Banks varied in their philosophy of interest rates, minimum
monthly payments, and so on. None of that mattered to Bud. What
mattered was what they would do to him if he got into arrears, and
so after he had allowed a decent interval to pass pretending to listen
very carefully to all this crap about interest rates, he inquired, in an offhanded way, like it was an afterthought, about their collection
policy. The banker glanced out the window like he hadn’t noticed.
The soundtrack segued into some kind of a cool jazz number
and a scene of a multicultural crew of ladies and gentlemen, not
looking much like degraded credit abusers at all, sitting around a
table assembling chunky pieces of ethnic jewelry by hand. They
were having a good time too, sipping tea and exchanging lively
banter. Sipping too much tea, to Bud’s suspicious eye, so opaque to
so many things yet so keen to the tactics of media manipulation.
They were making rather a big deal out of the tea.