BAGWAN FINDS TONTINE IN SOCK DRAWER……curmudgeon corner confused

Bagwan's Format
Bagwan’s Format

Good Morning Antediluvian Hordes,

The Bagwan has again spoken.  He is actually paid for his observations so you’d be well served to finish this mythomane.  The fact he found copious notes in his sock drawer is good enough for me, so please pay attention:

I have a habit of using cocktail napkins to record history. History that is, as it occurs in places which have cocktail napkins. The scribbling and hieroglyphics on these napkins usually are a reminder of a brilliant idea or a bet or sometimes my numbers for an upcoming football pool.   Occasionally I will find a blank napkin in my files which would indicate some confusion on my part. Perhaps I blew my nose on the one with the bet and inadvertently put the blank in my pocket — which is probably better than the opposite.

Most of these bets are about very trivial matters. Like JJ betting me that Mansfield Ave. does not run through from Sheridan Blvd to Pierce, but it does. Or Zuki betting me that Seattle gets more annual rainfall than New York City — not true. I would brag about how often I am right, but I deserve no credit. I simply sit there listening to their absurd claims until I hear one I know for a fact is wrong. You would think they would catch on, but so far so good.

I was rearranging the napkin file the other night when I made an interesting discovery. It seems that many years ago one Saturday afternoon while sitting at Curmudgeon Corner in Deweys we formed a tontine and recorded the terms on a cocktail napkin. Finding this “document” seemed especially relevant since we have just lost two more members in the past month.

Let me back up for a minute in case some of you are not familiar with how a tontine works. There are many varieties but the basic idea is that a group of people pool assets and then at some point start receiving an annuity which increases as subscribers die until the last survivor receives the whole amount.

Now the key word in that last paragraph was “assets.” In a normal tontine “assets” would be cash or something that could be readily turned into cash like stocks, bonds or real estate. For those of you who have followed the history of Curmudgeon Corner you can well imagine that assets in this case have a completely different meaning.

The napkin which formed the tontine referred to an Addendum where the various assets were to be listed. Fortunately I was able to find 3 additional napkins and with the help of an Egyptian have been able to decipher some of the contributions.

  • Griz is contributing his share of the Robin Williams estate.
  • Madcow is sharing the (net) proceeds from a lawn sale he held this past summer.
  • Dv Ant is contributing a scatological slide collection he has piled up over the years.
  • Cush says he will give that soiled swatch from the underwear Jimmy Hoffa was wearing on the day he disappeared.
  • JJ is putting in his one-third share of the Vietnamese massage parlor on Federal.
  • Given his generous nature it is not surprising that Zuki has agreed to make multiple contributions: his ceramic bricks, his losing Lotto tickets, his Hawaiian shirt collection, his tab down at the IRS and best of all, his sunny disposition.

Makes you wonder if the last man standing is really the winner.


  • zuki

    After your talk of cash value and assets I made an inquiry to Morty Lipshitz the tontine’s fund manager/accountant as to its total value. In Morty’s sarcastic tone he said, “Such a deal! The condom collection has taken it from a bucket of popcorn to a lotto ticket!…oy vey”

  • zuki

    In the Bagster’s inimitable style, his unwillingness to shine the light of truth on himself is testament to his humility as well as his magnanimity. He’d never speak of his own contribution to the tontine, so in spite of his reluctance I feel obligated to reveal his most generous “asset” tossed into the pot. Without hesitation our Baggy chipped in his priceless collection of used condoms. They’re his way of ‘bookmarking’ the famous people he had on his most treasured name dropping list!

    • bagwan1

      I would like to point out that to this point the auction of my collection and JJ’s net operating profit interest (NOPI) in the massage parlor are the only two “assets” which have produced any cash.
      Although we have had some nibbles on the shirt Zuki is modeling in this picture.