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.)

To Infinity ... For Less

JetBlue ( JBLU) announced fares as low as $25 on new routes from New York to Boston. JetBlue said: "Look, have you seen the news? We don't even need functioning landing gear. We just love to fly. We're crazy! In fact, 25 bucks too much for ya? Here, take 10 bucks and just get on. We'll fly you to... I dunno, Graceland? And we'll dress like Elvis? Is that cool?"

Actually, in a real quote, a JetBlue spokeswoman said the carrier is "liberat(ing) the route with low fares." Again, I love JetBlue -- use it all the time. But can we ease up on the revolutionary language here? Low airfare, that's not liberating. Going commando on a hot summer day? Now you're talking.

In response to JetBlue's fares, Delta and USAir cut their rates for the same route, then huddled together and cried. Northwest actually proposed matching the $25 fares with $25 pensions.

In other transportation-companies-teetering-on-the-brink-of-extinction developments, Amtrak has inched closer to breaking off their Northeast Corridor service into a separate entity in hopes of giving America not one, but two, sucky rail companies. That's actually the name they'll use. "Sucky Rail Co., LLC."

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?)

Nice Call, Ref

The head of Refco ( RFX) is in trouble with the SEC for allegedly misappropriating $430 million. Said the exec, Phillip Bennet: "Oh, that $430 million? I have it somewhere. Which pocket is that in. ... Hmm, I think it's my other pants, but they're at the dry cleaner. ... I'll get you the money next week. C'mon man, you know I'm good for it."

A tax-advisory commission recommended cutting deductions for mortgage interest and employer-provided health insurance, to ensure that the new bankruptcy laws, breakdown of unions and overall redistribution of wealth have their intended affect: To spread freedom.

Krispy Kreme ( KKD) shares fell to an all-time low after heavy trading Wednesday. The chain didn't know what prompted the selloff, which to these ears sounds like "there's an insider trading scandal coming." Nice to see Martha Stewart back, isn't it?

Monsanto ( MON), maker of genetically engineered seeds, announced a profit loss because one of its prized creations ran off to star in the Off-Broadway production of "Little Shop of Horrors."

Finally, McDonald's ( MCD) expects its third-quarter profits to beat Wall Street estimates, proving, once again, that yes, we would like fries with that.
A graduate of Princeton, Virginia Law School, and the fictitious College of Asparagus Lovers, Jeff Kreisler (www.JeffKreisler.com) 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.

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