A guy rolled up on my right in traffic and yelled, “I will blow your *%^&!## head off,” if I didn’t let him cut in front of me. In the old days, I would have dismissed that as a slight exaggeration and kept going. Those days are gone, though, so I made space for him and lived to drive another day.
Fortunately, I haven’t met many people who would even think of killing someone as a merging technique, but I do know a ton of people who appear to be closing in on that benchmark. They live in a state of constant agitation, on guard and aggrieved by all kinds of things that, to be honest, have nothing to do with them.
They are infuriated by something that is being done/ignored by/to/with/without the approval/participation/absence of somebody they never met, will never meet, and whose life is none of their *%^&!## business. The more remote the connection, the more agitated they are, or so it appears.
Even some of the most docile creatures in my IRL community are ready to gird their loins and do battle with the enemy that’s making their lives harder, if only they could figure out who it is. My contacts can’t identify the source of the mischief, but “they” are plotting 24/7 to make matters worse.
Mostly, my contacts complain about challenges that are truly mundane, the stuff of long lines or late mail or canceled deliveries. We used to absorb all these slings and arrows without flinching, just rolling with the punches that life throws at us every day. Now, though, the obstacles are more personal, more intentional, more infuriating, and we need someone to blame.
Politicians and talk show hosts make $millions encouraging our anger, raking in ad revenues or campaign contributions or book deals by telling us how “they” are out to get us. When it's an officially recognized sector of the economy, Anger will be the largest industry in the United States. If we weren’t angry all the time, cable news, talk radio, most of the internet and half of Big Pharma would collapse.
And, maybe, that could be a good thing. If we weren’t angry all the time, we could solve some of the problems that cannot be addressed in echo chambers filled with land mines. If we weren’t angry all the time, we could live happier lives. We might even live longer, or at least enjoy our lives more.
The craziest thing about our chronic aggrievement is that we control most of it. We had just one day of sunshine in six weeks in Chicago this spring, but I didn’t even notice. I got soaked when the skies opened up on my walk back to the car the other night, but I laughed it off because, well, it’s only water.
That’s me on a good day. Put me in a car with a destination, though, and I will get offended by everyone who is going too slowly or too quickly or failing to signal or sitting for more than 0.002 nanoseconds after coming to a stop at a stop sign. Traffic is always a mess and I should expect the same thing every day, but somehow I get so caught up in the personal affronts that I actually thought about challenging a guy who threatened to, “Blow your *%^&!## head off.”
Clearly, he needs to calm down just a bit. So do I.
We’re not even going to ask you to click here to subscribe this week, because we might take it personally if you ignore our plea and we don’t want to go on a rampage over the whole thing.
Sometimes, I am simply mesmerized when I’m sitting at a bar and there’s a hundred bottles of not-beer on the wall, a dizzying assortment of gins and whiskies and vodkas and tequilas and aperitifs and digestives and fancy hooch in magical bottles that Aladdin would covet.
And I marvel at all the delivery systems on display for one active ingredient.
Alcohol is one of the most intriguing substances on earth, beginning with its beginnings. We can only imagine the excitement as Caveman Grunk ran to his friends and announced, “Look. That bird just ate those rotten berries and he fell on the ground and a snake ate him. We should eat those berries, too.”
Being an early humanoid required constant vigilance and anything that reduced your ability to focus could be pretty deadly, but that didn’t stop our fearless forebears from finding new ways to make and guzzle hooch. Since our earliest pre-history, alcohol consumption has been a driving force of—and against—civilization.
Through the millennia, moms have cautioned their children not to let food go to waste, while the truly visionary alchemists let the food rot until it turned into something much more interesting. Whether they focused on honey or rice or wheat or barley or grapes, they found a way to build the buzz around their buzz.
Wine makes the most sense, I suspect, since it is basically the archetype of rotten berries and it has enough sugar in it to taste okay. And once those wily monks of the Middle Ages found a way to insert wine into their religious rituals…Ka-Ching!…all of us were hooked. “Yes, we make the wine and, yes, you will burn in hell if you don’t drink it as we instruct. Was there a question?”
Outside of religious practices, wine has evolved into a religion of its own, with all kinds of rules and rituals and taboos and hierarchies. And, to be frank, a lot of it is both pretentious and weird. I would never bite into a piece of chalk or oak bark or peat, and I definitely don’t chew tobacco, but I’m supposed to taste all of that in my wine and go, “Yummmmm?” If you close your eyes, you can hear Dom Perignon chuckling in his grave.
While wine is usually tolerable for almost everyone, most other kinds of alcohol are what we call, um, an “acquired taste,” the stuff that makes you wanna holler hi-de-ho. I drink bourbon, and scotch, and an occasional Slivovitz, but I promise I am not doing it for the taste.
No, I’m doing it for the sophistication. If I drink enough bourbon and I can tell the difference between Swampmash, Swampmash Barrel Strength, Swampmash Reserve and Swampmash 62, I will have a “sophisticated palate.” And, outside of curing cancer and inventing sliced bread, there’s nothing more admirable than having a sophisticated palate.
So I have been trying, almost every day, sometimes three or four or fourteen times a day, striving to discern the difference between Malbec and Malpeque, between Pinot Grigio and Topo Gigio, maybe even between Claret and Claritin. Perhaps, one day, I will look at the magic wall behind the bar and I’ll know whether to order my martini shaken or stirred.
In the meantime, I will silently envy the sophisticates who can find the perfect wine for veal Prince Orloff or the best beer to match with beef jerky. Someday, somehow, I will win my seat at their table.
It’s likely to be a long time before I am a true sophisticate, but it takes no time to become a subscriber just by clicking here.
After so many people made a fortune by following my investment advice a few weeks ago, I’ve been getting all kinds of inquiries about how to deal with inflation.
Well, you’ve come to the right place. I waited in line to get a 12% mortgage back in 1985, and I once had a CD that paid 16% interest, so I am absolutely the guy to teach everyone how to deal with rising prices. Unlike all those so-called “experts” with their fancy “degrees” and years of “experience” in financial markets, I am a self-taught genius who does my own research. So, what do you want to know?
What’s the real cause of all this inflation?
What? How could Covid vaccines cause inflation?
Just look at the facts here and it’s obvious. We were all dealing with Covid in 2020 and inflation was low, sometimes negative. Then, we started getting all those “free” vaccines in 2021 and, BAM!!! Suddenly, the CPI jumped 4% in March, 6% in May, 7% in July. The more people got vaccinated, the more inflation soared. Coincidence? I think not.
Wait, what if it was a simple matter of people getting out more and spending more and overloading the supply chain?
Hah! You’re one of those people who still believes in supply and demand? Where do you guys come from? In fact, there were a ton of shortages in 2020, but the only one we noticed was toilet paper. Nobody cared that the shelves were empty until they took the vaccines and, then, it was like Wile E. Coyote suddenly looked down. Shortages didn't cause inflation until they started forcing us to get vaccinated.
Well, maybe, but didn't all those $trillion budget deficits play a part in creating too much demand?
Absolutely not. Yes, the federal government has spent $6 trillion more than they took in since the pandemic began, but there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to believe that swollen pustule of largesse had anything whatsoever to do with raising demand and prices for anything whatsoever. Whatsoever.
On the other hand, I heard from a friend of a friend that it’s all Joe Biden’s fault.
Your friend is 100% right. Donald Trump pushed for Operation Warp Speed to create the vaccines, but he was smart enough not to create a distribution plan for them once they were developed. Then Biden got in and ruined the whole thing by distributing vaccines and causing huge inflation.
No, I meant I heard it was his fault because oil prices are higher.
Well, oil prices are higher across the world because people are getting out more, driving more, flying more, and buying more fuel. But that would never have happened without those dagnabbed vaccines, which are absolutely Biden’s fault.
So when will all this inflation subside?
Not for a long while, because we’ve added several new problems to the list. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is affecting global food prices and there’s a new avian flu that’s killing millions of chickens, and we can expect more supply chain problems because China is closing half the country due to a new Covid outbreak…so don’t expect lower prices for food or any of the crap you buy on Amazon.
Oh, and you should know that OPEC and major oil companies have decided to keep supplies low so they can maximize their prices, so don’t expect a ton of relief at the pump either. Basically, consumers are screwed.
But what about investors? Maybe I could make some money off all this economic turmoil by buying some stocks.
Absolutely not! When inflation goes up, the Federal Reserve raises interest rates to slow demand, which is bad for business and causes stocks to go down. Sell, sell, sell.
Okay, I will sell all my stocks.
Absolutely not! When the Fed overshoots and causes a recession, Congress will pump an extra $trillion or two into the economy to boost demand and stock prices will soar. Hold on to all your shares and buy more, more, more.
Will do! Should I also buy bonds to take advantage of higher interest rates?
Are you crazy??? When the Fed raises interest rates, bond prices go down and you’ll lose money.
So I should sell my bonds?
Are you crazy??? When the Fed overshoots and causes a recession, interest rates will plunge and the price of your bonds will skyrocket. Hold on to all your bonds and buy more, more, more.
All of this is getting way too confusing. Isn’t there some simple way for me to make a killing right now?
Did I mention that I’m selling NFTs of my kids’ old art projects? Absolutely guaranteed to be worth ten times as much in 2023 as they're worth today and I guarantee you will never owe capital gains tax when you sell them. Even better, you can buy as many as you want, since quantities aren’t limited at all. Just send me your cash and I’ll handle all the details.
I only think I’m supposed to mention that your results may vary and that you should ask for a prospectus before investing, but I definitely know to tell you that you should click here to subscribe.
So this is mom’s life, reduced to a dozen boxes on the garage floor, remnants and relics from a 93-year journey that touched eleven decades and, somehow, ended prematurely.
Not everything in the boxes was even hers, really. At least a few containers hold the photos and memories she inherited from those who preceded her, keepsakes for her to preserve and, ultimately, relinquish to another generation.
I keep thinking there should be more, although it’s not likely that any added possessions would fill the empty space. In the end, it’s just stuff. Even the stuff that seems important, the stuff I’d want to hold onto, only has meaning in the context of memories. Like the photos on my wall and the resale-shop rejects on my desk, they remind me of a story that I like to retell, even if it’s only to myself.
There’s the owl figurine from my old partner, the clock from my grandmother’s apartment, the binoculars dad brought back from the war…and now, a porcelain monstrosity from mom’s collection of giraffe figurines. This one is truly hideous, but she liked it and it reminds me of her fixation with the original vegans.
That’s the thing about possessions. They have function, most of the time, but they don’t have any meaning until they tell a story, spark a memory, or preserve a connection between people or lands or eras. I’m beginning to appreciate my kids’ view of all this, resistant to my offers of all the incredibly valuable, heirloom-quality stuff that has no emotion, no blood, for them.
I felt that way, as well, when we went through the curio cabinet, wondering why she chose some of the stuff that made it to the display while other items served their solitary confinement in the back of a drawer. Why are these Match Box cars in here, and what’s the deal with that clown figurine? Why is this vase so special, but not that one over there in the kitchen cabinet? Without that insight, there is no connection.
That’s why he most important thing you can make in life isn’t money. It’s memories. Family dinner, vacation trips, visits to the zoo, or pretty much any other shared time will do the trick. Time is the greatest gift and some of the best stories begin, “Do you remember when…?”
In the end, it’s all about the memories, the experiences, the images that set us off on a journey to a long-ago time. This isn’t a drafting table; it’s a visit to my dad’s office. This isn’t an owl figurine; it’s my friend, Ron. This isn’t a mechanical toy; it’s my brother, David.
And now there’s a really, really, really weird looking giraffe.
Hi, mom. Say, do you remember when...?
Before you run off to make your own memories today, be sure to click here to subscribe.
We’ve got some unfinished business here in America, and it’s way past time we made good on our promise to thousands of women who suffered the ultimate harm while their cities were locked up over the past two years.
As always, it’s women who bear the burden when the world falls apart and nobody has suffered more over the past two years than brides. When wedding halls closed and relatives quarantined, nearly 247 million women in America were forced to get married via Zoom and forgo the absolutely perfect, no flaws-at-all parties they began planning in utero.
Now that the hotels are all open again, it’s this year’s brides who are getting all the choice dates and the women who missed their windows in 2020-21 are shipwrecked in the seas of despair.
Today, the Clef d’Or team at Dad Writes announces the Wedding Do-Over, an incredibly high-tech and lifelike simulation that brings all the joy of that perfect wedding to the brides who were the real victims of Covid. Using the latest in CGI technology—the same incredible science that made it look like Will Smith actually slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars—we will finally deliver the perfect day for the most deserving of women.
We won’t actually put together a party, of course, since we don’t know anything about having a good time, but we will create a video that recreates the celebration that might have been. And, it will be so realistic that everyone who watches it will say they remember being there. Our video absolutely will include:
But wait, there’s more. Also included are the Cake Smearing Ceremony, the Sweaty Garter Toss, Bouquet Battleground and those uncomfortable dances among the in-laws. We make it look like the real thing, without all the anxiety and stress and absolutely no food poisoning.
But wait yet again, because there's even more more! Order in the next 15 minutes and we will add a free video of the bachelorette party that should have been, including the Drunken Trolley Ride, Condom Balloons, Sobbing BFFs, and, of course, the inevitable Ponytail Holding Ceremony.
Yes, it all sounds too good to be true, but don’t let that stop you from sending us photos of the wedding party and only $48,000,000 (plus postage and handling) to recapture the moment that never was. We’ll be glad you did.
We’ll also be glad if you click here to subscribe for our next unbelievable offers, or whatever other lunacy we come up with each week.
This week’s post is only for the incredibly smart and wealthy people who will be receiving at least $14 million from the IRS after following all our tax filing advice last week. The rest of you are just too poor for our incredibly brilliant, can’t-lose, 137%-guaranteed investment wisdom, so scram.
Okay, all you 1%-ers, are we alone now? Great, because we are about to share some of the most incredible, unbelievable tips for putting your tax refund to work so that you never have to work again. All you need to do now is deploy capital* as follows:
Cryptocurrency: First, let’s get this straight. Crypto is absolutely not a Ponzi scheme where the first guys to invest announce that the value is going up so they can get others to invest and then bail out at the top. It’s much, much better. “Miners” run up electric bills of $10,000 to create $4,200 worth of crypto, which seems like a losing proposition, but then they announce that their crypto is now worth $50,000 and nobody can prove them wrong. Unlike stocks, where the price is based on “trading” in a “public” “market,” every crypto brand is worth whatever the brand’s CEO says it’s worth, so there is no limit to how high this can go. Clearly, you want to put all your money into cryptocurrencies.
NFTs: Like cryptocurrencies, NFTs are a high-tech investment that nobody really understands, but that makes it the coolest and hippest way to get filthy rich. Basically, you take an everyday item, like a floor lamp, and then you take a photo of it and you sell a data file of the photo that makes the buyer the owner of…wait for it…the data file of the photo. With NFTs, you can sell all the contents of your house without actually selling any of the contents of your house. You can sell an NFT of your oven, but you get to keep the actual oven. Sell an NFT of your television, refrigerator, underwear, pretty much anything, and the rules are the same. Me? I’m offering up NFTs of the hand turkeys my kids made for Thanksgiving in 1986 and 1987 and a slow weekend in 2014. This is the best investment opportunity since Enron invented those “special purpose entities” and we all got to retire from the proceeds.
SPACs: Unfortunately, Enron isn’t selling shares in special purpose entities anymore, but Special Purpose Acquisition Companies are the next best thing. Basically, a SPAC is a pool of money that will/might/could be used one day to buy/build/caress something that’s valuable and make it more valuable. It’s a lot like buying stock in a company, but it has these added advantages: 1. You have no idea what the operators will buy. 2. You have no idea whether anything will work out. 3. There’s pretty much no limit on how much the operators can pay themselves for “managing” your money. Even better, it doesn’t matter which SPAC you choose. All of them are absolutely certain to accept your cash.
Meme Stocks: Yet another high-tech opportunity to make a killing in the stock market, meme stocks are almost always failing companies that desperately need a friend to pump up their value. Like all those flash mobs that blocked traffic with their “spontaneous” dancing in shopping malls, meme investors suddenly place a flood of orders on Robin Hood for the worst performing shares in the universe, sending those stocks soaring into the stratosphere. Meme stocks are the perfect investment for anyone who doesn’t really understand investments, but wants to get rich without any effort or insight. Timing is key here, however. Meme stocks are the Wile E. Coyote of investing; able to levitate in mid-air, but only until somebody looks down. Not a problem for you, though. You’ve always had perfect timing in your life, so you will know exactly when it’s time to bail.
Clearly, these investment tips are reserved for the world’s smartest, savviest and, dare we say it, best looking people, and we guarantee that it is hypothetically possible in some parallel universe that we can guarantee your future fortune. Best of all, it's absolutely a sure thing that people who follow our investment advice will never have to pay any capital gains taxes.
So, as soon as you get your $14 million tax refund be sure to send it to Dad Writes so we can invest it on your behalf in these can’t-fail opportunities.
What could possibly go wrong?
*We’re not quite sure what “deploy capital” actually means, but we heard it on Fox Business News and everyone on the show nodded, so it must be smart. It’s also really, really smart to click here to subscribe to Dad Writes.
Who writes this stuff?
Dadwrites oozes from the warped mind of Michael Rosenbaum, an award-winning author who spends most of his time these days as a start-up business mentor, book coach, photographer and, mostly, a grandfather. All views are his alone, largely due to the fact that he can’t find anyone who agrees with him.