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Funny Money: Cry Me a River of Petroleum

Lee Raymond's retirement requires high oil prices. Plus the latest hijinks from Wal-Mart, United Health, Mickey D's and more.

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.

A World Bank report said that Russia is relying too heavily on oil exports and allowing its manufacturing sector to wither. Just like America, except change "oil exports" to "oil imports" and change "wither" to "go overseas."

In a related story, oil prices shot up to more than $75 per barrel this week because of trouble from Iran and elsewhere. If only I could power my car on worry. Meanwhile, rising prices of energy, shelter, and clothing pushed inflation higher in March, as consumers foolishly focused on these frivolous items, while failing to notice the 2-for-1 deals on iPod minis and PSPs.

Hey, crude prices have to be high; that $144,000 per day deal for

Exxon Mobil's

CEO isn't going to pay for itself. And you think Dubai's indoor ski slope just appeared out of nowhere? Come on, America. We need to come together and sacrifice. Think of the children ... the little oily children.

In other gross overcompensation news, longtime


head Sanford I. Weill retired this week after telling investors he wanted to spend more time just being a "regular old white guy with billions of dollars."



shareholders voted to cap future severance payments for execs, and the CEO of

United Health

asked his board to stop awarding new stock options. Wow. Greed getting got. The news of these greed-controlling events was delivered by a banner pulled by two flying pigs.

In other corner-office developments,


CEO Jack Schuessler retired after 30 years at the company, 28 of which were spent saying, "No, I'm not Dave Thomas."


named Jeff Clark CEO of its Internet travel business, after spending hours online looking for a better deal. The company could've saved even more by booking the CEO and a rental car together.

Meanwhile, a former

Ben & Jerry's

exec was imprisoned for embezzling nearly $300,000 from the company. Regulators were tipped off by the ice cream maker's new flavors: Low Fat Cookies & I'm Embezzling, Chunky Monkey Done Bad, and Walnut Marshmallow Thievery.

To watch Jeff Kreisler's video take of this column, click here


Jack Utsick, the nation's third-largest event promoter, was charged with running a huge Ponzi scheme, which explains why my "Princes of Unfunny Comedy Tour" lost $13 million.

On the legal front this week, three former


execs were sued by the


for hiding expenses, overstating earnings, and ruining my relationship with Snoopy.

In South Korea,


agreed to donate 1 trillion won as part of a corruption scandal, and

Lone Star

apologized for embezzlement. $1 trillion won is about $1 billion dollars, and, apparently three Texas apologies are valued at 17 "Oops."

During Jeffrey Skilling's


cross-examination by prosecutor Sean Berkowitz (a.k.a. "Nephew of Sam") it was revealed that Skilling juggled a wife and a mistress. This means his "I quit to spend time with my family" story is either less plausible or a lot more kinky.

Fast, Cheap and Dee-lish

In corporate news this week,


upset major suppliers with plans to buy less merchandise, in what analysts are calling a bold "take my ball and go home" strategy.

Berkshire Hathaway

bought Russell Athletic in an attempt to bridge the cultural divide between Jimmy's folksy island rhythms and Simmons' hip-hop empire.

The IRS is seeking $1 billion in extra taxes from


, maker of anti-virus software. Wait, I'm sorry, computer error. Looks like the IRS is going to


Symantec $1 billion ... whoops, more computer glitches, um, now they get $2 billion ... and the IRS has to cluck like a chicken. Seems odd, but that's what this email attachment said.

American Airlines

is planning to reduce its fleet, meaning existing flights will be much more crowded and uncomfortable. Citizens of this country, I am counting on you. Please get fatter so airline seats get wider.

You can do it!!

In a related development,


"dollar menu" is being criticized for increasing the risk of obesity, even though the company now also offers a 99-cent insulin injection.

Critics say that the chain's marketing to Hispanics and blacks is a "recipe for disaster." The rest of the recipe: Take one part misinformation and poverty, strain all the excess education and health care, heat over economic unrest until boiling, and,


Disaster a la Big Mac ... now if we can just get hospitals to offer dollar menus for their items.

Even at $1, double cheeseburgers bring in more revenue than salads ... hmm, wonder why. "With those mind-control microchips in there, they practically sell themselves. Give in to your leader."

On a similar note,


, China's largest PC maker, will buy $1.2 billion of


Windows software, prompting Bill Gates to rise from a pool of molten lava and declare: "So it begins."

On the earnings front this week,


profits fell 22%, so the company changed its name from Yahoo! to LookOut!


first-quarter sales increased 11% as women the world over tried to hide their spiritual emptiness behind a mask of beauty designed to please men that don't respect them because we don't respect ourselves enough to confront the inner darkness of our imminent demise and instead insist on either plummeting the world into power hungry ethno-religious conflict or withdrawing into self-indulgent superficial ignorance.

Now I know why they invented waterproof eyeliner.

J.P. Morgan Chase's

first-quarter profit rose 36%. Now you get charged $2 every time you even


of another bank's ATM.




General Dynamics


United Technologies

reported huge quarterly profits this week. I'll say it again:

War! Good God! What is it good for? Defense contractors.

A graduate of Princeton, Virginia Law School, and the fictitious College of Asparagus Lovers, Jeff Kreisler ( 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.