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Funny Money: Grasping the Unthinkable

Toyota contemplates the future. Plus, Rupert, Dick, 'Wolfy', Conrad and much more Mother's Day mirth.

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.

Minority stakeholders in

Dow Jones

said a sale to Rupert Murdoch would ruin the company, adding: "We feel very strongly about that, and will continue to feel strongly, until we're given a couple hundred more million."

Meanwhile,

News Corp.

is looking to buy Photobucket. Hmmm, online pictures, MySpace, Fox News, Dow Jones... That Rupert Murdoch guy may make something of himself after all.

Elsewhere in M&A land,

Alcoa

made a hostile bid for

Alcan

. How hostile? Neighbors overheard Alcoa screaming, "Listen to me, young man, you

will

change the last two letters of your name, if it's the last thing you do! So help me!"

Airline Partners Australia's

bid for

Qantas Airways

failed when regulators refused to make an exception to the "U after Q" requirement. I think

Qwest

would be a better fit, since it understands the corporate culture. (Or "cltre," as they call it).

Carl Icahn failed in his bid to get a seat on

Motorola's

board. Then he scurried, cackling, back to his underground lair to feed the Frankenstock monster brains from more compliant vulnerable companies.

Sun Microsystems

and

IBM

are joining forces to create new high-end servers. One glitch: The server, named HAL, keeps saying, "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that."

Sun also announced plans for a high-tech Web phone.

But but but

... I thought only

Apple

made trendy products? Me and my too-cool-for-school friends have been waiting six months to spend $500 on an iPhone just to feel better than everyone else... This can't be!

In other tech news,

Research In Motion

will introduce new BlackBerrys. Service interruptions and patent lawsuits are now standard!

Chevron

acknowledged kickbacks were paid to Saddam Hussein via an old UN program. Well, alright, now that we got that admission, the war was worth it! It's over everyone, pack up your bags, let's go home.

The top official overseeing Gulf of Mexico drilling resigned to "spend more time with my family," which is a colloquialism for "deposit payments from the big oil and gas companies."

TheStreet Recommends

GlaxoSmithKline

is trying responsible marketing for its upcoming diet pill, Alli. The company will say weight loss requires exercise, dedication, and "downing as many diet pills as Anna Nicole, minus one."

The energy drink "Cocaine" was pulled from stores after complaints about its name. The company said it would re-release the beverage as either "Finger-Scrub Your Teeth," "Tuesday Night Investment Banker," or "Crystal Meth."

Regulators say a second chemical may have been added to tainted pet food by a Chinese company seeking larger profits. By killing its customers? I don't quite grasp that business model.

In other news I can't grasp:

Toyota

-- even though it had a year of record profit -- said a slight slowdown in growth was temporary and that the company's "planting the seeds" for future growth. Okay, I've been following the American auto industry, so I'm a little lost. What's this "profit" you speak of? And planning for the future? What are you, some kind of wacko? That's crazy talk. Check your meds. That just don't fly.

How the Mighty Have Fallen

The White House pressed the World Bank to give Paul Wolfowitz more time to defend himself. I've heard of "running out the clock," but never with two years left in the game and down by three scores.

Amaranth Advisors

, the hedge fund which lost $6 billion, agreed to a $716,000 fine. Let's see if my math is correct: 716,000 is to 6 billion as "slap on the wrist" is to "destroying all life in the universe." Seems fair.

Former

Dow Chemical

officials sued the company for defamation, and the company countersued. The court pleading reads, "In Re: Dow Chemical Firings, Respondent hereby invokes the doctrine of 'No, I'm not a jerk. You're a jerk.' See, Rosie v. Donald, 07 NY 345."

Dick Grasso won an intermediate ruling over his $190 million pay package from the

NYSE

. Look, people, he was just trying to make sure that the non-profit company didn't have any profit laying around to get it into trouble. Why is it so hard to see his selflessness?

Speaking of selfless: At Conrad Black's trial, former partner Dave Radler testified that they conspired to divert millions. On cross-exam, Black's attorney said, "Shut up shut up shut up!" Actually he accused the witness of being untrustworthy. "Isn't it true, Mr. Radler, that your pants are, in fact, on fire?"

Radler claimed he never made any decisions without talking to Black. Of course, he talked in pig Latin, so Black may not have understood, "Oo-day, ou-yay, ant-way, oo-tay, ommit-cay, aud-fray."

The Fortune Brands unit which makes Jim Beam announced that it would keep advertising away from children. Pundits felt the promise was somewhat hollow, since it was made during an episode of

Blue's Clues

.

In other TV news,

HBO's

Chairman Chris Albrecht resigned after being caught in a drunken altercation in Vegas. Turns out, it's just brilliant marketing for the new

Entourage

spinoff,

Executive Dumbasses.

Verizon's

decision to end its sponsorship with a singer has sent a chill through pop music. "Wait... If we can't be corporate stoolies, what can we do? Our product has no intrinsic value, no artistic merit, we are merely cubicle warriors in leather pants! Oh, how I weep for my lost soul." At least that's what I heard.

As more large companies are suffering from the subprime lending collapse, I can't help but think: "Hey, poor people really do have economic power. Sure, they have to band together to default on thousands of loans, but still, that'll show the man who's boss!" (Seriously, I can't help but think that. All the time. Always in my head, like a bad song. I can't sleep. Someone help me. Please).

Finally,

Lazard

said that first-quarter profit rose 5%. Also, Lazard Principal Aubrey Barth is marrying my cousin Meredith Landers this weekend. Congrats, welcome to the family, and -- until I get a raise -- consider this your wedding present.

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

JeffKreisler.com

) is an accomplished comedian, writer, producer and person. He's the winner of the 2006 Bill Hicks Spirit Award for Thought Provoking Comedy, stars in the "Comedy Against Evil" tour, and is writing "Get Rich Cheating," a parody of corporate crime, for Prentice Hall Press. Jeff performs at clubs and colleges all over the known galaxy and has been featured at the Edinburgh Fringe, Freedom Cinema, and San Francisco Comedy Festivals. He 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, and played college football. After extended stops in cities like San Francisco, Boston, and D.C., Jeff now lives in New York City from whence he is available for birthdays, circumcisions and bachelorette parties. Kreisler appreciates your feedback;

click here

to send him an email.