So sorry for a lack of a morning Herb on TheStreet. Too much good info coming in, too little time to work on it. ...

Take the deal between

UAL's

( U) United Airlines and

US Airways

(U) - Get Report

. (Please!) What a joke!

Two airlines that can't quite do it quite right on their own (based on customer complaints) getting hitched. The only winner, if the deal goes through (and I stress

if

) will be

Julian Robertson

, whose patience as a US Air investor will finally (and I do mean

finally

) pay off. (And you thought value was dead. Unfortunately, the only thing dead, from the standpoint of his investors, was Julian's sense of timing!)

But won't a deal this big lead to higher ticket prices? Forget higher prices. The worry of

every

coach passenger should be seat pitch, and UAL ain't a friend of those of us in steerage. Am I right?!

Am I right?!

You betcha (three years in Minnesota and nearly 21 years married to a Minnesotan does that to you!). Every airline

but

AMR's

(AMR)

American Airlines (which I'm about to become

very

loyal to) is fighting the trend of adding a few inches between rows.

Here's

Continental

(CAL) - Get Report

, which arguably is the best of all airlines when it comes to customer care. Yet the response when I asked Continental's PR department whether CEO Gordy Bethune (a true turnaround genius) has ever endured six hours in coach was something like, "He believes passengers prefer good value." Right ... until the guy ahead of you puts his seat

all the way back!

Especially when you're in the center seat. Moooo!

Market magic: Me, a guru? As I called myself just yesterday in

this very column? It was all in jest!

Jest!

Nobody is a guru.

Nobody!

Correctly predicting the market is luck ... and the luck to be quoted at the right place at the right time saying the right thing. And remember, the Hotline is meant to be a midday break -- and a peek into what at times is my very scattered brain. (Not that you ever wanted to go there! I don't even want to go there!!)

On to the market: The market

below

my target of 3225. "Now that

Nasdaq

has corrected more than your 38% (or whatever it was)," asks Bruce Lulla, "what do you call a greater than 38% drop?" A disaster!!! (And it was 35% ... from its all-time high!) Next stop, when the market heads down again? (And it will!) I put my money on

Gary B.

, who took grief (and suffered untold anguish) for his call of 3000. He may have been early, but watch Gary B. be right! (Or

Johnny B. Goode

!)

And speaking of grief (my mind, it wanders): That's what I gave the

Palm Beach Post

yesterday for ripping off this column's reporting on the

SEC's

informal probe into

Cyber-Care

(CYBR) - Get Report

. One

Post

editor conceded, in a phone call yesterday, that indeed the paper's reporters didn't know the

Post's

policy of citing previously published reports. That's just what they did today (thank ya, guys!) in a story that discloses how wide the SEC's net is being spread. (Whoa, now the

Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

is back to reporting as if

they

discovered it. That's just what they did today! Have they no shame?!)

And tell me this: Why is it that most of the revolts from investors in companies like Cyber-Care and

Lernout & Hauspie

(LHSP)

are loaded with poor grammar? (Oh, I know the answer, but I'm not telling!) My favorite from today: "Nobody trust you no more!!" Whatever. But for those who do, stay tuned for Part 2 of The Hotline later today.

Herb Greenberg writes daily for TheStreet.com. In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, though he owns stock in TheStreet.com. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. He welcomes your feedback at

herb@thestreet.com. Greenberg also writes a monthly column for Fortune.

Mark Martinez assisted with the reporting of this column.