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.

Early this week, The Year rose 1 point, or 0.05%, to 2007, which was in line with expectations. Some analysts remain bullish, though, predicting it will increase again sometime this spring. Said one Morgan Stanley banker: "The unstoppable march of time is the next Google."

Speaking of Google, a tech-head who failed in an online movie business sued Apple and Google over the same. "Oh yeah, and Levi's, I also invented pants."

Apple is also being sued for the monopolistic practices of iTunes and iPods. Hey, plaintiff, what's the big deal? You don't like iTunes, you can always listen to records, though they only play with iPhonographs.

In other tech/legal developments, South Korea is investigating Qualcomm's practices. In response, Qualcomm released its new handheld, wireless, giving-missiles-to-North-Korea technology.

Elsewhere, Home Depot's CEO Robert Nardelli was given the boot with an impressive $210 million severance package. Imagine what he'd be worth if he pitched left-handed. I must ask, why the outrage? It's not like they were using that money to pay for knowledgeable staff.

Nardelli's severance includes cash, stock, a pension, and $10 million just to keep him from laughing at you.

The AT&T- BellSouth merger was finally approved, so there'll soon be just one phone company again, Ma Bell, who, according to legend, has "got the ill communication." (Pop culture from my youth. I trust you can relate.)

Amgen will buy a heart drug option. Since the drug's benefits are unknown, I expect Johnson & Johnson and Boston Scientific to somehow be involved in an irrational bidding war.

Starbucks joined the list of those removing trans fats from its stores. Luckily, trans fats can fall back on their day job: dressing up like overweight women. Trans... Fats... Hello? Is this thing on?

Geico struck a deal with the Port Authority to "sponsor" the George Washington Bridge. Commercializing the name of our first president: so easy a caveman could do it. But there is good news: I saved a bunch of money by switching to EZPass. Oh look, a talking lizard!

Samsung plans to release a huge, 60-inch plasma TV so that, no matter what's on, you cannot watch your children grow.

Looking ahead, the Detroit auto show opens next week with a special "Future of American Automakers" exhibit: a dirty guy selling pencils from a tin cup.

In related news, Ford is leaving the minivan market, because "Now that the American population is aging, why would we want to sell a vehicle for an older demographic? That would, like, make us money. We don't do that."

GM's sales fell for the seventh straight year. Hey, at least it's being consistent.

The plan to save the auto industry: one car, $100 billion, daring Donald Trump to buy it.

In honor of The Wall Street Journal's new design, my jokes are now three inches funnier.

Various & Sundry

Democrats assumed control of Congress this week and promptly asked lobbyists to switch to direct deposit.

In San Francisco, new legislation brought the minimum wage to $9.14 an hour. Huh, I guess despite their smugness, they really are better than us. Dangit.

Power Plant Entertainment has sued the Seminole Tribe and Hard Rock Cafe for bid-rigging last month's sale. A word of advice to my Native American friends: In any settlement, do not accept blankets from Power.

Ian Morris of HSBC said that the Fed will cut interest rates five times this year, then he got in his DeLorean, hit 88 mph and 1.21 gigawatts and went back to save his kids... in the future.

Ben Bernanke hinted that the Fed may actually raise rates to fight inflation, adding, "See honey, I told you I'm relevant."

Royal Capital Corp. acquired Shoney's LLC, marking the first time "Royal" and "Shoney's" have been in the same sentence without being followed by the phrase "home fries."

John Malone is trying to buy Rainbow Media from the Dolan family. In response, Rainbow's Women's Entertainment Network released a giant Bridezilla to battle Malone over downtown Tokyo.

The NYSE lost about $39 billion worth of listings last year, but plans to make up for them by putting up a video on YouTube.

Enron's former chief accounting officer, Richard Causey, began a 5 1/2-year sentence. Like sands through the hourglass, these are the executives going to jail.

Fox cancelled both The O.C. and Geraldo at Large. Is nothing sacred? What about the children? The empty-headed, easily distracted children who need to stay dumb? What will you say to them, Fox? Oh yeah, American Idol.

The Philadelphia Inquirer began laying off newsroom staff and promptly blamed Terrell Owens. Luckily, Jeff Garcia can also report this news.

The New York Times ran a large article on the booming air freshener business. I dunno, maybe if we didn't cut down millions of pine trees every December they could filter our air... as intended. Sincerely, Mr. Grinch.

A federal judge dismissed charges of selling illegal tax shelters against KPMG once the firm agreed to do his taxes.

Homeland Security will require background checks for 750,000 port workers. Among the questions to be asked at local docks: "Do you know a guy?" Answers: a.) Yeah, I knows one. b.) You gotta ask The Boss. c.) Death to America.

The Union of Concerned Citizens has accused Exxon Mobil of misleading the public. The company responded by starting a website: TheUnionOfConcernedCitizensKilledYourPuppy.com.

My use of the colon-pause technique this week: excessive.
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.

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