As president of TD Bank, I manage $1.7 trillion in assets, but the only thing that brings me joy is our little plastic pens. Cash is a social construct, but little green pens that say “TD Bank” on them are real, and they’re the only things that matter to me anymore. Stepping back from banking and focusing on pen-making is the only path that makes sense.
Why pens? Well, the inclusion of complimentary pens in our banks was always meant to emphasize the dichotomy between money and pure artistic expression. At least, that’s how I always viewed it. Some stuffier execs may have thought they were there to sign deposit slips. Financial services were never what the bank was really about, though.
Mortgages, checking accounts, and overdraft fees paid the bills, but they didn’t satisfy me. There was a small, narrow hole in my heart, and this time it wasn’t a congenital defect — it was a yearning for pens. My pen-lust, unfortunately, led to neglect for our core business. Leaks convexed the ceilings, sinkholes swiss-cheesed the parking lots, and mortgages were auctioned off to Russian oligarchs in exchange for high-end stationery.
Ultimately, it made sense not to half-ass the banking business and instead put our energy into what pays real dividends. You can do anything with a good pen — draw little landscapes, write letters to your loved ones, perform an improvised tracheotomy — anything but waste its infinite possibilities on bureaucratic form-filling. You can do more with pens than with money when you think about it.
Speaking of money, I want to assure you that your money’s not gone; it’s just pens. You can still expect the same customer service you expect from TD in all pen-related matters. Please don’t come into a local branch asking for “your money,” we’re in the pen business now. Would you run into a Staples and demand $2,000? You’d look like a fool.
If you had a mortgage with TD (formerly known as) Bank, that will still be honored. Our new policy will convert all dens and guest bedrooms into pen storage. Prepare to consolidate your children and pets into one room and keep them there as much as possible. This will generate more pen space and keep your grimy seed away from our pens.
All this extra pen storage will allow us to totally redesign our local branches. The sterile, neutered design of a bank branch does not promote pen purchasing. The muted colors and kitschy art don’t have the severity that pen sales demand. Pens are a wild, sexy business. That’s why all TD Banks will be bombed out and left as austere metal structures.
In the dead of night, customers can crawl down into the crater and shop in the ashes of our institution like pen-starved centipedes. Think art installation meets illegal rave meets pens. When a customer buys a TD pen, they will say: “I am a living, virile creature. This pen is capable of creating great art or murdering my enemies. Thank you, TD, for taking my money, my home, and my dignity in exchange for pens.”