WATCH: World’s Scariest Roller Coaster?

(Huffington Post, 11/21/11)

Coaster Rules:

You must be at least one or two years old to ride. That is, you must be old enough to scream Help!

Lactating mothers: we do not recommend breastfeeding your child during the ride.

Not recommended on this ride: false teeth, toupees, glass eyes, falsies, wooden legs, wheelchair cases, crutches, comical hats, clutch bags, loose brooches, heart transplants less than a week old, anyone afflicted with the jimjams, fantods, hysterical blindness, the screaming meemies, neuritis, or neuralgia.

Please use the seatbelts that we provide. If you insist on standing up at some point during the ride, remember to refasten the belt when you sit down again, assuming that you’re still in the car.

If, when your coaster car reaches the very, very top, you decide to opt out of the ride down the other side, please step out onto the platform provided up there. Hold tightly to the handrail once you’re out, as the wind at that height can blow you right off the structure.

If, after the first circuit, the cars come through and your seat is empty, another ticket-holder will be allowed to take your place. If you show up later, having somehow survived your fall, you will not be given a free ride.

We are not legally required by State, County, or Town ordinances to provide you with statistics relating to the safety of this ride. This includes any information regarding fatalities.

No firearms, even though the Constitution guarantees your right to carry one, or more. If you’re going to be pig-headed about it, at least put the safety on.

Please do not eat during the ride.

If the individual seated in front of you does eat, we advise you not to attempt the Heimlich maneuver, at least while plunging downwards at speeds that will exceed 100 mph.

Do not smooch your sweetie on the ride if you are wearing braces, which can become like flashing knives on the whiplash curves.

We’ve given up on all our rules about vomiting.

Most important: Have fun!

Recession? Bring It On!

(Headline in the Huffington Post, 11/15/11)

I’m worth 300 billion dollars and I plan to give it all away, so up until recently, I haven’t been paying any attention to the economy.

My 300 billion earns 5% compounded, day in and day out, so I’m a billion or so richer every time I turn around. Ever try to spend a billion? You buy this, give away that, for a day or two, or a week nonstop, but the money just keeps piling up. Frustrating and annoying, like junk mail or spam. Or my rich sister’s tweets.

When the economy was ok – you know, back when everybody was buying houses and flipping them and the guys bundling the mortgages and peddling default credit swaps were raking it in – my give-away strategy was simple: find the poorest folks out there and give my money to them.

But now there’s this whole 1%/99% thing. I’ve got to spread my growing pile out over everybody but us billionaires. In fact, I think that a few of the lesser billionaires are in the 99% too. It’s like peanut butter – if you’re putting a dab on a Ritz cracker, that’s easy. But if you have a great big piece of crumbly white bread and a big glob of peanut butter that’s hard because you keep it in the icebox, then getting it spread out evenly on the bread is not easy. If it’s chunky, that’s even worse. (See, my money is the peanut butter and the white bread is the people (of all colors, of course!), whereas the Ritz cracker is the poorest (not call crackers, of course, haha)).

It’s not my fault that I’m rich. I didn’t earn it or anything. My grandfather and father did, who knows how. They died and now I’m stuck with it. Now I’m going to wish it onto somebody else? Is that fair? I gave my brother-in-law a couple billion and he ended up blowing his brains out. Did I do that? Money like this, it’s radioactive.

But if I spread it thin enough, it’ll be ok. That’s my thinking. Nobody in Kansas wants any; they think I should keep it (I read that in a book). Mississippi wants some but they haven’t figured out how to divide it up amongst all those fertilized eggs they’re going to get going to increase their share. I think that Chicago wants some but the mayor dropped so many F bombs on me when we spoke, I can’t be sure. Prairie Home Companion wants half a million. Finally, Hollywood wants, well, all of it, but they’ve got a real sweet deal for me.

Then I’ll be broke and go live in a tent at one of the Occupy sites. I’m hoping to, you know, meet someone, see where it leads, take it slow. Maybe she’ll be a doctor or lawyer, with a new BMW and a terrific loft in a great neighborhood over on the West Side.