Toby was an unusual guy. Unlike many men, he never outgrew his childlike wonder at the world. Some thought he was delusional, but he made his way in the world as a mechanic, and he was very good at it — intuitive, as his clients would say.
Toby had an unusual friend. He called him “Peanut.” Peanut was his pet, and he had had him since his youth, but Peanut was unusual. Peanut was small when he first got him at age 15, but he grew dramatically such that at age 40 for Toby, to Toby, he looked as large as an elephant. But that’s where things got weird. Peanut looked different to different people, and as far as Toby could tell, the main factor was how old the person was. Peanut would look small to older people, and would look monstrous to the young. At least, mostly this was true — with some people that didn’t work, and that puzzled Toby.
One day, Toby decided to take a vacation, and bring Peanut along. Toby had never seen Washington, DC, and being proud to be an American, prepared to go. He gathered supplies for Peanut and himself, and loaded his truck, with which he could carry Peanut. He notified his boss that he would be taking vacation for two weeks, and headed off for the US capital. The boss was surprised because Toby rarely took vacation, but he granted it; in his mind it was well-deserved.
Toby was amazed at the architecture of Washington, DC. Nothing very tall, but buildings designed to capture the former splendor of Greece and Rome. Peanut didn’t blink at DC — he just walked along with Toby. But as Toby passed by with Peanut, little children would go into hysterics, while parents would ponder why. Oldsters would smile and wave, and the ladies would comment on how cute Peanut was. Toby was used to this, but it puzzled him.
Eventually Toby made it to Capitol Hill. Toby was tired, and so was Peanut, so they ate & rested. To their great surprise, Alan Greenspan walked toward them. Unlike most people, Greenspan recognized Peanut and said, “Peanut old boy! It’s been so long since I first met you. My but you have grown! You are so much larger than when I met you 30+ years ago! Then to Toby he said, “Are you the one that takes care of Peanut? I knew him when he was no bigger than a golf ball.”
Toby said, “Peanut is my friend. I take care of him, but I don’t think of him as a pet.” He talked with Greenspan for a bit, and Greenspan left to head back to Georgetown.
The Next Day
Toby might have been unusual, but he got his Congressman to have a staff member give him a tour of the US Treasury Building. Peanut came along. Toby was amazed at all of the portraits of all of the Treasury Secretaries, and how male fashion changed over 200+ years. Toward the end of the tour, Toby asked, “So where do they store the government debt?”
The congressional staffer blinked, and said “Huh?”
Toby said, “The government debt. I’ve heard it’s big. If something is big, I want to see it, to see how big it is.”
The congressional staffer mumbled, and said, “I’m sorry, but the tour is over. Have a nice day.”
Toby smiled, but he felt like he was let down. Peanut didn’t care. He was with Toby, and he was happy.