October 03, 2007
I'm revamping a column I wrote in 2002, when the world was touched by Ted Williams' son's love for his dear, dead dad. The story was that the minute the famed ballplayer had his final swing at life, his loving son decided not to cremate him in accordance with the old man's wishes, but, instead, he decided to freeze old Ted and sell off his DNA.
This elicited a response from my childhood friend, Funzie the Brooklyn philosopher, who called me when the news broke and left this sad message on my cell phone: "Jer, did you hear what Ted Williams' son is doing? Children – either they break your heart or they try to sell it off piece by piece."
I have always wanted to be frozen when I kicked the bucket but, frankly, given the lousy service we get from our local utility company, I would never leave my frozen, stiff body in New York State. Let's face it, who wants to be the victim of a brownout or a blackout the minute the temperature goes above 80 degrees?
I can just see myself propped up in our freezer, next to the ice cream, stiff as a board, when the lights go out and my wife, The Beautiful Judy Licht, starts running around screaming, "We must find some ice – Jerry is defrosting again."
Besides, the minute the Ted Williams story broke, all five of my children held a very suspicious conference call. I overheard my very practical, business-oriented daughter, Jessie, telling the others, "His stupid diet is costing us money. I think we should encourage him to gain that weight back. Do you guys have any idea how much 14 pounds of frozen DNA fat is worth on the open market?"
Well, I'm making a counter move. Why should we die and let our children get rich off of our DNA?
Here's my plan:
I'm going to start The Celebrity DNA Company. I'm not waiting to die and have my kids make all the profit. I'm going to sell myself piece by piece while I'm alive.
I am ready to put 100 bucks into the company. This may not sound like a lot to you, but with 100 bucks in the bank my company is already in better financial shape than a hundred companies in the mortgage and housing business.
Now, using Arthur Anderson accounting principals, watch how I can parlay this hundred bucks into billions by taking advantage of the new business morality.
A few minutes ago, I noticed that as a result of too much sun last week, my handsome, bald head was peeling. So I took a quarter-inch piece of dead skin and I have it sitting in my freezer on top of a box of Fudgesicles. Do you know how much Jerry Della Femina DNA there is in that little piece of skin?
Now I sell that little piece of skin to the Bermuda-based International DNA Corporation (a sister company which I secretly own) for one billion dollars.
So, there's the Bermuda International DNA Corporation in debt for a billion dollars. Is that bad? No, it's good. In today's greedy times it's a slam dunk to get some fancy banks to finance this kind of debt because banks believe any company that will pay a billion dollars for a piece of dead skin from a bald guy's forehead must be on to something big, and so they'll be lining up to give them money.
So there's my little company with just a few little hocus-pocus transactions sitting with one billion and one hundred dollars in the bank.
This is just the beginning. I buy the piece of dead skin back from Bermuda International DNA for a million and resell it to another company I secretly own for $10 billion. Since I'm setting the price – the sky is the limit.
Now the banks and financial firms will be flitting around us like dogs in heat. Analysts will be salivating. Here's a company whose main product is the dead skin, dandruff and bits of hair of the rich and famous. It's the stuff analysts' dreams are made of.
Did somebody say IPO? You betcha. But it doesn't end there. Think of all the incredible DNA that lives in this country. For our big finale we introduce "The Celebrity DNA Cocktail." Yes, young parents-to-be, your child can have the combined DNA of Ron Perelman, Carl Icahn, Warren Buffet, Mort Zuckerman and Martha Stewart. This means you can have a child who turns out to be every parent's dream – a billionaire who can cook.
Can we interest you in our newsperson/artist DNA cocktail? That's the Charlie Gibson/Katie Couric/Brian Williams DNA cocktail and, yes, you can have your choice of one writer or one artist – but there's a premium if you want to mix in E.L. Doctorow or Julian Schnabel.
And so it goes. In a year the stock of our little company will be soaring. We will hire thousands of employees whose only job is to collect dandruff, dead skin and random hairs from celebrities. We will owe the banks and the financial community at least $300 billion. They like it that way.
My bogus company can't miss and that's the real American business story. Sadly, this country's business schools have turned out a rogue generation of accountants, business leaders and kids who freeze their fathers and sell their DNA.
We are no longer satisfied with earning a little money from the sweat on our brows. Not as long as we're capable of scamming big money from the dead skin on our foreheads.
If you wish to comment on "Jerry's Ink," send your message to firstname.lastname@example.org.