the Value of a Dollar
by Mad Dog
Money doesnt grow on trees. This was a
hard lesson for me to learn, but I finally figured it out after planting innumerable
dollar bills in the backyard, only to find them missing.
|| I used to think I
knew the value of money. And well I should, since my parents spent many long, hard hours
trying to drum the concept into my head, right alongside the joy of a clean bedroom, the
redeeming social value of washing behind my ears, and the fact that feeding mothballs to
the goldfish was a bad idea. Luckily, most of the lessons took. Okay, so I still tend to
forget I have two ears. No ones perfect, you know.
According to my parents it came down to three simple rules:
- Money doesnt grow on trees.
- The harder you work the more money youll make.
- And no, you cant have a bigger allowance.
As it turns out they were right about two
out of three, which is pretty good. Actually whats good about it is that I actually
admit to my parents having such a good record. It could get me ostracized from the League
of Ungrateful Children if word gets around.
The first rule is truemoney
doesnt grow on trees. This was a hard lesson for me to learn, but I finally figured
it out after planting innumerable dollar bills in the backyard, only to find them missing
just about the same time my older brother was in the corner store buying huge bags of
candy using dirt-covered money.
How do we, the average person who wants lots of money, manage to get enough to feed a
spoiled child or pay off a gorgeous model-wife? Or buy one, for that matter.
|| The next one,
"The harder you work, the more money youll make", is definitely false.
Personally, all I get more of when I work harder is tired and cranky. To look at the other
side of this very thin coin, think about Bill Gates. I dare say he isnt working any
harder to earn his current net worth of $100 billion than he was when he was worth a
measly $30 billion, so if the richest man in the world has scant motivation for getting
out of bed in the morning, how can I?
As for my allowance, well, lets just say my parents are
currently in arrears for $34,782.98 including accrued interest.
While I managed to pick up a pretty decent
feel for the value of money, apparently some people didnt. Recently, Jerry Hall
filed for divorce from Mick Jagger and is asking for $40 million. Ron Perelman, the head
of Revlon, is being taken to court by his ex-wife, whos demanding that he raise the
child support for their 4-year-old daughter to $100,000 a month. And not long ago a
two-bedroom apartment in San Francisco sold for a whopping $15 million, and Im not
even sure that included off-street parking.
Now I understand Im not in their
league when it comes to making money. After all, I include the two figures to the right of
the decimal point whenever I tell people I earn a 6-figure salary. But either they need to
learn what a bucks really worth or I just need to figure out a way to make more of
Which brings us to the burning question of
the day: How do we, the average person who wants lots of money but doesnt want to
risk having to work while TV shows like "When Good Networks Turn Bad" are on,
manage to get enough money to feed a spoiled child or pay off a gorgeous model-wife? Or
buy one, for that matter.
If Jerry Falwell has his way, Tinky Winky the Teletubby will be out faster than Nathan
Lane at a cha-cha party.
|| The first thing
you need to do is stock up on old paper money. You know, like twenties that dont
have a picture of Andrew Jackson so big Stevie Wonder can see it. Even though shopkeepers
accept those new funny looking bills, most vending machines dont, thinking
theyre as bogus as Americas Funniest Home Videos and spitting them out faster
than Monica on a good day. Since it wont be long before the old ones will be pulled
out of circulation, its a sure bet people will soon be paying top dollar for them so
they can go to a machine and buy candy and soda and little plastic Scotty dogs filled with
magnets that repel each other. And since youll have a big supply, youll reap
the big bucks!
Next, take that money
and invest it wisely. Stock in Internet companies is hot right now. Mutual funds are too.
But face it, theyre no fun. So think about collectibles, like stamps, coins, or
Beanie Babies, The Baseball Cards of the New Millennium . The problem is
everyones collecting Beanie Babies these days, so you might want to consider filling
the knick-knack shelves in the guest room with something different, like Tinky Winky
Thats right, the Tinky Winky
Teletubby. Jerry Falwell, in his never ending quest to keep his foot in his mouth, has
come out and declared that hes gay. Not Falwell, silly, the Teletubby. If Falwell
has his way, Tinky Winky will be out faster than Nathan Lane at a cha-cha party.
He claims the tell-tale signs are all
there: Tinky Winky carries a purse, is "gay-pride purple", has a triangular
antenna like the gay pride symbol, andhold onto your bar of soaphas the number
"666" tattooed on his Teletubby butt. Okay, just kidding about the tattoo.
Actually its on his left breast. But Im sure if I hadnt cut off the
bottom part of the article when I clipped that coupon for a half-price garnish-making tool
I would have read that Falwell connects Tinky Winky to the Kennedy Assassination, the
crash of Swissair Flight 111, and the conspiracy to hide the fact that Paul is indeed
dead, something anyone whos listened to his last half dozen albums already knows is
Just do me one favor, though. When you
follow these instructions and make lots of money and find yourself agreeing to hand over
mega-bucks to an ex, the kid your spouse is taking care of, or a real estate agent, think
of me and my guest room full of Waterworld action figures. If only Id listen to my
own advice once in a while.
©1999 Mad Dog Productions, Inc. All
These columns appear in better newspapers across the country. Read
them while waiting to buy a Jerry Falwell action figure.