and she could try to talk her manager into getting something to work, but she’s relatively new on the job and–
The frog says, “Don’t worry, I’m actually not a real frog, I’m actually a human inside of a frog costume.”
And Patricia says, “But you look like a regular frog. How do I believe you?”
The frog suggests, “Would some sort of human identification prove to you that I’m a human?”
Patricia agrees, and so the frog reaches into a pocket built into the costume and pulls out a wallet. The frog opens up the wallet with his frog hands and pulls out a driver’s license. “See here! This is my driver’s license as my identification and I think this will serve as sufficient evidence I am in fact a human. I believe that means you can help me with this loan.”
Ms. Patricia Whack (her last name’s Whack, also according to her name tag) takes the driver’s license and looks at it. The name looks familiar but she can’t quite place it–and then it hits her. “Oh my goodness it’s Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones that is so COOL can I have your autogra–”
And the frog says, “Yes, but please don’t say it so loud– I have enough fans and groupies following me around as it is and I’m flying under the radar right now.”
Patricia drops her voice to a whisper and asks, “Just out of curiosity, what is someone as famous as Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones doing at this bank here asking for a loan? I thought being a celebrity meant having lots of money?”
“I’m afraid I can’t really tell you what it’s going to be for, but I’d still like to take a loan from this bank.”
As if anticipating her next question, he goes on to explain just why he is wearing a frog costume. “You might think that a frog costume would attract more attention than just being dressed normally.”
“Well, it does, doesn’t it?”
“Yes, but when your everyday life is being a famous musician out on the street, wearing a frog costume just means people avoid staring at you for too long because it would be rude.”
Patricia, satisfied with his explanation, examines the driver’s license as though it could possibly be a forgery, but discovers that no signs to the contrary. It seems to be, in fact, a legitimate human driver’s license. A bit odd, to be holding something so ordinary belonging to someone so extraordinary, but she pushes the thought from her mind. There are more pressing concerns. “Very well. We can make this work, but we still need some sort of collateral for any sort of loan, even for celebrities.”
“As banks do. Not to worry, I have brought some collateral with me!” announces Sir Michael Philip Jagger, famed singer, songwriter, actor, film producer, lead singer and founding member of the Rolling Stones.
Mick (we’ll call him Mick for short here) reaches into the costume pocket once more. Patricia can’t help but notice that it is unmistakably a frog costume and not an actual frog in front of her, and wonders how she didn’t notice it at first.
Mick takes out a deck of cards from the same pocket of his frog costume. “This is a deck of cards that has been passed down through the generations in my family. It is a treasured family heirloom.”
Patricia seems a bit skeptical, so he continues, “We always keep the two of hearts as the very top card in the deck. You see, the two of hearts as a special symbol of the endurance of the Jagger legacy. I won’t be telling you why, but I certainly can tell you that it does mean quite a bit.” Sir Jagger takes the deck of cards and flips over the top card and reveals it is indeed the two of hearts.
He hands over the deck of cards to Patty (we’ll call her Patty for short here), but because frog costumes’ hands are like mittens– kind of clumsy– he accidentally drops the deck of cards at her feet and they spill all over her shoes. Patty goes to pick the cards off the floor. Mick says, “Not to worry, there’s no ritual involving dropping the cards. Just be sure to leave the two of hearts as the top card when you collect them.”
Patty obliges, picking up the cards and putting the two of hearts on top. “Not that I doubt that you’re telling the truth about its true significance, of course, but I’m not sure that this would work as collateral for a loan. To the bank, this deck of cards just looks like a deck of cards.”
“I appreciate you believing me, even if the rules say otherwise,” says Mick. “Not to worry! I brought a second item that could work as collateral!”
He reaches into the costume pocket once more– seriously, the costume is really well-made in terms of the pockets– and takes out a tiny pink clay elephant. “This has meant a lot to me in particular. This one is not an heirloom. This is something that I made myself.” Patty squints to see the elephant.
“Well, I’m very sorry, I don’t know that this is anything different from the deck of cards, collateral-wise.”
The frog says, “Not to worry! The manager at this bank and I go back a long way so if you just take this tiny pink clay elephant to your manager, I’m sure your manager will be able to explain everything that’s going on.”
Patty is perfectly happy to try to do whatever she can to help Mick get what he needs in order to make this loan work. She goes to her manager in the back, where her manager is doing manager things. Whatever managers do, you know, her manager was doing those manager things.
She explains to her manager everything that’s happened so far: Sir Michael “Mick” Philip Jagger, famed singer, songwriter, actor, film producer, lead singer and founding member of the Rolling Stones showed up in a frog costume, asked to borrow some money, and when asked for collateral, showed a deck of cards, flipped over the top card which was the two of hearts, and apparently that has some special meaning, dropped the deck on her shoes by mistake when trying to hand it over, and when that wasn’t suitable collateral he brought out a trinket he made and handed it to her and said that it would work as collateral, and could her manager Please Explain What Is Going On because she is very very very confused.
Her manager takes it all in stride, simply absorbing wave after wave of information as calm as could be. (Patty has learned many of her customer service skills from her manager.) Her manager asks, in a level voice, “Patty, could you show me this so-called tiny pink clay elephant?”
Patty hands it over, and her manager’s eyes light up instantly. “I haven’t seen one of these in ages! Looks good to me– you may approve this loan.”
Patty blurts out, “Why do the deck of cards and the two of hearts matter? Why is Mick Jagger asking for a loan and wearing a frog costume? What is going on?”
A moment of dead silence.
Then she adds, “What is this tiny pink clay elephant trinket?”
Her manager looks her straight in the eye and says–
“This old man? He played two! He dropped his cards on your shoes– it’s a knick-knack, Patty Whack, give the Frog a loan; this old man’s a Rolling Stone.”