Thursday, November 26, 2009

Cars of the Year

Vrrrroooooooom! That's the sound of 2009 speeding out of Time's Parking Lot, driven by thieves who will sell the car to feed their drug addictions. So, with the year almost finished, it’s time for me to do my annual roundup of the year's best cars. Gentlemen, start your engines now!


This year, blue cars were my favourite ones. Sure, they're not very fast and their fuel economy is atrocious, but sometimes I like to strip off all my clothes, paint myself blue from head to toe and lie down on the hood to see if anyone notices me, chameleon style. It's a lot of fun and it's something I need to do.


This funny little car is for the kind of driver who isn't uptight about getting from A to B. BONUS FEATURE: if you sit on top of the boulder long enough you'll begin to feel like a king.


Last summer, my wife, Claire, participated in The Wash For Bones, a charity car wash that raised money for people with terrible bones. By the end of the day, Claire had raised over $87 and all the cars in town were sparkling -- which is more than I can say for the state of our marriage at present. For those of you interested in my personal life, Claire and I are currently separated, due to some problems we've been having with her not liking me.


This truck scared me off the road when I saw what was dangling from him -- I thought it was some sort of bio-chemical weapon, or the Rise of the Machines. Thankfully, I was wrong and the "truck scrotum" is meant to be a joke for blue-collar people. I didn't "get it." And furthermore, why does the truck have a scrotum but no penis? A continuity error if ever there was one. Back to work, proles.


ATTENTION: If anyone has information about the boys who've been answering nature's call on my car, please contact me or the police IMMEDIATELY. The urine smell is really getting on my nerves and giving my wife headaches (at least, it used to, before she packed her bags). How would these dirty boys like it if I drove my car into their toilets every night? I thought so.


I guess this is more of a license-plate shot, but my son has a compact SUV that helps him cruise the streets with his friends all night. I don't know what they get up to, exactly, but they always seem to have a nice time together. It's very musty in there, so I usually open the windows to air it out while he sleeps all day.


I've only included this one as a joke; this car is fictitious.


HONK! Know what that sound is, little dude? It's the sound of Mankind conquering Nature.


This car is a real hassle. Every time you open the door, your grandpa has to fall out of the tree, which adds unnecessary tension to an already stressful Grandpa & Grandson Day. Grandpa makes me nervous!


A flashy, "look-at-me" vehicle, hell's car is one of the only automobiles on the market that you can cook your dinner over. (Just thinking about this car makes my mouth water. I'm a burgerholic with a nasty case of french fry-itis.) It's also a good car for single women looking to snag themselves a fireman or mechanic!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Stay Safe Abroad!

Fact: Everybody loves to travel.

Fact: Everybody hates getting mugged, beaten up or (heaven forbid) murdered in cold blood while broadening their horizons.

I've travelled all over this crazy world and I've never once been murdered. So, how did I do it? Am I some sort of modern-day Messiah or a man/machine hybrid, impervious to bullets, pickpockets and Gypsy spells? No – I'm just a regular Canadian man who knows a few practical travel tips that can help make any trip abroad up to 67% murder-free.

TIP #1 - Secure Your Valuables

When out in big cities, keep money and other valuables in a secure place, such as a fannypack or an anus. Come to think of it, it's not a bad idea to hide things in your anus even when you're in rural areas . . . or at home, when you're not travelling at all. Why not see how much stuff you can fit up your anus?

TIP #2 - Respect the Locals

When being mugged, don't sarcastically ask your assailant if he has a university degree.

TIP #3 - Keep Your Love of The Cure To Yourself

It's a good idea to keep your love of The Cure or The Smiths to yourself. This is especially important when travelling in Africa, where it's difficult to tell which band the locals prefer (e.g. Sudan loves The Smiths while Rwanda is nuts for The Cure). Admiring the wrong band in the wrong country can lead to bloodshed – or worse.

TIP #4 - Befriend Criminals

As soon as you arrive abroad, make friends with some local criminals. These men will protect you from rival gangs and corrupt police officers (who are arguably more evil than the gangs they're paid to break up). You may be required to commit a few crimes or get a tattoo to earn your gang's respect, but you'll probably enjoy the God-like sensation of taking a human life.

TIP #5 - Avoid Spiked Drinks

Don't accept drinks from strangers or leave your drink unattended. Many criminals pour ketchup in drinks when no one is looking, thus ruining the drink's flavour forever.

TIP #6 - Dodge The "Flooded Town" Scam

Don't fall for the "flooded town" scam when travelling in tropical countries. This is a large-scale ruse designed to play on your emotions and bilk you out of money. Newsflash: all those people splish-splashing around are actors and they should be ashamed of themselves for trying to take advantage of English-speaking tourists.

TIP #7 - Travel Safe in Pairs

At all times, be aware of Soon-Yi's whereabouts.*

TIP #8 - Don't Mess Up Your Mission

When meeting your North Korean contact, don't hand over the enriched uranium until you've received the cash and intelligence dossier. What are you, an idiot?

TIP #9 - Charm Your Kidnappers

If you find yourself kidnapped abroad, try charming your captors by reciting as many classic Simpsons lines as you can remember (e.g. "Mmmm, donuts!"). If this backfires somehow and drives your captors to execute you, switch to Family Guy quotes until the decapitation is complete.

TIP #10 - Beware of Dolphins

If your plane goes down over the ocean and you survive, be wary of dolphins. Dolphins are the pickpockets of the sea and they are also motherfuckers.

* This tip applies solely to Woody Allen.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How To Find The Perfect Butler

Sometimes life gets so impossible that the only thing you can do is hire a butler to help out around the multi-million-dollar house in which I live. But with so many different kinds of butlers on the market, how do you know which one is the right guy for you? Never fear, buddies -- your old pal M. Balazo is on the job! I've compiled a list of some of my favorite butlers, complete with pros and cons. Right this way, Master Waynes....

English butler: perfect for rainy days and helping out at Oi! concerts.

American butler: similar to an English butler, but he knows Aunt Viv's secrets.

Sex butler: spends more time doing the nasty than working.

Homeless butler: a tough customer at the best of times.

Italian butler.

Young butler: full of all sorts of crazy ideas.

Space Butlers: loyal, but goopy.

Some butlers arriving for work.

Butler during his Ziggy Stardust phase.

German butler: despises condoms.

Old butler: he could pass away at any moment.

So, there you have it – a virtual butler buffet. Pick the one you want, sit back and relax. Isn't it weird that you can hire another human to live in your house and clean up after you when you make a mess?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I Have No Daughter

Kids, hey? They never turn out the way you want them to. Take my daughter, Janica. She's tearing the family apart with her behaviour and filthy outfits. I'm just about at my wit's end.

Janica really makes me mad. I've worked very hard all my life to give her the opportunity to become a successful businesswoman -- an opportunity I never had. And what does she give me in return? She goes ahead and turns into a nightmare. The question I keep asking myself is: where did it all go wrong?

As her father, I suppose I am at least partly responsible for how Janica turned out. I shouldn't have let her drop math in high school. I should've taken her to more museums. Maybe I set a bad example with my Fight Club and my bland suppers. But I certainly never brought her up to be an irresistible sex assassin who kills everyone and laughs afterward like a maniac.

Congratulations, Janica. You've made your father very unhappy. And as far as I'm concerned, you're out of the family.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

10 Easy Ways to Win a Woman’s Heart from my book "Let's Date That Woman!"

Every time I leave my house, men ask me for dating advice that ACTUALLY WORKS. Hopefully, the following ten tips will help men land dates with their favourite women of all time.

1) Break into your sweetheart’s apartment while she’s at work and paint the words “YOUR FACE ROCKS” onto her bedroom ceiling.

2) Show your sweetheart your feminine side by dressing up like the famous character Dame Edna and sitting in a car in front of her building for 24 hours without telling her. Never tell her!

3) Using pictures from your sweetheart’s family photo albums as guidance, paint a nude portrait of her father and present it to her as a gift. NOTE: Take care to get the dick right.

4) Break into your sweetheart’s apartment while she’s away on vacation and execute a known child molester in the living room. This will tell her two things: 1) you are a man of action and 2) you are good with kids.

5) Bring your sweetheart to a cultural or sporting event such as an anti-immigration rally or an anti-immigration air-guitar competition.

6) Spike your sweetheart’s drink, but (and this is crucial) DON’T take advantage of her. When she comes to, tell her about your chivalrous behaviour – and get ready for a sizzling night in the boudoir!

7) It may sound old-fashioned, but a box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day never fails to melt a woman’s heart. NOTE: This time, when you’re breaking into your sweetheart’s apartment, you may wish to carry a firearm. In the worst-case scenario, your sweetheart owns firearms herself. If she opens fire on you, you have every right to protect yourself and the chocolates. Try to shoot your sweetheart somewhere that will slow her down but not eliminate her (e.g. her leg).

8) Send your sweetheart a funny YouTube video or the link to your favourite anti-immigration website.

9) Track down all of your sweetheart’s former boyfriends via the internet. Lure the men to an abandoned warehouse by the dockyard at midnight. Trap the men in a large bag. Place the bag of men in the water. When all the men in the bag have drowned, press record on the camera and hang yourself from the rafters.

10) Look deep into your sweetheart’s eyes and say, “I love your apartment.”

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Michael Balazo’s Illustrated History of Funk: Volume 1 - The Bass Guitar Crisis of 1968

In 1968, during the height of the Vietnam war, a bass guitar shortage crippled America’s tightest rhythm sections. For nine excruciating months the nation’s funkiest bass players, deprived of their instruments, were forced to stand on stage awkwardly beside their drummers and “look busy” before paying audiences. Some twirled, some crouched, and others gave calligraphy lessons or reinvented themselves as matchmakers. But no matter how the bass players bided their time, everyone in America agreed on one thing: it was sure enough hard to shake your ass without that big ol’ bouncy, bottom-end.

The origins of the shortage were as simple as they were sinister. America, as a nation at war, had introduced a bass guitar registry in May of 1968, requiring all funky bassmen to tell the Green Berets about their guitars or face imprisonment. Most bass players complied grudgingly, figuring it was just a temporary measure. They were wrong. By August, as American casualties in Vietnam mounted, the government made the controversial decision to seize the guitars outright. What followed was neither funky nor fresh.

"Chuckie" Pigskins McCoy, former bass player for 70’s legends Funkcyclopedia Galactica told me about the seizure of his bass: “One day I was eating breakfast with my wife – eggs, buttered toast, a little coffee and I always throw some fruit in there because it keeps your groover groovin' – when there was a knock at the door. The Green Berets came in and snatched my bass right off the kitchen table, making the most terrible racket. I asked them if they didn’t know what manners were and they just told me to go on eating. What was I gonna do? They gave me a coupon and said I could redeem it for my guitar after the war. I looked at the coupon after they left and it was just an old parking ticket. Oh dear."

Sad as it sounds, Chuckie’s story is not unique. All across America, bass players were interrupted at breakfast and forced to relinquish their instruments. Robbed of their only source of income, the sad men came up with imaginative (often unsuccessful) ways to keep the bass-lines flowing. Wee-Pee Bigguns, former bassist for James Brown, told me about his scheme: “You got to remember, I had a family to feed. So, I dressed up a tuba to look like a guitar by gluing a broken hockey stick to the end and stretching some elastic bands over the keys to represent the strings. I walked on stage with this monstrosity, praying that nobody would notice. Well! Four bars in to Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag, James silences the band and asks me why I’m blowing into my guitar. I just stood there, panicking. And just at that exact moment, the glue comes loose and the hockey stick falls off the tuba and James gets hit in the nose with a rubber band. He fired me on the spot. I've never been so humiliated in my life. And that’s when I decided to become a Christian Gentleman.”

Nine months later, the crisis was over and every bass player in America was awarded a Purple Heart and some Victoria Crosses.

To read more of Michael Balazo’s Illustrated History of Funk, click HERE.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The World's Most Endangered Languages, According to the UN

Mumbo Jumbo
Fake Jamaican Accent
Smooth Talk
Talkin' Outta Yer Ass
Old Spanglish

Monday, July 20, 2009

Puppets + Racism = Rich Man!

The results are in and I couldn’t be fumier. Forbes has revealed its list of the year’s ten top earning comedians and, just like last year, the name Michael Balazo doesn’t appear once — even in anagram form.

What a first-class farce. It reminds me of the kind of delightful nonsense that a certain Aristophanes would have dreamed up, had he lived long enough to get angry at something he’d read on the internet. (I wonder if Aristophanes is a Mac man or a PC man? Either way, he’s more than welcome to sleep on my couch the next time he’s in town.)

Back to the list. There are some familiar names here, including Jerry Seinfeld (of Bee Movie fame) and Chris Rock; U.S. citizen Dane Cook; silly southerners Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Expert; Latino heartthrob George Lopez; and Canadians Howard Mandel and Russell Peters. So far, so good — until you realize that two of the grown-men on the list (Jeff Dunham and Terry Fator) are ventriloquists. And not just ventriloquists; they’re extremely wealthy ventriloquists (between the two of them, they raked in $40 million between June 2008 and June 2009).

This really gets my goat. Consider this: like America itself, Dunham and Fator’s acts are built on a solid foundation of racist jokes. Some of Dunham’s most celebrated puppet characters include the Speedy Gonzalez-like José Jalapeño on a Stick, Sweet Daddy D (an elderly, jive talkin’ black pimp), and the Arab-baiting Achmed the Dead Terrorist. As for Fator, he slays audiences across America with a soul-singing minstrel of a puppet named Julius.

It really pisses me off.

You see, years ago, back before anyone had ever heard of Jeff Dunham or Terry Fator, I used to travel around America with a racist puppet act of my own. (Not to toot my own horns, but I was known as the Jim Henson of racist puppet comedy.) My most popular puppets were Black Guy (an African American puppet who longed to make a name for himself in the fragrance industry) and Ching Chong O’Reilly, a crowd-pleasing puppet of mixed ethnicity (Chinese and Irish, naturally) who sang wedding songs in what I can only assume was Hebrew. My act, I assure you, was mostly brilliant. Unfortunately, Lady Luck refused to smile on me, and I never made a red cent. Can you imagine how frustrating it is for me to see these acts I influenced achieve massive success while I sit in my filthy, comfortless room, dying in obscurity?

Ahead of my time, indeed.

All I’m saying is that it’s time for Dunham and Fator to give credit where credit is due. Is that so hard, boys? According to my calculations, each of these pretenders to my throne owes me $5 million. If they fail to deliver the cash to my filthy, comfortless room by Monday at 9 AM, I will have no choice but to burn my horrible puppets and kill myself as quickly as possible. Consider this your last warning, boys.

Congratulations to everyone else on the list, by the way.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Words To Avoid Using in a Professional Looking Suicide Note from Strunk and White's The Elements of Style



Foo Fighters


stress puppy


crème de la crème









nucking futs

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Birthday of Me

Today I am a 30 year old human guy. It’s quite a surprising milestone for me, mostly because The Man Upstairs has spent the past three decades trying to assassinate me with a single-mindedness that is both scary and flattering. Face it, God — you’re a flop at killing me. Better luck next time, ding-dong!

Just joshing, you big Knucklehead!

So, how am I spending this first day of the rest of my life? Let me paint a picture for you: it is a rainy day in London. I am eating some discount garlic bread as an old Greek repairman fixes a leaky pipe over my pantry that is connected to the upstairs toilet. You should hear him swear at the stubborn thing in the language of Plato! Let’s just say I wouldn’t want to be in that toilet pipe’s shoes.

Things are going well.

My foul-mouthed Greek brother probably has a lot of sage advice for me. Just think of all the wonderful things this Noble Savage has learned over the course of his long, fruitful life as a toilet man. I’d even be willing to ask him for guidance if the language barrier weren’t such a massive, massive headache. No. It’s probably best to leave this inscrutable blue-collar Zeus alone and get on with my work. . . .

Now that I’ve safely escaped my 20s in a bulletproof helicopter, I feel it’s my responsibility to do what this Greek man can’t do: pass wisdom down to the younger generation. True, I’ve made a lot of huge-ass mistakes over the past decade (e.g. pretending to like Jeff Buckley, eating that diarrhea-inducing veggie burger in Dublin, etc.), but I’d like to think they are nicely balanced by an equal number of motherfuckingly good decisions (e.g. seeing The Bucket List).

I guess if I have a message for children and tweens, it is this: Jeff Buckley stinks the most. And don’t eat that weird veggie burger unless you want to spend the entirety of your flight back to Canada in the toilet of a budget airliner. On the other hand, The Bucket List is a shimmering jewel of a film that’s readily available on DVD (or as a BitTorrent — but DON’T tell the Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman actors I told you). The choice is yours.

So, let's see: Jeff Buckley, veggie burger, film . . . Jesus Christ — I only did three things in my 20s. And two of them were bad. Shit.

Oh well. My 30s are going to be a wild ride, and I am totally screaming because I want to go faster. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m stepping out for a Dionysian night on the town with a certain Mediterranean repairman. Look out, London ladies! With his rough worker’s hands and my 70 w.p.m. typing skills at least one of us is bound to have intercourse before sunrise!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Thoughts of Robert Oppenheimer on Watching the First Nuclear Bomb Test

I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.

I wonder if history will judge me for my role in all this?

Whoa! During the blast I could see everyone’s bones. I guess we’re all the same under our skin. One day, thanks to me, Americans will finally elect Obama as President.

I am become Starving. What’s for dinner back at the lab? Do you think it’s burgers or pizza? You know, if someone held a gun to my head and asked me which I liked more—burgers or pizza—I honestly don’t know what I’d do.

Ha! Jones is too chubby to fit into his anti-radiation suit. He’s the chubbiest physicist of all!

I wonder if Karen likes me? Aw, who am I kidding—a glamorous lady scientist like that would never go for an old fuddyduddy like me. What does she see in Jones?

Rats! It wasn’t supposed to be a mushroom cloud. I wanted it to be a candy cane.

I am become Embarrassed. Karen totally saw me trip on my shoelace.

I wonder if Abbot and Costello are friends in real life?

Oh God! Jones just let one rip. And I thought my bombs were deadly!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Cholera, Jack the Ripper, the Blitz and Deep Fried Chicken

According to this BBC story, Tower Hamlets, where I live, is the UK’s third most deprived borough. Thank you! It’s also “at the heart of an obesity epidemic.” (Funny how the estate agent glossed over these details. I guess she figured no one would respond to an ad for a TWO BEDROOM FLAT IN ROLY-POLY GHETTO HELL—unless the prospective tenant was a “chubby chaser” who liked his ladies down-and-out, like yours truly.)

After surviving cholera, Jack the Ripper and the Blitz, the biggest threat facing London’s east end today is . . . delicious greasy food. And no wonder. There are about fifty-thousand fried chicken/kebab shops within a one mile radius of my home. Step outside and you’ll notice the air on my street smells like bacon (I saw a man take a deep breath the other day and gain fifteen pounds). Life expectancy is so low here that 6-year-old kids wear ragged “Old Fart” t-shirts and any 14-year-old worth his salt is in the final stages of dementia.

Seems pretty grim, doesn’t it? Not if you use a little bit of imagination. I like to think of my neighbours as low-income Oompa-Loompas, like from the film Charlie’s Chocolate Services. The only difference is, instead of being funny little orange guys with green hair that sing silly songs as they make sweets, my neighbours are dejected boys that pelt my window with bottles and stones and insult me in a language that sounds nothing like Loompa. I haven’t won their chubby hearts yet, but when I do, I’m going to tell my tormentors all about Roald Dahl. If he can’t set them straight, I don’t know which children’s author can.

Even when they’re not outside my window, my neighbours are always trying to get me. Walking home at night recently, I nearly passed away when I slipped on a pile of barely visible, super greasy french fries scattered under an archway. How did they get there? A large boy (considering me “prize game”) obviously planted them there, hoping I would fall and break my neck so that he could lug me home and turn me into a very special shawarma. That is not how I want to go. Luckily, I survived and learned from my close-call. These days, I wear special shoes whenever I leave the house. To make sure I never die.

I understand why my neighbours feel so angry. This area is so poor that the local dentist operates out of a van. Once a month, a “mobile dental unit” parks at the top of my street (preceded by shouts of “Toothman! Shine yer teef for a shilling!”) It’s humiliating for everyone. I’ve yet to set foot in this so-called “Toothmobile,” but I do have a lot of questions, like: Is the dentist also the driver? Is the dentist really a dentist? Where did you get this vehicle? You don’t think you’re going to get away with this, do you?

So, what’s the answer? Unlike other epidemics, obesity can be cured with carrots and jogging. Poverty’s a little bit trickier, as the carrots and jogging are completely ineffective without some sort of education. I just hope that the British government (or Roald Dahl) finds a way to help Tower Hamlets help itself. Otherwise, the boys at my window are going to die of angina before they get a chance to murder me.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I'm A Better Person Than Josef Fritzl

I have a shitty habit of comparing myself to great historical figures and measuring my achievements against theirs. It’s a losing game! Who needs to hear that by the time he was 16, Alexander the Great had already conquered a city and named it after himself? When I was sixteen, a bully renamed me after himself and convinced my parents to go along with it. Shameful.

Things look even worse when I size myself up against female pop singer Pink. When she was 16, she’d already sung on the soundtrack for Shaquille O’Neal’s paganistic genie-comedy Kazaam. I didn’t even know what a Kazaam was when I was 16—I wasn’t brought up that way. The worst thing is, even if I dedicated the rest of my life to getting a song on the Kazaam soundtrack, I’d still never catch up to Pink.

The list of people I’m officially inferior to is endless: Joan of Arc, Orson Welles, Donovan, Nelson Mandela, Anna Paquin, the cast of YouTube, etc. My problem is that I don’t put these great lives in context; until 1973, no one lived past the age of 25, so if you wanted to achieve anything in life you had to start as soon as you escaped from your mother’s Guantanamo-like womb. There were also fewer distractions back then. Just think of what we could all achieve without timewasters like the internet, cell phones and condoms. Living in the olden times must have been like being a citizen of Paradise (except for all the polio and race hate).

Maybe the key is to aim a bit lower. Instead of measuring myself against great achievers, I should switch tactics and compare myself to thieves, jerks and gigantic perverts. Once I do that, my inaction suddenly begins to look virtuous. For instance, I can hold my head high knowing that I, unlike a certain Charles Manson, wasn’t pimping young girls in L.A. when I was 24. I consider this a moral victory.

What else haven’t I done? I’ve never worn a big jacket to school and opened fire on my classmates before—surely this reflects well on my noble character and sound judgment. The way I see it, the government owes me some sort of medal (or, failing that, it can simply declare a national feast day in my honour).

As for my dubious work-ethic, I look pretty industrious when you consider that some people live in comas for decades. What do those lazybones do during that time? Nothin’ for nobody! I on the other hand am always chipping away at one project or another, waiting for the perfect moment to strike and become a billionaire.

So, starting today, I’m going to stop driving Michael Balazo crazy. Instead of gazing wistfully up at Heaven, I’m going to start smirking down at Hell. Because no matter what happens, I’m a better person than Josef Fritzl. Or Dane Cook.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Unpopular St. Patrick's Day Traditions

Bathing Shane McGowan

Getting to third base with the Blarney Stone

Telling a Guantanamo Bay prisoner that "today everyone's Irish"

Injecting your colon with green dye to create the “Leprechaun’s parcel” effect

Cuckolding Frank McCourt

Fuelling your car with Guinness, driving your car and ruining your car

Dressing up like Eugene O’Neill and visiting sick children

Force-feeding Lucky Charms to the homeless

Heckling the Boston Celtics for cooperating with “the Brits”

Playing your mashup of “Danny Boy” and “Suck My Kiss” for your nanny

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tips For Ex-Billionaires

Between 2008 and 2009, the number of billionaires on earth dropped from an arousing 1,125 to a balls-chilling 793. That’s 332 fallen billionaires. To put that in context, that’s 332 fewer invitations sent out to this year’s “Billionaire’s Gangbang” in St. Louis, Missouri—home of the blues. So, what will these 332 sad men do next? And how will they pass the long hours until they die—screaming and filthy—in the gutters of the world?

I admit I am not, and never have been, a member of the billionaire brotherhood (in truth, I make less money than most bourgeois children with allowances—the price I pay for a little something called “integrity”) but I feel a powerful urge to help these ruined men. There but for fortune, I could have been a deracinated billionaire, and they could have been slam poets. My message to my fancy brothers is this: keep your hands busy and your minds occupied to stave off sin and depression. I know it’s going to be hard to adjust to your new lives as hated, untouchable hundred-millionaires, but you’ve got to try—if not for yourselves, then for your wives, children and buxom teenaged mistresses.

Regarding your hands: get a part time job—preferably at an independently owned hardware store. I always find that selling a hammer or some sort of screwdriver to a gruff workingman raises my spirit and brings me closer to Christ, the carpenter. If employment is scarce, take up a hobby. I myself learn a new musical instrument every time I’m “let go” from one of my “jobs.” These days, thanks to my shaky employment history, I’m a regular one man band. Not to brag, but my musical arsenal featuring the following weapons: an electric bass guitar, bongos, cymbals, a flute, a toy trumpet, a concertina, a banjo, three harmonicas (in the keys of A, C and E) and a train whistle. Trust me: no one can be sad who has a room full of instruments he or she will eventually master. (I think I’ll be ordering a clarinet next week.)

Regarding your minds: devote one hour per day to some sort of mental game (such as a crossword, riddle or, if necessary, word jumble) and at least two hours per evening to reading. What should you read? I myself like two types of books: grammar guides and novels set in exotic locations peopled by mysterious, insatiable beauties who regard clothing as a prison. Both genres have their merits; either way, you will profit.

I hope that the former billionaires find consolation in my words (words are all I can offer at the moment, although I wouldn’t hesitate to embrace any of the 332 disgraced tycoons if they knocked on my humble door). My suggestions are both practical and spiritual, and will save 332 lives. We can’t have former billionaires roaming the streets all night, causing trouble and demanding foie gras from passersby, can we? No, we can’t; we cannot.