Pet Peeves


More Money, Honey


By Mark D. Crantz

Another perfect day in Paradise, but then there is Wall Street.  Oh, no!  Even though Wall Street is 3,000 miles away or 5,000 kilometers for Brits who read on the left side of this paper, investments affect everybody everywhere.  I’m particularly sensitive to the economy because my wife is always saying, “More money, honey.”  I find her irresistible because she’s a joint signatory on all the accounts. Even if she didn’t say honey, she could spend it all day long until the cows come home and say Hey!  To which my wife would answer, “Straw’s cheaper. I get dibs on the money. I’m decorating.”


My late brother once told me, “Money talks; mine says goodbye.”  This phenomenon seems to run in the family. In the 1920s, my grandfather got hoodwinked by buying swampland in Florida. My father outshone his father by selling the swampland for pennies an acre to what later became Disney World. Then keeping up with family tradition, I put a boatload of money in a gold fund that actually lost money.  When I asked my banker, Irving Taket, about it, he shrugged and said, “Kid, money can’t buy you happiness, but the fees sure put a smile on my wife’s face.”


I believe the Dow S&P started the year 2011 around 1257 and ended the year at 1257.  That’s zero.  What have all the financial planners and investment gurus been doing?  Rumor has it that they quadrupled their year-end fees and bonuses by inserting into their employment contracts the Marie Antoinette clause that reads, “Let the 99% eat cake from my publicly launched IPO internet bakery, then when the cake won’t rise, split and dump the shares, by buying time to off-load the yeast risk into cake-baked securities with the Duke and Duchess, Freddie and Fannie, then when all else fails, use the peasants bucks from Uncle Sam, who in turn will pay the royal bondholders 100%, before selling the un-leavened bakery for pennies back to a private hedge fund whose secret trustee is Marie Antoinette. Fees are baked in for everybody that helps in Marie’s kitchen. Heads off for those who don’t.


And to think I’ve wasted all my time in Dina’s kitchen strumming on Steve Martin’s old banjo. But then it hit me. My money answer was staring me in the buttocks. Don’t get the wrong idea here. I’ll put the money in my mattress and advise all my friends to do the same.  Makes the same interest and there are no fees. And in sunny California, there seems to be as many mattress companies as banks.  Only difference is the bank stocks are in worse shape.


Let’s see, there are Sleep Number stores.  I like them best because each sleeper has a remote control and can adjust the firmness to their liking.  I hate sharing the remote.  Plus there’s the nocturnal bonus in stealing my wife’s remote and deflating the bed to where she’s folded up like a Chinese fortune cookie the next morning. “Good morning dear, Confucius say, wife who spends husband’s money sleeps poorly and yuans all day long against the dollar.”  If that fails, try Sit ‘n Sleep, where the mattress motto is, “Replace wife after eight.” No more Honey Money.


“Hey, wait I get dibs on the money next.  I’m Moorie Antoinette and I plan on starting an internet renewable energy company from cow pies.”


Mark is a recent transplant to Laguna from Chicago.  He occasionally writes the guest column ”Pet Peeves.”  His recently deceased border collie, Pokey, is his muse and ghostwriter.



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