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.

Big news in tech-land this week: Microsoft delayed the release of Windows Vista. Gosh, it might be an extra couple of months before my 2-year-old computer is completely obsolete.

At least Microsoft has learned to stop putting years into their software titles.

Meanwhile, Google launched a finance portal so it can, at least, get ad revenue while everyone watches Google's stock. Ahh, Google. Jack of all trades, master of ... one or two. You're so cute. Just like Prodigy was at your age.

Elsewhere, Oracle reported a 42% rise in profit, thanks in part to reading the entrails of a ram caught in the thicket outside Oracle's Silicon Valley shrine.

Dell will double its staff in India to 20,000. To Americans worried about job losses, the company replied, "Shoulda got a better public education system, dude."

In a related story, Wal-Mart announced plans to hire up to 150,000 workers in China, in a patriotic effort to destroy the middle class over there, too.

Speaking of which, the airline industry lost 30 million bags last year. They thought those bags held employee pensions.

Separately, General Motors offered to buy out every one of its unionized workers. At least now we know just how much, in dollars, our lives are worth. Buyouts could be as high as $140,000, which is great news for all the Indian casinos outside Flint, Mich.

I can't wait to tell my grandkids stories about how there used to be unions and workers' rights and hope for a better future and how we didn't always live under water and battle mutant oil space monsters that were controlled by a giant iPod on Mount Rushmore ... but they'd never believe me.

They probably won't believe this either: the State Department has issued a contract to CDW for 16,000 PCs made by Lenovo, which is partially owned by a Chinese government agency. No reason for concern. From what I've gathered, our government isn't competent enough to put anything worth stealing on computers. Heck, the FBI can't even provide all their agents with email accounts. Yes, I believe our incompetence will trump our stupidity.

Speaking of which, Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff urged chemical plants to adopt plans against terrorism. Umm, they hadn't already? It's 2006, right? And you wonder why I don't feel comfortable about things? That's it. I'm moving into a lead-lined house, on a mountain top, near a stream, somewhere in Canada.

As if to prove the U.S. government has no stranglehold on stupidity, French lawmakers approved copyright legislation aimed at Apple's iPod, even though Apple gave them the iFull tower, Considering the employment riots, you'd think they'd welcome Jobs. Steve Jobs, that is. (Now that's puntastic!)

Seriously, though, this is a blatant attempt to anger that portion of the U.S. population -- tech savvy, upper-income consumers -- that hadn't bought into the anti-French jingoism. Kudos, France. Way to bring us all together.

Etc. Ad Nauseam

Profits at Williams-Sonoma jumped last quarter because they entrap soon-to-be-married couples with $80 forks. You know what, Williams-Sonoma -- if that is your real name -- forget you. I'll get my cutlery the old fashioned way: I'll steal it from Denny's.

Thomas Lee is leaving his namesake firm Thomas Lee to join his sister Sara's baking company. Nobody cooks the books like Sara Lee.

Charles Schwab (the guy) received an 83% raise, which is half of what he'd have gotten if not for those annoying ads. "We're animation, oops, no we're not, yes we are, no we're not ... how cute!" Blech.

On the other hand, the CEO of Chevron had his bonus slide 12.5% to $3.5 million. Looks like someone needs another tax break!

Speaking of energy, Russia announced plans for an oil pipeline to China. Russia and China, the two great powers that power great together.

At the same time, however, China has instituted taxes to encourage energy conservation in consumers, an idea that, as an American, I just really don't understand. I enjoy sun-tanning in March and I never liked snow anyway.

And in a story with ties to much of the aforementioned, a report saying that American companies are behind in terms of protecting the environment is the winner of this week's Duh! Award for Excellence in Financial Obviousness. Next week, the same group will tell us that dead people don't dance as well as the living. (Ah, but what about the undead? They don't dance, they boogie).

In legal news, the Wrigley company sued Hershey for infringing on a patent for "chewing gum containing physiological cooling agents" leaving open the option to copy "explosive goodness schematics" and "diabolical yum-yum-yummy-ness."

There's been a tentative settlement in a dispute involving Plavix, which is the world's second-best selling drug. The best selling drug? Television.

A judge kept alive a suit seeking millions for volunteer community leaders who ran AOL chat rooms. Ah, the good old-fashioned definition of community and volunteerism: "I want my share."

Enron's former treasurer testified this week that Ken Lay lied about the company's finances. In response, defense attorneys asked, "jurorswho'llvotetoacquitsaywhat?" The jury seemed confused and said, "what?"

Note to CEOs everywhere: If you can't do the white-collar time (i.e. golfing without a caddy), don't do the white-collar crime.

Speaking of criminal, The WB has censored itself out of fear of FCC action, proving, once again, that Big Brother has no taste. The WB? Who cares? So an obscene scene won't be seen ( Yeah, I did it) by the upwards of six people who actually watch the WB? Whoop de damn do. Nice legacy, Michael Powell.

Finally, Ben Bernanke suggested that the Fed pay more attention to global conditions, crippling the minds of government officials unfamiliar with the concept.
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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