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.

In a defiant move against the West, Venezuela announced plans to nationalize the iPhone.

Apple, the iPhone and you. Apple reported a 78% jump in first-quarter profit, mostly from overvalued smugness and overinflated egos. Congratulations, brothers and sisters. Your faith has been justified. To paraphrase Superman II: Kneel before Jobs.

I've always been an Apple guy, or, more precisely, a Mac man. But the Cult of Jobs is getting a little frightening. Guess what, people? Until he introduces the iFountainOfYouth, no gadget's gonna bring true happiness. That only comes from love, acceptance, and really good pie. (PS: I couldn't believe how much misspelled hate mail I got from an innocent little joke about the iPhone last week. I haven't seen this much irrational furor since Calpine investors learned to type).

Hewlett Packard was set to report an advance in adaptable circuitry that would allow users -- with just a simple phone call -- to convert their CEOs into defendants.

Speaking of which, Steven Woghin of Computer Associates was given a 2-year appointment to the other CA: Criminal Associates (i.e., jail).

Meanwhile, former Cendant CEO Walter Forbes was sentenced to 12 years in prison for the massive 1990s accounting fraud. He was also ordered to pay $3.3 billion in restitution, which he said he could raise with just a green visor, a business blog and two 10-Q reports.

In corporate news, Netflix will begin allowing customers to download movies instead of having them delivered by mail. Somehow I'm sure my wife still won't let me get action films. X-Men? No. Tsotsis? Ugh.

TMZ.com, the celebrity gossip site, signed a deal to produce a daily TV show. That, combined with the success of American Idol, means that maybe the advertisers are right after all. Maybe we do want crud.

In related news, Dove became the latest to enlist user-generated advertising. If these efforts spread, what will happen to the good, hard-working advertising professionals who pollute our minds with their twisted vision of a human nature based on consumerism? My guess: Selling timeshares.

User-generated advertising. Selling yourself something. Well, gotta produce something better than cars driving on the edge of buildings.

To celebrate the anniversary of it's Air Force shoes, Nike is planning a major marketing campaign. Phew. Until now, Nike had been so reluctant to promote itself, it was so under the radar, I hardly knew it existed.

Big Board Bullies

In M&A news, GE agreed to buy Smiths Group's aerospace unit, even though the Smiths have a "girlfriend in a coma." I know, I know, it's really serious. (If you get this, please let me know).

Actually, the deal will help the companies increase technologies for detecting bombs on airplanes. I'd start with inflight movies starring Vin Diesel.

Landry's seafood restaurant made a bid to buy the Smith & Wollensky steakhouse chain. Great idea: Surf & Turf! Or, more to the modern point, Mercury Poisoning & Clogged Arteries! Yum!

A group of investors offered $38 billion for Equity Office Properties, the nation's largest landlord. Take it from me, it's not worth that much if you landlord looks through your garbage for unused laundry detergent.

The Dolans, founders of Cablevision, were told their bid to take the company private wasn't high enough. In a vindictive response that will likely lower the current stock price, they hired Isiah Thomas as CEO.

India seemed to reject the NYSE attempt to invest in the Bombay Stock Exchange, just as European officials had initially disapproved of the effort to acquire Euronext. Hey, NYSE, instead of India and the EU, why not just annex Poland? (Yes, faithful readers, "Annex Poland" is my favorite expression. It was also the name of my high school band.)

Various & Sundry

Foreign direct investment in China rebounded last year. Investors thought they'd had their fill in 2005, but an hour later, they were hungry for more.

Perlos, the world's largest make of cell phone casings, announced major cutbacks, and teenage girls around the world wept, or should I say, squealed.

Tata Consultancy Services announced a third-quarter profit increase of 47%. Then, claiming it had a prior engagement, the company said, "Buh-bye, so long, ciao, and, uh ... ta ta."

Adelphia's plan to emerge from bankruptcy will be delayed, at least until those reviewing it can stop laughing.

A new study found that "grumpy" employees are more creative than content ones. Sure, they're the ones figuring out how to escape using only toner, a coffee maker and 13 paper clips.

Johnnie Burton, head of the Interior Department, was told in a report three years ago about the loopholes oil companies used to avoid billions of dollars in royalty payments. The title of that report, which Burton deemed unworthy of attention: " Exxon Mobil Is Determined to Strike U.S."

The Supreme Court declined to hear an age discrimination case involving IBM. You'd think the justices would be interested, especially since they're mostly octogenarians with Commodore 64s.

Proctor & Gamble introduced a new line of Healthy Crest Toothpaste. In response, Colgate brought out a product sure to keep consumers coming back: heroin-laced dental floss.

Verizon will sell its residential phone service in Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire. Hey New Hampshire, you wanna "live free or die?" Fine, just just don't try telling anyone about it on a landline.

A California man was the first ever to be convicted under a 2003 federal law against Internet spam. Yes! I'm excited to perhaps have almost 1% of my email be real, though, frankly, I thought the first spam criminal was Monty Python.

HarperCollins will close its Regan Books unit, prompting Judith Regan to get so angry that she wrote a book entitled, When I do kill you, this is how I'll do it.

Dick Grasso claims that the costs of the suit to get back his compensation may exceed $100 million. Of course, it'd be less if he hadn't hired the ghosts of Perry Mason and Matlock for his defense. Another big expense: wax to make his bald head shine. It's true!

The founders of Internet gambling payment company NETeller were arrested this week. I've made over $12,000 in fake money gambling online. If it were legal to use real money online, why, then I'd be broke in addition to always missing my deadline.

Finally, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been linked to Victoria's Secret supermodel Gisele Bundchen. Just further proof that I will find a way to say, "Let's Go Pats!"
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.