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September 10, 1998: The Year in Review

Financial advice from the deceased

Our first financial advisor is Quintus Horam, who died at the age of 36 while fighting the Carthiginians on the Appian Way in 97 A.D. Quintus was hit in the back with a spear thrown by one of his own men, a spear intended for the encroaching enemy. He was survived by his sister and parents. He was a proud member of the Roman Army. Quintus knows nothing of the modern financial times.

Dear Weekly Week :

I am often confused by the term ‘sell short.’ What is this term and why would I buy a stock to ‘sell short?’

— Frank Whitmarsh

I must go now, to march toward the square where the soldiers are needed for this afternoon’s hanging of the derelicts. It is the great Proctor Simmius who will lead the troops in noisy chant and song through the wending roads of Rome.

May the great Caesar live and and may my heart abandon no enemy when they need me to kill them. Off we go!

"May the Gauls suffer loss!

May the Carthiginians have crushed legs!

May the Romans imbibe and fornicate!

May the empire spread like weeds and laugh like brazen hyenas!"

And so it is my friend, that I see you on our golden road. There shall be no enemy that dares to step upon the Appian Way that does not also be assured of spilling its blood while we march in victory. Our sharpened spears, and golden helmets will carry the pride of Rome and bring to our enemies outside the empire the gallows of defeat!

And so we eat the pig while we await the advance of the Carthiginians. We wait for every boastful step they take forth, towards our destined city of Rome. Oh Appian Way! Oh how you are soiled by the dirty sandals of a weak enemy. We shall spill their blood, and let you be the bed that flows it out to sea!

• • •

Our second financial advisors are Lance and Betty Bowen. Married for 43 years, Lance and Betty died in a three-car accident on I-495 while driving down to the Cape for their annual vacation.

Apparently, Lance was driving and fell asleep. His Lincoln Town Car careened into a Lexus and then spun off a brand new Dodge Ram. Lance died instantly. Due to her extensive head injuries, Betty was flown to the UMass medical center in Worcester. She was taken off life support three days later. They are survived by 3 children and 5 grandchildren.

Dear Weekly Week:

Why does everyone use the Dow industrial average to compare their stocks to? The Russell 3000 is a much more reliable index.

— Constance Garnett

Betty: You, Frank, of all people, should not even try to give out financial advice. You’re the dumb sack of shit that invested in that microfiche company in the early nineties! Who the hell was using microfiche then? Some library in Arkansas?

You’re a real piece of work. You couldn’t even stay awake. You had to doze off and get us killed. Now look at us! I thought our crappy duplex house in Nashua was bad enough. Now were stuck answering questions for this — what the hell is the name of this rag anyways? The Weekly Speak? What the hell does that mean? Who the hell reads this? I wouldn’t wrap a rotten mackerel in this thing. Ha! The Weekly Speak! What a stupid name.

Lance: Betty, why don’t you put a —

Betty: Put a what, Frank, a what? What are you going to say to me? You knocked me up, moved me from Michigan at age 19 to some stupid New Hampshire town and then kept telling me things were going to get better!

All I got was 3 aching kids, a crappy duplex and 40 years working in some mattress warehouse. You shoulda killed me when I was 19. That was the high point—before I met you!

And, Constance, Russell this, you Yuppie! What the hell kind of a name is Constance? "Oooh, my name is Constance Garnett, I live in Boston. I make one hundred thousand dollars a year and I don’t know what to do, oh, poor Constance."

Hey, at least you didn’t get stuck with some limp minded nitwit like I did. If I were you, I wouldn’t marry. Men suck. All they do is fall asleep and get you killed.

Lance: Oh, like you never did anything wrong? Like I’m the one who made all the mistakes? Why don’t you just look at yourself for once?

Constance: Umm, I know this is kind of weird, but you seem to be placing all the blame for your life on Lance, it’s not like—

Betty: You don’t know what I’ve been through! [Frank gets up, exits. Betty pulls out cigarette and lights it. She is quiet now.]

You just don’t know. [Exhales].

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