From Without a Stitch in Time , a Peter De Vries short story collection:

“What I’m going to do is, I’m going to declare moral bankruptcy,” I said. “I mean, we keep using the term in that sense, why not follow it through? When a man can no longer discharge his financial obligations, we let him off the hook. Why not when he can no longer meet his ethical ones? I have too many emotional creditors hounding me, I tell you! That’s all there is to it. A man who simply cannot meet all the demands made on his resources, simply cannot be expected to keep his books balanced. It’s too much. Everybody keeps talking about moral bankruptcy but nobody does anything about it. Well, I’m going to. I’m going to declare it. I’m going into receivership. I’m going to pay everybody so much on the dollar.”

“In other words, Duxbury,” she said, calling me by my last name as people affectionately do, “you want to tell your wife about us.”

“I do,” I said, “and I’ve spoken those words only once before in my life.”

When a man lurches from a strict Dutch Calvinist upbringing to a job at the The New Yorker , this is the kind of humor we should expect him to write.

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