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.OK eggheads, explain this one to me: Apple's ( AAPL) profits quadrupled last quarter, yet its stock price actually fell. Now, I understand that's because the gains were less than expectations, but I wonder why expectations are so powerful. Mark Twain said something like, "an economist is someone who excels at explaining why their predictions were incorrect." OK, maybe it wasn't Twain, but the point is, why do we give so much power to modern-day soothsayers? Me, I don't trust anything but my lucky Captain Crunch Decoder Ring. It's red and it never lies. In other news, Apple introduced the iPod video player, also known as the "mind-sucker." Like Pavlov ringing the bell, those same analysts who were "disappointed" over Apple's earnings, gushed over its newest, life-altering product. Look, I love Apple, I'm totally a Mac man all the way -- both personally and professionally -- but do we really need a video iPod, regular iPod, iPod mini, iPod nano, those little narrow iPods without the screen (known on the Street -- no relation -- as "tech-savvy-but-poor" or iTSPs)? No, we don't. We need a sound fiscal policy. More than that, we don't need all these gadgets because we already have them. It's called our imagination. Yeah, I said it. And another thing! The nano? All these firms create whole languages around their products so it's impenetrable and exclusive, like the law and medicine. Carpal tunnel, habeas corpus, Grande Venti, hedge fund buyout blue 84 ... hut hut HIKE!! On a related note of technophobia, Yahoo! ( YHOO) started podcasting, which is either an activity by which fisherman use un-hatched aliens as bait, or another thing I have to pretend to understand. Oh yeah? Podcasting? Great. Totally. Yeah, listen, um, I'm just gonna crawl under the covers and grow old. Quickly. Meanwhile, Yahoo! and Microsoft ( MSFT) announced an instant messaging partnership while Google ( GOOG) and Comcast ( CMCSA) are trying to buy AOL. Seeing all these big companies coming together really warms the heart. Two great powers, powering great thing together. They're like the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups of telecom.
In other M&A news this week, Lincoln National ( LNC) will acquire rival Jefferson-Pilot ( JP). Jefferson and Lincoln, in order to form a more perfect union, will be located in Hamilton, a town in Washington, according to their notary, John Hancock. The merger will close in about, oh, four score and seven years. Homebuilder K.B. Homes ( KBH) has partnered with Martha Stewart Omnimedia ( MSO) to produce a line of residences that include Stewart-designed kitchens, home detention kits, pre-abused subordinates and a cupboard for Donald Trump's hair. Mattel ( MAT) consolidated all its toy units except for American Girl, which has been linked to Tom Petty for some time. (There was that brief fling with Lenny Kravitz.)
Ford ( F) is offering interest-free loans for six years in order to clear out its 2005 model SUVs. Next up: foot rubs and begging. Harley-Davidson ( HDI) had high third-quarter profits, as consumers recognized the long-term savings of motorcycles' higher gas mileage and lower life expectancy. Speaking of short life expectancies, Kirk Kerkorian increased his stake in General Motors ( GM) to nearly 10%. Concerned relatives expressed reluctant relief that the humane but controversial doctor would soon end GM's pain. "It's been so hard for us to watch GM suffer," said one aggrieved GM kin. "We're just glad it will finally be at peace." (Kerkorian, Kervorkian, what's the difference?)