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Funny Money: Telecom Mating Rituals

Telefonica puts the moves on KPN. Plus, Americans stop buying SUVs while Microsoft secures itself.

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.

Sun Microsystems

(SUNW) - Get Free Report



(GOOG) - Get Free Report

announced a partnership this week. The sun -- the actual sun -- promises not to expand and engulf the earth in a ball of fire, and Google agrees to the same.


(AAPL) - Get Free Report

hinted that it may launch a new iPod with video-playing abilities. It will plug directly into your ears, eyes and wallet.



, producer of desktop printers, announced lower earnings because of slow reaction to price cuts. They would have reacted more quickly, but there was a paper jam, they ran out of toner, some labels got misprinted...



(MSFT) - Get Free Report

is introducing security programs for Windows computer. Microsoft products being policed by Microsoft products? I thought that type of protection racket went out of style with Zoot Suits and Al Capone.

In other high-tech developments this week, Philadelphia announced plans to become the nation's first wireless city. Oddly enough, telecom companies, which would otherwise make millions, are opposed to the idea. Said a


(CMCSA) - Get Free Report

spokesman, "We continue to believe that it is inappropriate to use public money to ... indirectly subsidize select providers." The oil, gas, lumber, auto and Iraqi reconstruction industries all suppressed a laugh.

The news that Spain's


(TEF) - Get Free Report

had "made overtures" to


of the Netherlands in recent weeks made me wonder how phone companies "make overtures." Do they call corporate offices, but hang up? Pass notes in deregulation class? If they're not interested, do they give out fake numbers? How do they handle rejection? "We have a bad connection. I didn't say I wanted a joint venture, I said I 'm doing needlepoint and have dentures."

Elsewhere in wheeling and dealing, Donald Trump announced plans to build hotels and condos in the United Arab Emirates. Hmm, Trump in the UAE ... does the Middle East really need another reason to hate us?



, the auto-parts supplier, was accused in a lawsuit of engaging in a series of sham sales. Hey, at least they were selling something. The company has threatened to file for bankruptcy unless


(GM) - Get Free Report

and the UAW agree to a buyout. GM is considering it because, Delphi is losing money, and that really fits into their core competency.

Case in point: GM announced a sale of its stake in Fuji

at a significant loss.

Fuji owns Subaru, which is a profitable, efficient-car company. Said a fictitious GM spokesman: "That's just not what we do."


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announced it will return to offering rebates for its 2006 vehicles. Now we'll see how good our education system is. Will consumers really think paying $40,000 to get back $2,000 is better than paying $37,000? I guess yes. But I'm an optimist.

Speaking of eternal optimists, President Bush announced that he might look outside the traditional candidates to succeed Alan Greenspan at the

Federal Reserve

. Considering the experience and qualifications of former FEMA head Michael Brown (among other recent Presidential appointees), expect the list of replacements to include his pet fish, the Cookie Monster and John Bolton.

In other political news, the Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman promoted energy conservation this week and, right on cue, September saw reduced demand for SUVs. Apparently, fewer people took advantage of the "employee pricing" incentives, since being treated like an employee now means getting fired without having pension and health care benefits. Still, it's almost as if Bodman has some sort of "magical" ability to go back in time and control the spending habits of American consumers still reeling from prices at the pump.

Admittedly, with calls for conservation and high oil prices, it's not an ideal time to sell gas guzzlers. The industry should just wait until Americans forget about that, which should be... Wait! Is

Desperate Housewives

on? Katie and Tom are having a baby? Are you


finish that? I'm sorry...what were we talking about?

Oh, right, SUVs. Without them, I guess we'll have to find another way to compensate for our shortcomings (in bed).

Speaking of which, my spies tell me that earnings at

Limited Brands


will suffer because sales at its Victoria's Secret unit were below expectations. Luckily, the numbers are all that's drooping. (And, frankly, I'd like a closer look at those "figures.")

In other news,


(CLX) - Get Free Report

blamed lower profits on Katrina. Clorox? You know what, I was in New Orleans and Mississippi before the hurricanes, and they weren't using that much cleaning supply, OK?


Conde Nast

extended its new

Men's Vogue

publication, because if there's anything we need in this time of strife, it's more metrosexuals.

Forgive me if I seem not to enjoy the enormous efforts we spend on trivial matters, but, when -- at a time of war -- subways are threatened and homes flooded, I don't find meaning in buying fancy toys. Me, I still find meaning in naps, ice cream and Bugs Bunny cartoons. Then again, I have the maturity level of a seven-year old.

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.