Category Archives: Economy

How Macaroni & Cheese Saved My Life

bytimcerantola

If you are among the many that worry about making ends meet, I believe I can help. For you see, I am a superhero of sorts. I am ‘El Cheapo – the cheapest man in the universe.’

For decades now, my parsimonious ways have achieved legendary status among my friends and family. I have earned my ‘el cheapo, man of thrift’ reputation and founded a life changing, penny-pinching philosophy known as “Budgetarianism.”

So, read on young grasshopper so that I may enlighten you and help you achieve proper balance. I will now impart the secret to financial happiness.

Similar to the Eastern traditions of Buddhism, Budgetarian enlightenment also contains four noble truths:

1. Suffering is inevitable.

2. Macaroni and Cheese Dinner eases suffering.

3. Further suffering will ensue if you eat too much Macaroni and Cheese

4. Even if you’re having roast beef, your kids will probably prefer mac and cheese anyways.

Now the budgetarian lifestyle is very similar to a vegetarian lifestyle, although vegetarians intentionally omit meat from their diet, whereas budgetarians omit meat to attain economic stability. But either way you look at it, both vegetarians and budgetarians can be considered “barn-yard friendly.”

Indeed, the budgetarian diet, though similar to that of his cousin the vegetarian, does, occasionally, include meat; but that’s only because the most cunning and clever of budgetarians have created a vast array of ambiguous pseudo-meat mutations such as spam, baloney, tofurkey, veggie dogs (not-dogs) and veggie burgers (shamburgers) all designed for those with limited grocery dollars.

Other mock-meat substitutes such as meatloaf are excellent examples of frugality at its finest. Containing only trace amounts of ‘moo’ and vast quantities of vegetables, breadcrumbs and, I’ve often suspected, lint from the clothes dryer.

Needless to say, this tasty low-cost “loaf” will easily qualify as an edible non-toxic by most federal food agencies though I recommend dousing these “edible substances” with copious amounts of ketchup or hot sauce as it may be necessary to avoid any taste seepage.

*Note: budgetarian meatloaf is very high in polyester, a very important budgetarian fiber.

Do budgetarians ever have fun you ask?

Well, they do. In fact, budgetarians have loads of fun.

For entertainment, budgetarians borrow DVD’s from their local library. Granted, the titles available may not be among the most contemporary favourites but, older classics such as “Surf Nazi’s Must Die” or Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Hercules in New York” are readily available.

The library also offers a vast selection of educational titles such as National Geographic’s “Wonderful World of Lichen.” (spoiler alert) Lichens are symbiotic associations of a fungus (the mycobiont) with a photosynthetic partner (the photobiont also known as the phycobiont) that can produce food for the lichen from sunlight.

Outdoor budgetarian activities may include tree watching. Tree watching is very similar to bird watching only the expense of binoculars is eliminated as most trees will allow you to get up quite close. But remember, the best things in life are free, like air!

That’s right air (now fortified with greenhouse gas). It’s free, it’s fun and it comes in assorted smokey flavours. Breathe in as much as you like. Go outside and make a lung-sucking pig of yourself.

As you might imagine, grocery coupons play a very important role in the life of a budgetarian. Besides doubling as reading material and therefore entertainment, the grocery coupon also holds monetary value. A stack of grocery coupons can also make your wallet appear quite thick and impressive.

Speaking of thick and impressive, sex is a fine budgetarian activity – as long as you’re only practicing. Ah yes, while all the rich couples are out impressing each other and lusting after each others possessions, budgetarians are forced to remain at home and lust after each other. This is good for the marriage. And remember, divorce is very expensive. Divorce is not good for anyone, especially budgetarians.

Finally, you may ask, Tim, budgetarian Guru of the 37th degree and penurious keeper of the holy underwear of 1977, what is the secret to true financial happiness?

Well my young grasshopper, if you have any budgetarian friends, especially friends whose surname happens to be ‘Jones’ – you must invite them over for the evening. For if their name is Jones and they are true budgetarians, it will be so much easier to keep up with the Jones’.

As for anyone out there approaching financial doomsday, ha, ha, ha! You can now laugh in the face of the inevitable economic reckoning knowing that with superior planning and some helpful tips from a qualified budgetarian master, you too can live a full and relatively money-free life.

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Corporate Chimps Run the World (into the ground)

By Timo Cerantola

In view of our recent banking dysfunction and in order to understand the economic predicament we now find ourselves in, one must understand the motivations of those individuals who played a large part in creating this disaster – namely a curious creature known as the “corporate chimp.”

This gangrenous filth er… creature known as the corporate chimp, lives solely to kiss the asses of the world’s corporate elite; their main purpose in life being the worship of wealth and attainment of money.

True, though these greedy mammals have existed throughout history, our present financial disaster is due in large part to a particular branch of the species – a group that was discovered in the early 20th century in the Wall Street swamp.

This corporate chimp is an altogether peculiar species. Identified by a black or dark blue suit, which often turns to a grayish color in more aged chimps. The number one job of the corporate chimp is to acquire money for itself and the corporation – (OK, it’s actually their number two job after they get up off their knees).

The twentieth century corporate chimp is usually, though not exclusively, found in one of seven main habitats; the Federal Reserve, corporation board rooms, banks, AM talk radio, the ‘mainstream’ news media, law firms and of course, the Wall Street swamp – though recently a large number of the corporate beast has migrated its way into the upper halls of government around the globe.

Yes, though a majority of the chimps gravitate towards money, the most dangerous chimps head straight for politics, usually after a brief stopover in law.

Shameless bootlicking and sucking up to wealth form the main characteristics of the chimp. This somewhat parasitic bipedal mammal displays an innate propensity to disregard any basic morals or rules of fair play – showing an eager willingness to eliminate ethics and switch loyalties at a moments notice should the possibility of monetary gain arise.

Generally active from dawn to dusk, the corporate chimp typically sleeps in a luxurious home and does most of its foraging for food in expensive restaurants and in corporate boxes at sporting events. And, although sucking at the corporate teat seems to form the bulk of the chimp’s behavior, the teat offers very little nourishment and thus many chimps have been observed to eat other small, usually defenseless mammals.

Corporate chimps have a superficial social organization that is gregarious and loosely based around the sport of golf. Most chimps belong to groups called “clubs.” While interacting, the chimps or “club members” often break up into subgroups called “foursomes.”

When chimps from different or opposing communities meet each other on the golf course, they are usually peaceful, at least outwardly – though at times there may be loud vocalizing, antagonistic displays of displeasure and occasionally, serious lying and manipulating of the facts should there be some financial gain in the offing.

Social relations within chimp communities are significantly affected by the species’ affinity for status. Chimps use money and lying to promote the sharing of wealth, to make up after fights, to gain favors and generally to strengthen relationships. However, should this wealth dry up, partnerships are quickly forgotten as there is very little predilection towards loyalty in the chimp’s character.

When circling, especially in banking or the stock market, a group of chimps can be very vicious carnivorous hunters which, once a substantial monetary gain has been achieved, will retire back to the relative safety of their packs, typically composed of a dominant breeding corporation and their dependent subsidiaries.

Natural predators to the chimp include trade unions, socialized medicine, social-democratic governments and any type of sharing of resources that would benefit the global community at large – though recently, many corporate chimps have developed an inclination towards socialism in the form of bailouts – now strictly referred to as “stimulus packages.”

Oddly enough, in the past, socialism was regarded as a loser philosophy by the wondrous chimp kings of finance. However, in view of recent economic calamities, when applied to corporations and banks, socialism is now acceptable.

Yes, thanks to the many corporate chimps now in government, many bank and corporate losses have now become the responsibility of the taxpayers – losses are now being socialized but profits, of course, still remain the responsibility of corporations and banks and their chimps.

Despite the government handouts, these chimps still regard themselves as the “masters of the universe” – though in reality, as our present economic reality has revealed, they are merely company men, gophers and disgraceful suck-ups willing to do the ass kissing no one with any self respect would do.

Given their wide historical distribution, corporate chimps have been shown to have no regard for the environment. In its endless pursuit of the dollar, no amount of destruction, war, pestilence or disease will deter the corporate chimp from its greedy mission. There are no ethics, rules, laws or sense of fair play where chimps are concerned. There is no right and wrong when it comes to money. The quintessential corporate chimp is one without conscience or integrity.

Should you happen to see a chimp in its natural element, e.g. banks and the stock market, if you must, approach it with caution but keep your hand firmly on your wallet. Do not trust this animal with money.

In closing, corporate chimps should remember one-thing. Though it may be true that he who dies with the most toys may win the money game of life – he is still, thankfully, dead.

Note: For those of you who enjoy exotic pets, corporate chimps make wonderful house pets. If you have enough money, many corporate chimps are for sale right now at bargain prices!

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