Reinventing the $5

By John Breneman

Stop the presses!! There must be some kind of mistake. The new five-spots are coming out soon, but who's that fool on the bill and what has he done with Abe Lincoln?!?

Relax, I'm sure there's a perfectly good explanation for all of this. No reason to be alarmed. Abe is perfectly safe. In fact, he's looking sharper than ever. He's still got that wise presidential twinkle in his eye, he parts his hair just the same as always, and his familiar right ear is even bigger than before.

It's just that the boys down at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing wanted our 16th president to look his absolute best for the big May 24 debut of the redesigned $5, so they sent the fancy new Lincoln portrait engraving out for a real thorough polishing job.

Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers needed someone to stand in and do some of the promotional work that, quite frankly, someone as important and dignified as Mr. Lincoln should not be bothered with.

I mean, someone has got to tell the public about all the state-of-the-art security features on the new 5s and 10s -- the watermarks, the delicate microprinting, the realistic gangland graffiti spraypainted on the Lincoln Memorial.

And since I had done such a good job helping out with the introduction of the new $20 back in August of '98, my pals down in D.C. shipped me an exquisitely etched invitation to pitch in again. Naturally, I was eager to oblige.

First, I feel it is imperative to debunk certain rumors about the new $5. Abe Lincoln will NOT be wearing Bolle wraparound sunglasses (thank God) and, despite the overwhelming preference of several focus groups, he will NOT be sporting his trademark stovepipe hat. Our U.S. currency is simply not tall enough to accommodate Lincoln's prodigious and distinctive headgear.

See $5, next page

Capitalist piggy banks

By John Breneman

NEW YORK - Technology stocks continued their decline today as Wall Street reeled from an unprecedented surge of investment in companies that manufacture and distribute piggy banks.

Leading analysts interpret this as a sign that investors have finally figured out that the stock market is a gigantic sham and therefore are opting to horde their money in colorful pig-shaped receptacles made of plastic and ceramics.

"People now realize that most high-finance executives are greedy swine and that the market can no longer be counted upon to 'bring home the bacon,'" said Bubba Pennington of John Hamcock Financial Services. "They'd rather slip their hard-earned money into piggy banks than slop it into the corporate feeding trough."

Brown-chip stocks and pork futures also rose sharply, with brisk trading of Piggly Wiggly, MicroSty and Tenderloin Technologies.

But shares of AOL Time Warthog continued to plummet amid frenzied activity on the trading floor, where Wall Street brokers wallowed in discarded slips of paper while squealing like scared little capitalist piglets.


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Arthur Andersen
hires consultant Pamela Anderson

Arthur Andersen has hired a high-profile consultant to salvage the embattled accounting giant, recently convicted of obstructing a federal inquiry into the Enron collapse.

Pamela Anderson plans to reinvent the firm with a sexy new identity cooking the books for the porn industry.

"Us Andersons have to stick together, even though they spell their name with an 'e'," said Ms. Anderson, dressed in a double-breasted Armani suit tailored to reveal what executives in the so-called Big Five accounting firms refer to as "The Big Two."

The Senate Banking Committee is analyzing this new development to determine whether the deal falls under its regulatory authority.

"We're looking very closely at her assets," committee chairman Senator Paul S. Sarbanes said of Ms. Anderson, who was once investigated by the S.E.C. (Sexual Entertainment Commission) for shredding documents related to a federal probe of bikini laundering on the set of "Baywatch."

Arthur Andersen also plans to specialize in bookkeeping for television sitcoms featuring blonde women with enormous "assets," according to new company spokesperson Loni Anderson.

John Breneman 6-21-02

Partying with
Dennis Kozlowski

As jurors viewed a videotape of the $2 million birthday bash he threw for his wife, corporate party animal Dennis Kozlowski inhaled a plate of jumbo shrimp cocktail, laughed, belched, farted, then wiped his pig-like face with a $3,000 Gucci handkerchief.

Prosecutors say the lavish toga party symbolizes the gluttonous corporate excess perpetrated by the former Tyco CEO and former finance chief Mark Swartz, accused of looting the company of $600 million.

The charges -- larceny, conspiracy, securities fraud and multiple counts of being a flaming asshole -- did not appear to faze Kozlowski, accompanied in court by his attorneys and an unidentified man-servant who fed him peeled grapes and Dom Perignon.

The tape showed scantily clad gladiators and gladiatrixes frolicking about the pool and a replica of Michelangelo's David pissing cold vodka. The birthday Bacchanalia also featured a performance by Jimmy Buffett, who sang 'Lobster Thermidor in Paradise.'

Kozlowski is seen on the video telling his guests, "It's going to be a fun week -- sailing, fornicating, drinking vodka from a statue's genitalia, wiping our asses with other people's money -- all the things we are best known for.'

Much later a drunken Kozlowski, stripped to his $15,000 Armani gold lamé underpants, is seen chanting 'Toga! Toga!! TOGA!!!' and smashing a bottle of 1902 Chateau Lafite Rothschild over his head.

Upon seeing himself on screen, Kozlowski convulsed with laughter and coughed up a chunk of his foot-long beluga caviar sub.

John Breneman 10-31-03