GRAND RAPIDS, MI—Steeling himself against brutal market conditions and an unforgiving fiscal climate, fearless local man Calvin Ordway boldly set out into the U.S. economy this week, sources close to the 32-year-old confirmed.
Clad in a dress shirt and khakis, armed with only his wits and basic computer skills, Ordway reportedly showed no hesitation as he opened his front door and strode through the breach into a bleak economic landscape where there likely exists absolutely no demand for any task he can perform or product he can create.
“Does this man have no fear of the financial ruin that almost certainly awaits him?” said economist Carol F. Weiss, describing the U.S. economy as “entirely inhospitable to humankind.” “He has ventured into a dark and treacherous place. Where he will emerge, whether he will emerge, is impossible to say. We can only hope against hope that he remains solvent long enough to make it out with his assets intact.”
“God help him,” Weiss added.
According to sources, the college-educated Ordway entered the economy despite knowing it to be almost entirely devoid of revenue streams—and knowing that while his chances of finding profit in the barren, sparse wasteland were exceedingly small, the likelihood he would lose his way and fall victim to financial exposure was quite high.
Ordway was last seen behind the wheel of a 2001 Toyota Camary with 200,000 miles on its odometer, driving in the direction of a job believed to be located in a particularly tempestuous and unpredictable economic sector.
“This poor soul has left himself at the mercy of the economy of the United States of America,” said former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt, appearing shocked and incredulous as he spoke to reporters. “Good Lord, I wouldn’t go anywhere near that place on a good day, let alone in times like these. To make it in this economy you need contacts, you need political alliances, you need to know how to game the system in your favor.”
“One false move could bankrupt him or, God forbid, something worse,” he added. “Tax codes, mortgage lenders, health insurers—if he loses his footing for even a moment, he could plunge into bottomless debt.”
Agreeing that each transaction he makes puts him at further risk and brings him closer and closer to financial oblivion, leading economists nonetheless acknowledged a grudging respect for the single-minded courage of Ordway’s “outright suicide mission.”
“He’s a damn fool, but you have to admire him,” economist Paul Krugman said. “To go straight into the belly of the beast, to willfully forsake the comfort of his home and family, to throw himself into the nightmarish heart of fiscal danger so willingly. Call him crazy if you want. The man has brass balls.”
Ordway’s wife, Louisa, meanwhile, expressed different concerns.
“I just hope he makes it back and doesn’t leave me and the children here alone,” she told reporters. “He’s a brave man. A stupid man, maybe. But a brave man, and I love him for it.”
While the motivation for Ordway’s daring trek remained uncertain, reports indicated he may have set forth on a quest for the fabled treasure of middle-class respectability said to lie hidden somewhere in the nation’s deepest economic recesses.