The Fish
for 24 April 2001. Updated every WEEKDAY.
 
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[Tim Cavanaugh]
Tim Cavanaugh
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Terry Colon
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Heather Havrilesky
Senior Editor

 

[Joey Anuff]
Joey Anuff
Publisher

 
 
 
 
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Survivor Guilt

I spent some time in Australia recently and I think that there has been an error in the translation of the Australian term "Fosters" to the American "Beer". In my observation, the term would more appropriately translate to "Beerlike substance that induces sniggering in Australians when ordered by American tourists who are obviously trying to 'go native'."

In the course of my research, I never saw any Australian order a Fosters anywhere, but I saw a lot of Americans having the "piss taken out of them" (another colorful Aussie colloquialism) when they ordered a Fosters, generally in a loud, ostentatious voice. I think that the Australians have developed the brand as an easy way to prevent "Yanks" or "Seppos" from walking among them unnoticed. If only we had been so clever with the Canadians, we would have seen the infiltration of our entertainment industry coming and "Titanic" would have been a limited-release indy film shown in select theatres near Yellowknife. Hindsight is 20/20 I suppose.

Sincerely, and G'day,

Brandon Pierce
<brandon.pierce@mindspring.com>

Hi Brandon.

Perhaps you were mispronouncing the term. I have it from several native sources that "Fosters" should be pronounced with the primary stress on the second syllable, like this: "bog WA-ter."

The real culprit here, of course, is too much international travel. The Titanic never would sunk in the first place, if people would stop tempting fate and stay at home, refining their misperceptions and prejudices about strange lands and peoples without so much unpleasant comingling.

E.L. Skinner

 
[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]
 

In case I'm not the 1,259,783,942th person to tell you: it's "coral" not "corral." It is NOT against the law to remove a corral in Australia.

Frank H.
<norrico@nyc.rr.com>

Actually, you were the first and last to quarrel over coral. Now if you'd noted how all my em-dashes were turned into Ńs, you'd receive your just desert.

E.L. Skinner

 
[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]
 

Dear E.L. Skinner

Ha. Ha. Ha.

Sincerely,

Michael Lucy
<mlucy@portphillip.vic.gov.au>

Thanks Michael.

We all pray for the day when austria and australia are reunited, and once again share the venerable .au domain.

Kind regards,

EL Skinner

 
[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]
 

Conservation of What Matters

Dear J:

Anybody been ta Vegas knows this: money on-the-table ain't yours, ain't theirs... it just ain't so when it vanishes nothing had ta go anywhere...

ray hartman, spokane, wa
<rayhart@spkn.uswest.net>

Ray,

Freedom's just another word for nothing left ta lose.

Ta,

Johnny Cache

 
[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]
 

Dear Mr. Cache,

You are not really asking where the "money" went, right? I mean, some of it was leverage, some is in cash (money mkt accounts), some in bonds. Most was, of course, inflated asset valuations. That is, a small number of shares affecting the price of the total amount of shares, thus driving prices up and then driving them down.

Because of mark-to-market considerations, the additional "value" of an asset due to increased prices is real in a market sense but there is no accounting increase until the asset is disposed.

In other words, if you bought $1000 worth of Yahoo in 1999 and by March 2000 it was worth $1500, mark to market tells you that you have a $500 increase in asset value but your accounting value is unchanged at $1000. When/if the stock sells off to $750, then mark to market tells you that you have $750 in asset value, though accounting still tells you that you have $1000.

Which leads to a concern that there could be even more selling in store as investors give up and dump their tech shares (though they may already have done so, I have no idea).

Scott G
<Scott.Grimberg@bankofamerica.com>

Scott —

No, not really.

I know you're right about how fairly few shares traded at high prices can artificially inflate the paper value of the entire company.

But if I'd paid attention to that I'd scarcely have had a premise for the piece; and without that I wouldn't have been able to earn the princely sum Suck pays for its daily content; and without that sum of money — a bank check for which I expect to receive any day now — I would not be in a position to pump needed consumer dollars into our faltering economy, rescuing it from sure recession.

Just trying to do my part,

Johnny Cache

 
[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]
 

Hey, JC.

I might be wrong, but I'd guess that $3 trillion is tied up in one place you didn't think of — short-term credit markets. The proliferation of virtual fortunes would have made it a great time for the credit card companies, I'd guess. It makes sense to leverage debt, no? Yes. Only problem — too many people trade on volatility, sell off hits, fortunes no longer, more selling to pay mortgages and credit card bills, so all the money goes to Providian national bank and some savings & loans.

And maybe the OPEC chieftains were buying up oil futures before their expected summer production cuts.

Hmm?

Yours in poverty,

TJ Kelleher
<tj_kelleher@graffiti.net>

TJ,

You seem to have confused me for someone who knows about actual economics, but I do like the notion that OPEC is a giant insider-trading operation.

Buy APWR. But you didn't hear it from me.

Johnny Cache

 
[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]
 

Subject: funny you should mention this...

Just the other day, we were wondering: whatever happened to (cue rimshot) THE S&L CRISIS? You know, the one that was going to cost every American something like $35,000 & have all of us living in grass huts by the turn of the century?

David Menconi/Raleigh (NC) News & Observer
<dmenconi@nando.com>

Eureka! I think it *did* cost me $35,000. I certainly always thought I'd have at least $35,000 more by now than I do, and now I understand why I don't.

Does the grass hut get cable? I like Jon Stewart a lot.

Johnny Cache

 
[Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery My Ass]
 



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Physical Strength and How to Obtain It, by Eugen Sandow
Bamboozled, A Spectacular New Film by Mr. Spike Lee
G. Beato's all-new Soundbitten
William Demarest, Sultan of Snarl, in The Lady Eve (1941), The Palm Beach Story (1942), and The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944)
George Wallace: Settin' The Woods On Fire, directed by Daniel McCabe and Paul Stekler
1995
Bobby Darin, Darin at the Copa (Atlantic)
Shinji-San in the floating world of indeterminate duration, by Peter Richardson
American Pharaoh: Mayor Richard J. Daley: His Battle for Chicago and the Nation, by Adam Cohen and Elizabeth Taylor
Neutral Milk Hotel, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (1996, Merge)
45, by Bill Drummond
Cliff "Ukulele Ike" Edwards, Singing in the Rain (ASV)
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