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The Week in Review -- December 11, 1998

The Markets

  12/4 Close 12/11 Close Change %Change
DJIA 9016.14 8831.76 -194.3 -2.16%
S&P 500 1176.59 1166.46 -10.13 -0.86%
Nasdaq 2002.17 2029.31 27.14 +1.36%

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I'm Okay. Really.
by Jerry Thomas (tmfcheeze@aol.com)

Greetings, Fools.

"Cheeze, you've been under a lot of stress lately. Maybe you should take a few days off."

It's a phrase I've been hearing from my co-workers a lot these days. I appreciate the concern, but no, thank you, no breaks for me. I must plug away at my work. There is too much that needs to be done, too much Wisdom out there, not enough Foolishness. There are only a few weeks left in the year, and I must let people know how to get their tax planning done in time. People need to learn about the rules that govern their IRAs and 401(k)s, about the specials we have covering the subject, and the questions we can answer for them. The Top 10 Roth IRA Questions, as a matter of fact. Roy Lewis (TMF Taxes) and Dave Braze (TMF Pixy) have packaged a lot of potent material there. People need to be told.

"Cheeze, you've got to cut yourself some slack. We can hold up your end for a few days. Really, it's okay."

Well, thanks, but taking time off is no way to wax the henhouse. And I'm doing just fine, thank you very much. Okay, I've been losing a lot of sleep lately. I know the neighbors complain when I play my Wang Chung records at full blast at four in the morning, but it's the only way I can relax. It's not a sign of stress at all. I just curl up with a book, a good one, one recommended by Fools, and I'm okay. Really. I'm fine.

And don't kid me, either. I know what people are saying, whispering behind my back. Cheeze has lost his marbles, they say. His elevator no longer reaches the top floor. He's "savoring the imaginary lozenge," and "out back, yodeling with Uncle Pat." So when I tell people to go read the latest Fool on the Hill essay from Louis Corrigan (TMF Seymor), the one about over-active money managers, is that a crime? Or am I just "selling lip gloss to the pelicans"?

I'll tell you what the problem is. It's the Wise. Like, I'm standing at the bus stop, and the guy next to me isn't saying anything, but I know he's sending me Wise brain waves. He's trying to mentally convince me to purchase shares in his underperforming hedge fund, or to confuse me, telling me that he's just downgraded IBM from "Buy!" to "Accumulate!" Thing is, I don't know the difference between "Buy!" and "Accumulate!" He's toying with me! He's gonna make me pay a full-service commission! I just know it!

Okay. I've calmed down now. I just took two children's Tylenol with a glass of water, so I'll be fine. Thing is, there's a cure for that guy, the Wise guy with the pulsing forehead at the bus stop. All you have to do is click over to Wednesday's Fribble, "Periodical Education," with Phoolish1's very insightful thoughts gleaned from a Foolish study of the Wise press. Oh yes, read it, of course, but what you really need to do is print out a copy of it, and fold it into a paper hat. Yes, you'll look a bit strange wearing it. But that hat will protect you from the harmful subatomic Wise particles that keep slamming into your brain.

So, the other day, David Forrest (TMF Bogey), who is more or less in charge of me here at the Fool, puts his hand on my shoulder for a heart-to-heart. Don't ask me how he managed to do that, because I'm a remote staffer -- I live 3,000 miles from Fool HQ -- but he did it. "Cheeze," he said, "We're all very happy with your dedication to the Foolish cause. But you're taking things too seriously. Lighten up. Chill, dude. Take up a hobby, like maybe golf or something. Just don't let things get to you so much, you know?"

Well, fine. That's easy enough to say. Meanwhile, where am I supposed to find the time to line the inside of my apartment with aluminum foil? It's not going to get done by itself, you know. And don't you know that the Boring Portfolio has been running a series on Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A)? All that great material about one of the most fascinating companies in America? And that great Fool on the Hill report from Alex Schay (TMF Nexus6) about the work of Benjamin Graham -- this stuff has got to be read, pal. And after that, I have to go roller blading with an invisible penguin. I'm supposed to have time for golf?

So fine. Everything's peachy. I'm panicking, scared to death that the world is turning Wiser and Wiser with each tick of the clock (my clock is digital, and it still ticks. Hmmm...). Meanwhile, all my friends at the Fool want me to go bowling or something. Super.

At least I can count on good ol' TMF Selena. Selena Maranjian has never been one to let down the Foolish cause. I can indulge myself in the solace of her latest Fribble. What's it called? The Don't Donate Fribble? Don't donate? Don't give to charity? Don't give to Share Our Strength?? What kind of anti-Foolish nonsense is this?

The woman must be crazy. She has to be. I can tell. Believe me, if there's anybody who knows crazy when he sees it, it's me.

Until next week,
Fool on!

Cheeze

Talk about Notes from a Fool on the Cheeze-O-Rama message board!


 




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