Investing in Vodka and Beards
This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
Investors, perhaps you are worried. Perhaps you are ready to yank all your money out of the market and stuff it in your mattress — except that you were thinking of selling your mattress on eBay.
Don’t. I just checked. There are 5,796 there already, and you’re going to want that mattress when you’re curled up in a ball, moaning something about Jim Cramer.
Anyway, the good news is that even if the entire financial world seems to be falling apart like your Ikea bookshelf — don’t ask, I just know — there’s no reason you have to sit there while dictionaries fall on your head. Actually, it’s an ideal time to get out and invest.
That’s what my broker tells me, anyway. And he would know, right? Although something seems to be wrong with his phone. The only question is: Which stocks can we believe in? Which ones are absolutely recession-proof? Depression-proof? Armageddon-dipped-in-economic-disaster-deep-fried-in-Steinbeck-proof?
Herewith, a professional’s picks. Ha ha — I didn’t tell you what profession, did I?
INVESTMENTS THAT WON’T GO BELLY UP *
*Because they don’t have bellies.
STARBUCKS: Yes, I know you think it’s going to go under — who needs $4 coffee when $4 can buy you a state senator? — but watch what happens to what’s left of American productivity if it does. The government will step in faster than you can say, “Fannie Mae.” Or just “Fannie,” because that’s more fun.
DAVID BLAINE … is about to hang upside down for three days. Figure out a way to invest in him, because when the entire market is going down, for him it’s going up.
SELTZER: There are only two things everyone needs to live: Water and air. Look who’s got ’em both.
VODKA: Of course, sometimes it feels like there’s only one thing everyone needs to live. Especially after a day like yesterday.
MICROSOFT: Sure, everyone is always annoyed with Microsoft. It’s too slow. Too clunky. And there’s that eyebrow-wiggling paperclip that looks like it would like to meet another eyebrow-wiggling paperclip but is trying too hard. All of which is exactly what makes this stock so attractive. Why? Because nothing really annoying ever goes away. At least, not while you’re paying attention. Think of your brother: 19 years of annoying you (if you count coming home on college vacation). Had you stopped paying attention, he’d have disappeared, like that cabbage soup diet everyone forgot about after it made them so gassy. As long as Microsoft continues to annoy us, it’ll be around.
THE NEW YORK SUN: Of course this baby’s gonna make it. Since when has the Sun failed to appear each morning?
FAKE BEARDS: This is not as big a business as, say, copper, or commercial real estate. But take a look at financial history and I think you’ll find that fake beards have proven more immune to economic ups and downs than many other so-called “recession-proof” industries. Moreover, a year’s worth of holidays virtually ensures non-stop demand: Halloween, Purim, Christmas, and the big kahuna: Lincoln’s Birthday. Talk about your non-elastic demand. Well, non-elastic in the Keynesian sense. But otherwise, of course, elastic is key to this industry.
BIOFUELS: Um, biofuels are the wave of the future because … uh … Okay. Maybe I threw these in because everyone else does. Is that any worse than what your investment advisor did?
GINGHAM: How do I know gingham is such a sure thing? Because I watched “The Waltons” growing up, that’s how. That proud TV family survived the Great Depression by making everything out of gingham — aprons, curtains, kerchiefs. Their well was made of gingham. Their dog was. John-Boy was part gingham. When the going gets tough, the tough get gingham.
HERSHEY BARS: Honestly, can you imagine going through a world-wide economic collapse without a candy bar at your side? And not some frou-frou, 78% “cacao” candy bar that reminds you of how you blew your money when you had it. A real one. With almonds.
THE BIG THREE: Remember “Taxi?” asked my friend Marc. “No, I remember ‘The Waltons,'” I replied, but Marc plowed ahead. In one particular episode, he said, a character divulged the only three can’t-fail investments: hospitals, nuclear weapons, and t-shirts. “It was supposed to be a laugh line,” Marc said. “Now it sounds like pretty good advice.”
LEHMAN’S: Despite its current difficulties, I believe this great institution will rise again. Who cares if it’s had a bad year? So many people depend on this place. It makes such great picks. And without it, many New Yorkers will not know what to do. Like me. With my son’s Bar Mitzvah coming up, I am depending on it more than ever. I need it. Please, government officials: Even if it seems too late, do not let Lehman’s die.
(Editor’s note: Lenore, don’t you mean Loehmann’s?)