Easy Money

"You wanted to see me?" "Yes, Brad. Come in. I'm afraid I have some bad news." "What do you mean?" "You see, the market seems to be flirting with a bit of volatility right now, and?" "You're telling me! I actually lost money on my lunch hour yesterday. Can you believe it? That's the last time I trade stocks and fantasy league players at the same time. You really gotta pay attention these days."

"Yes, well, we believe that it's all just a correction, but the board is a little skittish right now, so they've agreed to a merger to prop things up."

"With who?"

"Enigma Industries."

"Their slogan is, 'No One Knows What We Make, Except Money.'"

"Exactly. And their CEO ? I mean, our new CEO ? feels that we need to assume a similarly strategic position."

"Great idea. That's why I upgraded my Palm Pilot."

"Yes, well, the bottom line is, our corporate mission has been redefined, our personnel base is being downsized, and your specific job description has been outsourced."

"What do you mean?"

"You're fired."

"Whaat??"

"Don't take it personally."

"But I've only been here six months! I just got out of college."

"I know. And in this economy, most companies just can't afford $65,000 for a 21-year-old who majored in progressive Web design and golf."

"I also minored in feng shui."

"Brad, the world is finally getting back to reality. You're too young to realize this, but the last few years have been a fantasy. Dot-coms with no hope of turning a profit making their executives rich, people with no capital or expertise calling themselves investors. It was a giant Ponzi scheme. It had to end sometime."

"Does this mean I have to return the Mercedes?"

"I'm afraid so. And the health club needs their towels back."

"Well, I guess I'll just have to post my résumé on the Internet again and get a few more dozen seductive offers."

"Brad, those days are over too. That's why we'd like you to meet our vice president for recently hired outplacement, Mr. Jiggs McCoy. Jiggs, say hello to Brad Westfield."

"But?"

"At ease, son. First thing is, I know just how you feel. It wasn't that many years ago I got the word they were closing down the whole carbon-paper division. Well, goodbye, pension. So what do you do when you're not here?"

"Watch TV."

"All right, there's a start. Unfortunately, they make all those sets overseas now. Say, here's an idea. Ever thought about moving to Mexico?"

Copyright 2001 Newrite, Inc. All rights reserved. GLW's on WGN Radio AM 720 and wgnradio.com. Coming soon: newsjunkie.net.
Back in what my daughter would call the olden days, local news was whatever went on in the hut next door. National news happened down the block. World news transpired in that village across the river. The flow of knowledge may have been primitive, but people paid attention because newsmakers were their neighbors.

Castaways

"Well, Wilson, another day here in paradise, eh? Nothing but sand, palm trees, and the occasional hurricane to liven things up. So, how long's it been now, do you remember? No, of course you don't. I keep forgetting you're a volleyball.
"Hello again, Comrade Ivantyutubuzzoff." "Shhhhh! Keep your voice down! And remember, call me Brad." "What are you so jumpy about? Were you up late drinking that pepper vodka again?" "Nyet.

Fake!

"I always said that moon landing was a phony." "What moon landing? Two more, will ya, Mike? And a coupla Slim Jims." "You know, that whole thing where they were supposed to land on the moon and then walk around and hit golf balls and stuff.

Court TV

"Oyez, oyez, oyez. All persons having business here, give your name to that guy in the khaki pants. The rest of you, rise and shine. This court is now in session, Judge Kenesaw Mountain John Landis presiding. First case: Stacey Stillman v.
"Hello again everyone, and welcome to another edition of Blowhard Roundtable, the in-your-face cable news talkfest where the participants aren't afraid to make waves, take on the tough issues, and say inane things on national television.
I would like to set the record straight on the recent controversy surrounding the Davenport City Council's decision not to televise the "Public with Business" portion of our meetings. There was never any desire or attempt to "censor" the voice of the people.

What's On

8:56 a.m. Network headquarters. "Good morning, everyone. Turn off your cell phone and take a seat. Now, I won't beat around the bush. Our programming is getting creamed by everything, including village board meetings.
"...you see, here in the 21st century, the television viewer has an incredible number of choices. There's cable TV, satellite TV, on-demand TV ? not to mention exciting new digital advancements like HDTV. But our market research found that despite all those wonderful possibilities, what consumers really want to see on TV is someone who's not lying."

"Gosh, where can they find that?"

"Exactly. And that's why we think we have a hit on our hands with TTTTTV."

"TTTTTV?"

"'Tell the Total Truth Television.' Brand-new technology, very cutting-edge. We feed the standard broadcast signal through a special filter which converts the spin, rhetoric, half-truths, and outright lies into the real deal. We're talking state-of-the-art infotainment here."

"Wow! Does it really work?"

"Judge for yourself. Here's a tape of those Senate Judiciary hearings. See if you can spot the difference."

"...now, Senator Ashcroft, I understand that you're a right-wing, Bible-thumping, Pentecostal zealot, correct?"

"That's right, Senator Kennedy. And I believe you're a left-wing, booze-guzzling, libertine, if I'm not mistaken."

"Exactly. Which is why I find it hard to believe that you don't drink, smoke, or gamble."

"Not only that, my religion prevents me from driving off a bridge with my girlfriend in the car."

"Oh yeah? You people are so far out you don't even dance, do you?"

"That's right, Ted. It's a lifestyle you might check into, unless you're going for the Most Bloated Senator award. Have you seen yourself in a mirror lately? You look like the body that washed up on the beach in Cast Away."

"At least I didn't accept a degree from some college that didn't even allow interracial dating. Or tell some southern magazine that all those slave-holding Confederates were 'patriots.' What's your favorite movie? Gone With The Wind?"

"Only the first half. And what's yours? Lost Weekend'?

"I'll ask the questions here, padre. So let's get this straight. You really expect us to believe that you'd enforce all the nation's laws, even though you don't agree with any of them?"

"That's right."

"C'mon, seriously?"

"So help me God."

"What is this, a trick? Do you have the real John Ashcroft tied up in back or something?"

"Nope. I'm just flexible."

"How did the Bush people wind up with you, anyway? I can't believe you were their first choice."

"Second. They couldn't spell 'Racicot.'"

"So you wouldn't try to overturn Roe v. Wade?"

"Nope."

"Promise?"

"Everyone knows I'm as honest as the day is long."

"Which day is that, the one up at the Arctic Circle?"

"Excuse me, Senator. I read somewhere that you actually favor carrying concealed weapons."

"That's right."

"Are you carrying one right now?"

"One more pushy question, pal, and you're going to find out."

"Wow! This TTTTTV is great! You have any more tapes?"

"Not yet, but we're working on it. We ran Clinton's last speech through the filter, but it came out blank."

"How about Bush's inauguration?"

"We're crossing our fingers."

Copyright 2000 Newrite, Inc. All rights reserved. GLW's on WGN Radio AM 720 and wgnradio.com.

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