LAST CALL: Literati offer their tribute to famous books andinfamous bookkeeping

By Judy Parr... what Bernard "H.C. Ebbers might say, in the style of J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye

By Judy Parr... what Bernard "H.C. Ebbers might say, in the style of J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where all these profits came from, and why all these acquisitions went sour, what our net income is, and why WorldCom stock is in the toilet, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the second place, my family and friends would have about a dozen hemorrhoids apiece if I passed along too many details. Especially my church connections. Some of them get totally florid about depravity and anything like that.

It wasn't all my fault, if you want to know the truth. Standard auditing practices are something I really don't understand too hot. You never know exactly how well you're doing. I keep making up these rules for myself, and I break them right away. Auditing is something I just don't understand.

As far as financial reporting, all you have to do is say something nobody understands, and auditors'll do anything you want them to. And the SEC; they're all a bunch of phonies. What those guys are doing to free enterprise totally depresses me.

Looking back on all I've tried - coaching, running motels, telecommunications - maybe I just didn't apply myself as I should have. Maybe I'm just a lapsed Calvinist with a perverted work ethic.

That's all I'm going to tell you about. I could tell you more, especially about last year's net income and projections for next year, but projections just make me want to puke. Frankly, it all depresses me. If you want to know the truth, I don't know what the hell to say. I probably said too much already.

By Jackie Kjono... Ebbers' tale again, here in the style of Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

WorldCom today reported net income from operations of a huge, flipping mountain of cash for the June quarter. Diluted earnings per share declined 6% compared with prior year earnings per share, but who would want to dilute a neat thing like earnings anyway. Net income from operations declined 5% compared with prior year earnings, primarily due to the continued inability of people to use our cell phone service while in the hospital having operations.

Commenting on the quarter, WorldCom chairman and CEO Bernie Ebbers said, "I know some of you were expecting actual numbers in the earnings report.

The trouble is that the numbers are so amazingly huge, we thought the news would give all our investors heart attacks.

"I was informed by a mysterious gentleman who appeared in my office that one of our subsidiaries would develop time travel in another 20 years.

He than gave me an almanac of horse racing winners, and a CD-ROM with the next 20 years of The Wall Street Journal in digest form.

Based on what I have found from reading those future issues of the Journal, WorldCom is going to make a mind-bendingly, gravitational field-warpingly, even-Alan-Greenspan-might-actually-find-something-nice-to-say tremendous amount of money in the future. In fact, our internal accounting office will have to develop a new form of calculus called Barnumometry just to compute the numbers.

"So you can all sleep soundly knowing your money is safe with us."

By Joanne Eglash... Martha Stewart's woes in the style of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland

"Curiouser, and even more curious, said Martha, as she stepped cleanly and in a most organized manner through the beautifully polished and clear Looking Glass (Martha's secret formula: a dash of her homegrown rosemary mingled with just a dab of her homemade window polishing liquid).

A pair of twins (not terribly well-dressed, but Martha knew that she could think of a solution) came dashing up to Martha. "I'm Publishing," said the first twin. "I'm Television, said the second twin.

Suddenly, a third twin (which Martha, as she thought about it, recognized must be a triplet, which made them a pair of triplets, or should that be a trio of triplets? She knew that there had been a TV show that she had done about that at some time...or was it a magazine article? Martha turned to her ever-present wireless organizer) rushed up to her.

"Look to the future, Martha said, nibbling on a delicately sliced cucumber sandwich that she (how very peculiar!) had suddenly discovered in her hand. And (even more curious) she found herself growing and growing.

"Just remember, she called down to the threesome as she soared up to the sky, "I receive more than 300,000 letters annually from my people, and I must grow to meet their needs. It's a good thing!"

For investors who prefer a summary, please note that it was always brillig' this year. Martha and her staff successfully groomed the slithy toves, despite their insistence on gimbling in the wabes. A successful theme throughout the year in the magazines, on TV, and in merchandise has been ways to outsmart the Jabberwock, both for sons and for daughters. Martha also received extensive positive publicity for her cultivation of the Tumtum tree throughout the world. As a result, investors should feel beamish and have a frabjous day and year.

NOTE: Submissions have been edited for space. For full text, visit gregoryfca.com.

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