Mailing It In

A word on whether the Mouth and JJC really don't get along. Plus, about that mask.
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Letters. I Get Letters.

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. -- And today we dip into the mail bag.

It sure seems like you're trashed when you write your column. Am I right?

Homer:

OK, brain. You don't like me, and I don't like you, but let's get through this thing and then I can continue killing you with beer.

Homer's Brain:

It's a deal!

You seem like a grumpy old man. How old are you?

I am grumpy only when it comes to the (economic forecasting) profession and the increasing number of disingenuous people it houses. Otherwise my disposition is as sunny as that of a one

Martin Prince

. How old maturitywise? About 14. How old in people years? The Invisibility Clause in my contract prevents me from saying.

Why should I listen to you? I mean what makes you smarter than the other people doing what you're doing?

Uhh ... nothing. I am by no means exceptionally bright. I look closely at economic relationships past. I look closely at economic numbers present. Then I smother both of them in common sense to make a decent guess at economic likelihoods future. Lots of times it works out. Other times it doesn't.

Anybody (in all seriousness) can do what I do.

Do you really hate Cramer? Or are those arguments just staged?

Uhh ... why in the world would I hate the guy who made me (paper) rich? Seriously: The violent nature of our professional ... disagreements ... is very real indeed. It is the natural product of two ultrapassionate hotheads being in the same URL. But I do not personally "hate" Cramer. I rather like (and respect) him and he rather likes (and respects) me. And he will tell you precisely the same thing.

The only reason I really fight with Cramer is that he lets me mash with him when we make up. Betty Everett got it right in the

Shoop Shoop

song: It's in his kiss.

Do you write your columns in advance? Where's the material come from?

Every column is day-of fresh. I have no choice on the days when important government economic releases hit (because I have to enter the numbers into spreadsheets before I can write about them). On other days I just wake hoping that I will hear something on television or read something in a paper that provokes a hostile reaction. The digging begins then.

What's with those stupid polls?

The polls provide the recommended daily allowance of Portuguese humor (so stay out of

Portugal

if you hate them). Seriously: The polls are meant as a constant reminder to not take me (or the column) too seriously. I take myself with less than an ounce of seriousness; the people who know me well take me even less seriously than that.

The polls are all about keeping things in perspective.

Why the mask? Why not a photo?

I have been asking

Kansas

to post my picture since I got here. His response is always the same.

Look. You ought to consider yourself exceptionally fortunate that we print every stupid rant that comes out of your fat pie-hole. So you're wise to leave it at that. And trust me. No one wants to see your ugly mug anyway.

Write him (

dkansas@thestreet.com) with further questions.

Are you trashed right now?

There is something about a Martini

Ere the dining and dancing begin

And to tell you the truth

It is not the vermouth

I think that perhaps it's the gin.

Side Dish

No column tomorrow. Wading into the sea of slack-jaws that is

Atlanta

to (a) scream at

Braves

pitchers and (b) pelt

Barbarella

with peanuts. The goal is to get kicked out of the

Turner

playground and to make a big scene doing it.

Back with a recap of adventures next week.