Saturday, February 16, 2008

Money Talks - It Can say, "Goodby"

If #2 Pencils are so popular – why are they still #2?

Really, who IS #1? Seems like everybody wants to be number one. Sports fans and players extend their index finger whenever a play goes their way. Sometimes they extend a different finger of things do not go their way. Vanity license plates can hold the status of being #1. So when a man in Abu Dhabi decided to auction off his car’s #1 tag, folks lined up to bid on it. I’ mean, if the $5 plate brought $ 6.8 million last year (it did), what would #1 bring. ‘Tis a mystery no longer. The plate was purchased for a cool 52.2dirham. Oh, in American money that would be $ 14.3 million. The buyer has his #1 and more cents than sense.

Some people don’t have good cents: We’ve all seen kids throw pennies onto the street. Nobody bothers to pick them up. A movement exists to get rid of the penny (see post of 10/26/07). Readers old enough to remember penny loafers can remember wearing money in their shoes. And every penny arcade had a machine that encased a penny in an aluminum horseshoe that said, “Keep me and you’ll never go broke.”

Some folks actually save pennies. Walter J. Husak is one such person. His penny collection was recently sold. His collection wasn’t very big – 301 pennies in all. Probably not the most impressive of collections. Although it did have so0me rare pennies including one minted in 1793 for two weeks but stopped because of complaints that Lady Liberty looked frightened. Another minted in 1794 had raised stars to discourage counterfeiting. Those two alone brought over $ 632,000. The entire collection of 301 pennies? $ 10.7 million. That averages out to a tad more than $ 35,000 per penny. That ain’t hay.

Up, up, and away: That is where the money went. Silver State Helicopters owner Jerry Airola’s company filed for bankruptcy protection a couple of weeks ago. Airola flew high including financing his own campaign for sheriff – which lost. The difference between Airola and Mitt Romney is that Mitt spent money he had. Jerry exemplified those immortal words of the great philosopher Francis Albert Sinatra who once crooned, “The higher the top the longer the drop.”

Students at the helicopter school were left high and dry and broke after investing as much as $ 70,000 per student to learn about whirlybirds. The company operated schools in 18 states and collected millions in tuition. For now the school remains grounded and flight students learned a difficult economics lesson.

Where’s Andy Sipowicz when we need him? The old NYPD show, still in reruns was a longtime hit. Members of the precinct caught bad guys and had their share of weirdos to deal with. The show is gone but weirdos are still running loose in the Big Apple. A Parks Department employee who did his job on a golf cart went on a rampage running over and killing at least five birds in a park in Lower Manhattan. The 45-year old birdbrain was arrested and charged with reckless endangerment and intentional injury to an animal.

See you next week: Finally, we will be on hiatus until next Thursday or so. See you then. A little blogging music Maestro… Freddy Fender’s “Going Out With the Tide.”

Dr. Forgot

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