“Money won is twice as sweet as money earned.” – “Fast” Eddie Felson (Paul Newman) in The Color of Money

Nobody gives the Idler any credit for calling the Steelers – Bengals game but everybody wants to blame us because the Steelers didn’t cover. Well if you took the Steelers and gave 3, you violated one of the first rules of sports betting. You never bet on a game where you have a rooting interest. It colors your judgment and you end up betting with your heart rather than your head. Next Sunday’s game, on the other hand, has our boys getting 7 points in the early line. That looks tantalizing if the Killer B’s play, but not so great if they don’t. On the other hand, Peyton Manning is so busy selling pizza, insurance, aluminum siding and ladies’ foundation garments that he’s probably forgotten that he’ll be 40 in a couple of months and has nearly always been a dog in the playoffs anyway. We think Ben will start and would therefore take our boys and the points, but this would be breaking the above mentioned rule. So don’t blame us if you’re humming that “Nationwide” earworm for the next two weeks.

Rich 02

It will only matter for a few days anyway, because aren’t we all planning to become billionaires? By the time this column appears you’ll be lounging on a big pile of Benjamins and demanding to know why the Rolls Royce Corniche doesn’t come in two-tone black & gold. You’ll probably have a mink lined lawn chair out front to hold your parking space, and you’ll have chefs from Le Mont working round-the-clock firing up kolbossi and perogies for your retinue, which will likely have expanded quite a bit. (Just for future reference, the Idler likes his perogies  with caramelized onions and his kolbossi with some of those grill lines on it. Tell Henri to throw in some bell peppers too.)

The best part of the billion dollar jackpot is debating about what you’ll do with all the money if you win. Sure you’ll get the new car, beach house, cadillacs for Sonny & Red, but what then? College funds for the kids? Absolutely. Have a stadium named after you at your old school? Why not. But you’re dealing with ten figures here, Sparky, so you need to think outside the vault. Here are some ideas for yinz “nouveaux riches,” stolen directly from the old money boys:

Endow A Chair – This is usually done in an academic context, i.e., you pick a college subject that interests you and you pony up enough cash to pay a professor and maybe equip the office, lab, what-have-you. So let’s say you have a deep and abiding interest in and devotion to draft beer. Voila, the Winkleman Chair in Large Scale Fermentation and Applied Fluid Dynamics. Probably comes with a nice tax break. I don’t see why this concept couldn’t be extended to the endowment of barstools. You plunk down about 50 large and when you waltz into your favorite pub, your stool and a cold one would be waiting for you. A few thousand more and you get the Endowed Remote Control so you’re in charge of the tube too.

Create A Foundation – Not the cinderblock kind, we’re talking something like the Ford or Rockefeller foundations. With one of these, you can give out “grants” for “research” projects, literary or artistic efforts. The beauty of this idea is that these grants can be awarded for any wacky thing you can think of. Your deadbeat brother-in-law is complaining about his bowling average? The Smedlap Foundation will award him a grant to explore the many ways a 7 – 10 split can be converted with particular concentration on beer-frame dynamics.

Get Even – It’s probably easier for the victim to remember every wedgie and wet-willie he experienced in school than it is for the perpetrator. Nevertheless, this is the former’s big chance for payback. We’re not recommending violence here, but with a billion, you could probably buy the company your perp works for and promptly fire him. Which reminds us, we should apologize for calling you “Sparky” earlier, since this is not the proper way to address a personage of your stupendous wealth. Also, if we ever gave you a wedgie, sir, be assured it was a case of mistaken identity and entirely accidental since we would never dream of wedgifying a totally cool future billionaire. Also, I have this awesome research project involving recliner testing. Wait til you see it.

Comments – DickVerbo@hotmail.com  Also, Like “The Idler” on Facebook

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