Sword of Damocles

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The Devil’s Advocate


In which the curmudgeonly old sod puts the world to rights.

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“Did you know that, for a disguise, elephants paint the soles of their feet yellow, and hide upside-down in custard?”
Trouble me not with such nonsense.”
“But have you ever seen an elephant hiding upside-down in custard?”
“No —”
“SHOWS WHAT A GOOD DISGUISE IT IS.”

It may seem odd, but the old elephants-in-custard routine is the intellectual foundation for much fantastical modern credit policy — that starts with a fantastical ask — cross default in a master stock lending agreement, for example — and concludes with that half-apology, “well, it won’t hurt, will it?”