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.Stocks rose this week on an announced surplus of awesome. The surplus was led by Apple, which introduced the iPhone, prompting everyone to go completely bonkers. Relax, everyone, it's just a thing. It will take at least six months for it to become obsolete. The iPhone's big breakthrough is that it uses touch-screen technology whereby users navigate with their fingers. What about the fat Americans with huge, chubby claws? Every think about that, Apple? No? Your stuff's only good enough for thin joggers? Well prepare to be sued... As if on cue, Cisco promptly sued Apple over the iPhone's name, also claiming it owns the rights to "The Thong Song." Cisco's suit just beat NTP to the courthouse. Said NTP, "Handheld technology? That's our cup-of-litigation-tea." One analyst noted that, with the inclusion of video on the iPhone, "We are seeing the emergence of the fourth screen." Huh. I thought it was just acid-reflux. You know what I'm waiting for? The moment when I'm talking to a friend and he asks "Remember that show from the '80s?" and I say "No" and a screen drops down from his forehead to play his memories. Then I'll punch him in the spleen. At the Consumer Electronics Show one thing was clear: Electronics will consume us soon. (Luckily, we've got John Connor organizing a resistance!)
Dell's chief suggested that the industry plant trees to offset the environmental effect of their products, after which Apple introduced the iEarth. Google was ranked the best place in America to work, largely due to employee amenities like laundry, a spa, and on-site medical services. Oh, and the fact that the company controls the future. Yahoo! purchased a blogging software provider. Blogging, Yahoo? Aren't you a little late? What's next, Betamax? In less exciting news, the Detroit Auto Show was held this week. In Tokyo. Okay, that's not true, but GM did introduce a new passenger vehicle called The Hail Mary Pass. It will seat six obsolete industries, include extra despair storage, and drive directly into the sunset. Ford actually did show a car called The Interceptor. "Where design intercepts profit: We're far, far away." GE is selling its plastic units. That makes sense. In the rewrite of The Graduate, Dustin Hoffman will be told that the future of America isn't plastics, but "desserts." CVS, Caremark and Express Scripts engaged in some complex merger maneuvering that makes your drug coverage look uncomplicated. In other three-way news, Delta, Northwest and US Airways are locked in a battle to determine which company can fool the others into buying it. Elsewhere in M&A, eBay will buy StubHub. Hopefully, once together, they can form one well-spaced name.
United Surgical Partners agreed to be bought out by a private equity firm. That firm: Igor's Organ Harvesting, LLC. JP Morgan is shopping Ameriquest, a large holder of sub-prime mortgages. Offers will be considered in cash, stock, and napkin-based IOUs. Kodak will sell its medical imaging technology after being squeezed out by Apple's new iXray.
Belarus settled its oil dispute with Russia, just after the Kremlin gassed up its tanks and started calling residents of that former Soviet republic "insurgents." Gap hired Goldman Sachs to explore strategic alternatives. Strategy, ay? Now that the Gap has dressed everyone in generic blandness and co-opted pop-culture, they should launch an attack on Orange Julius from malls across America. Peace, Love, The Gap. Speaking of malls, the Mills Corporation, the REIT that owns many of them, may declare bankruptcy. But without malls, where will I be able to see today's overrated pop stars perform tomorrow? Conrad Black was accused of using Internet postings to artificially increase his company's stock and was promptly denied entry into Baseball's Hall of Fame. The former CEO of Aspen Technology was charged with illegally inflating revenues. Last July, he claimed Aspen had 10 inches of fresh powder on all its trails. Momofuku Ando, creator of Ramen Noodles, passed away. His flesh will be cremated and put into tiny flavor packets to go with his shrunken dried bones, all stuffed into Styrofoam and available for 75 cents. What? Too soon? Howard Stern made an extra $83 million this week in Sirius stock, or, in lay terms: a Goldman Sachs janitor's bonus. CBS agreed to provide content to Sling even though CBS head Les Moonves said their technology is "worrisome to a certain extent." That's language taken from a small town in 1936 Germany. Sears forecast 2007 profits that will beat analysts' estimates. A forecast beating an estimate? What about a guess taking on a hunch? A hope topping a wonder? A shot-in-the-dark besting goose entrails? Sales of TMX Elmo helped boost Toys R Us sales in 2006. Who's laughing uncontrollably now? And finally, the House of Representatives approved a hike in the minimum wage. Unfortunately, it doesn't apply to business joke writers, so this is all you get.