Funny Money: Alert! Level 3 Alert!

Harrowing tales of McGuire, Lay, Rosneft, Gates, Bernanke, the Geico lizard and other creatures too horrid to mention here.
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Editor's Note: Welcome to "Funny Money," a feature written by New York-based comedian Jeff Kreisler. Lest there be any confusion, please note that this column is a work of satire and intended for entertainment purposes only. Enjoy the weekend.

Early in the week, stocks fell because

CNBC

reported remarks attributed to Fed Chief Ben Bernanke. Isn't it great that our economy can be crippled by a game of telephone?

We're trillions in debt! ... But I didn't say 'Simon Says.'

In other mental illness-based business news, oil prices treated us like kittens chasing a mouse-on-a-string. Iran is bad!

Zig.

Bolivia!

Zag.

$100 Rebates!

Zoom.

Found extra oil in the sofa!

Shazam.

I think I'm going to buy one barrel of oil, offer to sell it, then start acting unstable, just to drive the price up.

Watch out, I'm gonna quit law school to be a comedian!

$8 million a barrel.

In a related story, the state-owned Russian oil company

Rosneft

doesn't need to raise as much capital as it initially thought, since there's been a huge increase in the value of despair.

Big oil companies have begun an aggressive PR campaign to gain the public's trust. The new motto?

Oil: Suck it!

In a related story,

Napster

has begun offering free music again. Downloading music is

sooooo

2005. The future is having the mush in your brain placed in a blender and served directly to

Exxon Mobil

. Come on, Napster, wake up! (See, I

told

you it was related.)

Meanwhile,

Apple

extended contracts with the music industry to sell songs for 99 cents on iTunes. So I guess it's not video, but downloading, that actually killed the radio store. Interesting note: With the songs costing only 99 cents, Richard Pryor will posthumously receive the left-over pennies from Lex Luthor.

In other technology news, dorks of the world unite! Your tether to the office is being threatened. Another company is suing

Research in Motion

over its BlackBerry. Like the fruit for which it's named, BlackBerry promises to be sweet and delicious, but keeps getting stains on my shirt.

Elsewhere,

Microsoft

announced a venture to create original entertainment programming for the web. Here's an idea: Mild-mannered innovator becomes megalomaniac bent on ruling the world through technology; suave comedian/online columnist saves the day, gets the girl(s), takes a nap.

In other megalomania news,

UnitedHealth's

CEO, Dr. William W. McGuire, apologized for getting $1.6 billion in stock options, noting that he probably shouldn't have let anyone know. As my editor says, better to apologize than ask permission.

Speaking of not even having the decency to pretend to be sorry, Ken Lay is scum. Even as Enron was losing jillions, he kept spending lavishly. Said Lay, "It's the type of lifestyle that's difficult to turn on and off like a spigot," after which a pack of former Enron employees devoured his rancid flesh. You know what he should've splurged on? Soul implant surgery.

An accountant's testimony that what Enron did was perfectly normal was interrupted when his wooden nose knocked down a court reporter.

In other legal news, a federal judge refused to dismiss charges against 18 former

KPMG

employees, severely threatening their chance of acquittal and his chance of illegally sheltering his taxes -- again.

Geico

settled claims against a New York company that had parodied the famous Gecko spokescreature being run over. Hey, they're just doing the people's work. Stupid lizard.

Diplomacy in Action

Alert! Alert!

TelCove

is being acquired by

Level 3 Communications!

We are at Level 3, people! This is not a drill! To the TelCove. Seal the entry! Notify the President! Put out the snacks! Hurry!

The chairman of

Aramark

, vending-services provider to ballparks, made a $5.8 billion offer to take the company private, prompting the response, "You want fries with that?" Hey, they're only 12 bucks.

In other M&A news, a group of investors made a $3.2 billion offer to buy the Atlantis casino-resort, on the condition that they find the mysterious submerged sea-city. Among the investors: Jason and the Argonauts, Santa Claus, and Steve the Unicorn.

Time Warner

did pretty well in the first quarter, in part by selling its book group. Upon learning the news, millions of Americans asked, "Time Warner's

what

group? What is this wizardry you speak of? Books? I know not of books."

Hollinger International

, publisher of the

Chicago Sun-Times

will change its name, in a move commonly known as "rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic."

Burger King

may offer an IPO just to let you own what kills you.

Steve Madden's

first-quarter profits rose because the models in its ads scared people into buying.

Ameriquest

shut most of the company; 3800 employees were fired while surrounded by security guards.

What, no blindfold and last cigarette?

Former CEO Roland Arnall will become the next ambassador to the Netherlands. Good tactics, Mr. Ambassador. Very smooth. You'll represent America well overseas.

Speaking of overseas, the Australian central bank raised interests rates, sending their markets spiraling -- but in the opposite direction.

The food industry says it needs to improve the way it markets to children. A wise man probably never said, "Judge a man not by the jingle of his product, but by the content of his character." Or was it, "Snap into a Slim Jim?"

Three large soft-drink companies agreed to pull their beverages out of public schools. Hooray! Now if we can just get some funding and ideas put back

into

the schools, we'll be on the right track.

Credit Suisse's

profit rose 33% last quarter when the bank finally decided to fill the holes in its cheese.

Big immigration protests this week. Look, people, it's really simple: If immigrants are outlawed, only outlaws will have immigrants.

Requiem for a Heavyweight

No joke. Louis Rukeyser passed away this week. I can remember being a kid watching him every night with my parents -- who obviously didn't want me to be cool -- and thinking he at least made it kinda interesting. Safe passage, good sir.

A graduate of Princeton, Virginia Law School, and the fictitious College of Asparagus Lovers, Jeff Kreisler (www.JeffKreisler.com) is an accomplished comedian, writer, producer and person. In the past year, Jeff has worked with Dick Gregory, on Air America and Sirius Radio, and in the 'Comedy Against Evil' tour. He's hosted a dating show, worked on a cooking program, and developed comedies for MTV Networks. Jeff's a regular on Satire for Sanity, and was featured at the Edinburgh Fringe, Freedom Cinema, and San Francisco Comedy Festivals. He lives in New York City with his pet microphone, plays blues saxophone, speaks French and Russian, was a sports broadcaster, taught English in Russia, helped start a non-profit dedicated to at-risk youth, played college football, and is available for birthdays, circumcisions and bachelorette parties. Kreisler appreciates your feedback;

click here

to send him an email.