can't buy everything. Can it?
by Mad Dog
They told us
“Money can’t buy everything” and they were wrong about that
too. True, maybe it can’t buy love, happiness, or peace of mind,
but it can buy political office, and once you have that the other
pieces fall into place.
major part of a parent’s job is to fill their child’s head. At
birth it’s an empty vessel waiting for bits of knowledge to be
dropped in. As we grow older we amass more and more pieces until, in
our late teens, we know everything there is to know and take every
opportunity to demonstrate this fact to anyone who will listen. And
many who would rather not.
A few years later we
discover there’s still a little room way in the back, right
between where we stored the image of our third grade teacher’s
face—which we’re saving just in case we run across her on a dark
street and still want to seek revenge for “dessert has two esses
because we always want seconds”—and the place where that
charmingly useless tidbit has been taking up room for way too many
In middle age we find that
we’ve actually overfilled our head and start having trouble
keeping its contents organized. Names get accidentally filed with
geographic facts, the multiplication tables splinter into pieces and
scatter into dark recesses we forgot we had—and would prefer to
keep that way, and your social security number starts to look like
the drug store’s telephone number. Or maybe that’s your phone
number. It’s hard to say.
Not long after that it all
starts to dribble out like so much cerebral incontinence in need of
a Depends until one morning you wake up and suddenly your head’s
as empty as the day you were born. Luckily it’s so empty you
don’t even realize it’s empty, though you do keep wondering
where that strange echo is coming from.
The Texas Rangers went and signed shortstop Alex
Rodriguez to a $252 million contract in the hope that people will
finally stop thinking there’s an outfielder on the team named
Walker and he’s played by Chuck Norris.
That’s why people should be more careful about what they
stick in their kids’ heads. Since there’s a finite amount of
space, it should be used for things that are important, or at least
true. Not like the things They always told us. You know, like
“You’ll understand when you grow up”, “Ignore it and it will
go away”, and “One day you’ll look back at this and laugh.”
And to think, we believed them. At least until we tried to figure
out the opposite sex, “Survivor” became a hit and spawned
offspring like, well, grubs, and
those photos from last year’s neighborhood party turned up
They also told us “Money
can’t buy everything” and they were wrong about that too. True,
maybe it can’t buy love, happiness, or peace of mind, but it can
buy a political office, and once you have that the other pieces fall
Take Jon Corzine, the
political newcomer who picked himself up a nice little New Jersey
Senate seat by spending $60 million, an all-time record. True that
sounds like a lot of money, especially for a seat from a state like
New Jersey, but it’s not. Amazon.com lost that much in only ten
days during the last quarter of 2000.
This shows both how smart
Corzine is and how bad the management is at Amazon.com. If they had
any brains at all they would have spent the last quarter’s loss on
a political campaign instead of trying to get people to buy, well,
everything. The money still would have been spent, but at least nine
of them would be sitting next to Corzine as we speak.
Of course if they had any
ambition at all they would have pooled the money so one of them
would be president. So what if they have no experience, they have
money, and that worked for George Bush. He popped up out of nowhere,
flashed a resume with less political experience than any
presidential candidate in the last hundred years, and managed to
raise more money in the first four months of his campaign than
anyone before him had been able to do in two years. Now, thanks to
those donations, he has a new job and house. The management at
Amazon.com may end up with the same things, though at the rate
they’re going it won’t be voluntary.
There are definitely things money can’t buy. If
you’re Anna Nicole Smith it can’t buy respectability. If
you’re Pee Wee Herman it can’t buy a second chance. Or the
answer to why Hugh Grant got one and you didn’t.
Money can also buy a winning sports team. In recent years the
New York Yankees shelled out the most bucks for players and in
return won four playoff titles in five years. Noticing that, the
Texas Rangers went and signed shortstop Alex Rodriguez to a $252
million contract in the hope that people will finally stop thinking
there’s an outfielder on the team named Walker and he’s played
by Chuck Norris.
Now before you go getting
your jock strap in a knot over the huge amount, keep in mind that
Rodriguez will be paid that money over ten years. And it’s not
like he’s getting it for doing nothing—he’s going to have to
play a fun game he loves a couple of times a week to earn it.
he’s smart, and I suspect he is since anyone who can extort—I
mean, negotiate that kind of money must be, he’ll sock most of it
away. After all, a baseball career can’t last forever. If he plays
his cards right he should have enough money when he retires to buy
himself, oh, as many as four Senate seats.
The question begs: Can
money buy happiness? Apparently many women think so. A recent poll
found that 57 percent of those surveyed said their dream in life is
to be rich. They probably figure that with enough money they
wouldn’t have to work, would have more clothes than they could
ever hope to wear, and could afford to buy all the bluefin tuna they
want. And if they’re shopping for it in Tokyo they’re going to
It seems someone in Tokyo
recently bought a 444-lb bluefin tuna at auction for $173,200. This
comes to $390 a pound, or too damned much in metric. Lest you think
this is an anomaly, in Singapore a prize-winning discus fish was
recently stolen from a shopping mall and its owner says it’s worth
$58,000. Since discus fish only weigh a few ounces, this means it
costs about 595 times more than the bluefin tuna, and you don’t
even eat discus fish, you just throw them across a grassy field
during the Olympics.
There are definitely things
money can’t buy. If you’re Anna Nicole Smith it can’t buy
respectability. If you’re Pee Wee Herman it can’t buy a second
chance. Or the answer to why Hugh Grant got one and you didn’t.
And if you’re Bill Gates it can’t buy your way out of the
Justice Department’s antitrust suit. True, he consoled himself by
buying the three South American countries he didn’t already own,
but that’s just not the same thing.
The other thing money
can’t buy is more room in your head to store all this information.
But that’s okay. It would probably just be stashed next to
something else They said, like “Everyone’s wearing them this
year.” And we know where that got you.
Mad Dog Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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