The Lesser Song Of Songs, Which Is Sheba’s
(With Apologies To King James)

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1

Let him not kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy tongue is as a lizard’s tail, which pulled off doth regrow tenfold. Nor yet with the kisses of his nose, for thy nose runneth over. Nor yet with the kisses of his ears: for thou art truly weird to ponder such a thing.

Thine ointments cleave to me, and their savour doth repell insects and anything that breathes; yea, even the Shittites avoid me, and I cannot get a table at the palace cafeteria.

I have compared thee, O my love, to a herd of mountain goats leaping from a cliff: the sound of their skulls when they land is sweet and comely. Behold, thou art fair, my beloved, yea, pleasant, nay, bland as a potato baked in polyunsaturated fats: also thy concubines are tax-deductible.

A bundle of old clothes for Amvets is my beloved unto me; he shall lie all night bewtixt my breasts, not knowing what to do with them.

2

Stay me with flagstones, comfort me with knockout drops: for I am sick of love. His left hand is under my head, but his right hand doth embrace himself.

The voice of my beloved! Behold, he cometh leaping on toe shoes, skipping like a gigolo, tripping on his hem. Verily, he hath borrowed my eye makeup once too often.

My beloved is like a white, white rat: behold, he standeth behind our wall looking for table scraps, he looketh forth at the windows when I dress, shewing himself through the lattice.

My beloved is mine, and I am his, yea, though we file separately.

3

By night on my bed I sought him whom my purse loveth: I sought him, but I found him not. I sought him under the bed, but I found him not. I sought him in my closet, and there I thought I found him trying on my silks, but it was only a manniken.

I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets carrying a shopping bag full of old bus transfers and speaking to myself. I will seek him whom my purse loveth, for he must cosign my checks.

The watchmen that go about the city beating anything that moves found me; to whom I said, Saw ye him whom my purse loveth? They smiled and pointed to their foreheads, nodding sagely like my beloved.

4

Behold, thou art fair, my love: thou hast a set of Mediterranean bedroom eyes, of simulated walnut, marked down 60 percent for the holidays. Thy hair hath been washed in the blood of the lamb, but thou hast forgot to rinse.

Thy tooth shines in the night like a piece of eggplant on the bald dome of the Pharoah.

The smell of thy garments is like unto the smell of Gary, Indiana with all of the chief spices: oregano, jalapeno and monosodium glutamate.

5

Thy nose is as the tower of Sears which looketh toward Skokie.

6

I try to sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh like a bottle launching a ship, saying, Open to me, my love, for my head is filled with good wine and evil thoughts. But I moved my dresser in front of the door and he went away.

My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, but I slapped it. My drawers were not moved for him, and he went away.

The watchmen that went about the city stomping anything that wriggles found me, they smote me, they pushed me into some sweet-smelling goulash; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me. Then they screamed and gave it back.

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Where’s The Punch Line?

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Two newlyweds are in their honeymoon suite on their wedding night. They are about to go to bed together for the first time when the bride says “Honey, this is a big event in our lives. After such a long, exhausting day today I think we should wait until tomorrow to sleep together, when we will both have more energy.” The groom looks at his bride and says “Honey, of course we should wait until tomorrow. I love you very much and would not dream of doing anything you didn’t want to do.”

Where’s The Punch Line?

The groom does not actually love her. He would have rather married his old girlfriend, who he did actually love, but they broke up before he realized that she was the best he was going to get.

A group of nuns are reporting to St. Peter at the gates of Heaven. One by one St. Peter asks them their name, checks them off his list, and then opens the gates to let them in. This process goes smoothly until the last nun, Sister Melanie, the pitchfork-wielding nun with horns, a tail, and a goatee, approaches the gates. When Sister Melanie tells St. Peter her name he slowly looks her up and down and then says that he’s sorry but he can’t admit her to Heaven. He asks her to report to Hell immediately.

Where’s The Punch Line?

In an ironic twist of fate, Sister Melanie has been damned to an eternity of Hell just because of her devil-like features and her love of pitchforks, despite devoting her entire life to the Church.

Before filing for divorce a woman goes to see her lawyer to get the paperwork done. The lawyer asks her a few questions, prepares the paperwork, and then hands them to her along with an invoice for his services. The woman looks at the paperwork for a minute and then yells “You filled these out all wrong!”

Where’s The Punch Line?

The lawyer is the woman’s husband. He doesn’t want a divorce.

Two men become stranded on a desert island after their ship develops a leak. They eat all the coconuts and fruit on the island but eventually run out of food. The first man says that they should flip a coin to decide who lives. He suggests that whoever loses the coin toss should drown himself and provide his body for food to the other man. This will allow the winner to live longer and give that person a better chance to survive. The second man agrees that this is a good idea and they shake their hands to confirm the agreement.

Where’s The Punch Line?

The men only have twenty-dollar bills with them.

Three guys are sitting in a bar when a gorgeous blonde wearing a short red dress walks through the door. All of the guys immediately start arguing about whether they should approach her, and who should be the one who gets to talk with her at the bar. They begin debating over who saw her first and then hold an arm-wrestling competition to decide who should be the lucky one that gets to talk to her.

Where’s The Punch Line?

None of these men actually have a chance with this woman!

A man walks into a bar and orders a gin and tonic. “What would you like?” asks the bartender. The man repeats that he would like a gin and tonic, and then sits back to wait for the drink. The bartender just stares at him for a minute while the man fidgets nervously. Then the bartender puts his towel on the bar and leans up close to the man and says, “Listen partner, are you going to order something or just sit there all day?” Finally, realizing that the bartender is probably deaf, the man writes his order down on a piece of paper, at which point the bartender offers a big smile and gets the drink ready.

Where’s The Punch Line?

The bartender wasn’t deaf. He was just screwing around.

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Honesty In (Personal) Advertising

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Likes fancy restaurants, trendy nightclubs

Very attractive, sexy young woman seeks unattached man for evenings out, maybe more if every single little detail is exactly perfect according to my unannounced and constantly-changing personal criteria. Write to ref. 3053 in c/o The Big Jewel. I said maybe.

Have you got what it takes?

Exceedingly handsome, financially independent man in his mid-40s seeks Ms. Right. Must be able to pull her own weight, handle herself with aplomb in tricky situations, talk her way out of big trouble, win difficult people over to her way of thinking and save the day in a life-or-death emergency. Our first date will be a test of all those things and if we stay together, “pop quizzes” will arise from time to time when you least expect it. Write to ref. 3162 in c/o The Big Jewel. Sense of humor a must.

Calling all men!

Hey, all you guys out there! I don’t care how old you are, what you look like, what your race or religion is, how much money you have, how much you weigh, or whether you have a nice personality or not. Just leave me alone. Under no circumstances respond to ref. 0613 in c/o The Big Jewel. And don’t look at me like that either.

Schlepping Beauty seeks Prince Charming

Youngish, prettyish woman, shallowish, tired of the endless unrelenting stream of guys who say they’re not ready to commit. And then seems like they all get married about six months after we break up. Hmmm. Anyway, I’d like to find a guy who’s really ready to give all of his love right now and keep on giving and giving and giving it, a guy who’s not necessarily rich or anything but who can support me no problem and won’t get his Jockeys all in a sheepshank if I blow a few hundred on clothes now and then, a guy who will be ready to rear my children in case I might ever someday maybe decide I want any, a guy who’ll stand by me through hard times, illness, stress, migraines and inexplicable mood swings, a guy who can wait up already for like five or ten minutes while I’m getting ready to go out, a guy who wouldn’t even think in his dreams of dreaming of thinking of another woman, a guy who gets along really well with my mom even when she forgets her medication, a guy who knows what I want even before I do and gets it for me on the double, who knows how to show me a good time even when I don’t feel like doing anything and isn’t too “manly” to wait on me hand and foot. Why can’t I find a guy like that? Write to ref. 3935 in c/o The Big Jewel. Go on, show my friends that they’re wrong.

Looking for that extra-special someone

Are you that one in a million? The lucky woman selected from among the thousands who respond to this ad will be swept away to a magical dreamland where she is Her Majesty the All-Powerful Empress and I am her Dutiful Servant, throwing myself at her feet and asking only to fulfil her every whim and desire. Then, after about 72 hours of that, she can start making all the meals, doing all the shopping and housework, picking up my dirty socks and toenail clippings from wherever I happen to drop them, pulling my hair out of the shower drain, and going around the house turning off the appliances, lights and faucets that I leave on if I feel like it. Sometimes I don’t flush the toilet either. Take it or leave it at ref. 3766 c/o The Big Jewel. P.S. It’ll have to be your place, ’cause I live with my parents.

She wants a stand-up kind of guy

Young woman seeks handsome man, 35-44, who is willing to take the blame for everything. We don’t agree on something, I win. We have an argument, you lose. Then you apologize. You are responsible for anything that goes wrong no matter how inconsequential and any unpleasantness no matter how slight, including that caused by other people, unforeseen circumstances, acts of God or the weather. If you can’t take the heat, don’t respond to ref. 3560 in c/o The Big Jewel. No phonies please.

Last man on earth

Take a look at this face! Of course you can’t see me here in this ad, but you know what I mean. Any woman would give her right arm to have a guy this good looking, right? Well guess again, cause otherwise why would I be running a personal? Truth be told, I’m a selfish, lazy, irresponsible, substance-dependent, violence-prone emotional three-year-old looking for a woman who’s willing to work two jobs to support me while I lie around the house chain smoking and watching TV all day when I’m not out cheating on her. Could that be you? Ref. 2903 in c/o The Big Jewel. Hey — I can’t help it. It’s just the way I am.

Love is never having to say “Officer!”

Do you believe in love at first sight? Well this 34-year-old, unmarried, non-smoking man sure does. Maybe I could fall in love with you, a pretty, non-smoking woman, 25-35, preferably blonde. And what is love? Love is being ready to do anything — anything! — to win the heart of my beloved. Love is dropping whatever else I’m doing, cancelling all my appointments and quitting my job to spend 24 hours a day seeking that ultimate celestial paradise, letting nothing get in the way of my quest for happiness, never taking “no” for an answer, going to any lengths to convince her of my undying devotion, never deterred by any social, logistical or legal stumbling blocks she might throw in my way just to test my determination, seeking her out wherever she might playfully try to hide, showing her over and over how far I’m prepared to go, to what extent I’m willing to put everything on the line, even if it means resisting arrest, all just to prove to her that she is the only one I can ever really truly love, pursuing her relentlessly, relentlessly, relentlessly, relentlessly until she loves me back. Or until I meet someone else. Why don’t we get together and see what happens? Ref. 3238 in c/o The Big Jewel. On second thought, don’t even bother answering the ad. I’ll find you.

Talks a good game

Hauntingly beautiful young lady, breath-taking figure, seeks man, age and looks no object, who is willing to sit for hours and hours upon end listening to my ill-founded, utterly deluded theories and irrational beliefs about virtually everything in exchange for a 23% chance of getting me in the sack afterwards. The right man must be willing to grin and nod his head like an oil well while pretending, when he can get a word in edgewise, to agree with me whole-heartedly like we’re some kind of long-lost soulmates. Write to ref. 2557 in c/o The Big Jewel. Statistics verified by Gallup International.

Good-time guy

Man, late 20s, seeks woman who likes what I like. I like good food, good conversation, good music, good movies, nice weather, being in a good mood and having a good time. Fer chrissake, who doesn’t? But what I really like is sex, sex, sex, and more sex. Gleaaaghh. Write to ref. 1033 in c/o The Big Jewel. Not you, Sonia.

No snorers either

Recently divorced 32-year-old woman, one child, seeks mature, emotionally stable, non-drinking, non-sports-loving, non-Penthouse subscribing steady earner who doesn’t like Bruce Springsteen, doesn’t line the sink with whiskers every morning, isn’t afraid to take the garbage out or change a diaper once in a while and is in control of all of his digestive functions, if you know what I mean. Write to ref. 2331 in c/o The Big Jewel. Men who don’t know how to put forks away in the fork drawer or butter a piece of toast without leaving lots of dry, unbuttered parts need not apply.

To place your personal, simply mail us the text of your ad along with a check for $1.00 per word made out to: Editor, The Big Jewel. Exes of employees of The Big Jewel must also enclose an additional check for $1 million. The content of any ad is the sole responsibility of the person placing it. The Big Jewel cannot be held liable for any misleading claims, disappointments, broken dates, broken dreams, broken condoms, boring dinners, murders, or screenplays about serial killers that may result from the publication of these ads.

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Investing in the Stock Market

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With Enron, Worldcom, AOL, Qwest, Tyco, ImClone, Dynegy, Global Crossing — and, as of press time, every other corporation in America — embroiled in scandal, many potential investors are turning away from the stock market, choosing instead to invest their money in pants. This is undoubtedly sound; every occasion demands the wearing of pants, be it a ritzy affair or a night out with friends. For the few moments where pants are not required — lovemaking, eating dinner over the sink, and watching Fashion Television being first among them — the threat of pants-wearing to come is nonetheless a pressing concern.

Not that any of this has anything to do with the stock market, of course, which involves numbers and is ridiculously complicated. Still, though: do you have enough pairs? Is your money so precious?

Please think about it. On to stocks.

What Are Stocks?

Let’s say I buy a pear for a dollar. The pear is both sweet and delicious, but for the purposes of this metaphor let us assume I don’t eat it. As time passes, the pear rots and decays, becoming very unsweet and not delicious. At this point, I could throw away the pear, cursing myself for having not eaten the damn thing just to forward the cause of a silly metaphor. But instead of throwing it away, I incorporate the pear and gather a ludicrous amount of investment capital by pushing Pear Incorporated as small-cap IPO growth stock. My many investors sit and wait for the pear to mature. And of course it will, though this doesn’t change the fact that it’s now foul and completely worthless. I cash in my shares and wire the swindlings to an off-shore account, then move to a tropical island, where I live out the remainder of my days having drinks served to me by almond-skinned girls in coconut bras, later to be fellated by same. This, in essence, is how stock works.

What’s a Stock Market?

A stock is an opportunity for somebody to sell somebody else “pieces” of something which hold no value; pieces he or she would otherwise keep if it had value. A stock market is the place where this piece would be sold. And while this sounds surprisingly straightforward, it naturally is not. For one, some stocks are listed on the exchange, and some aren’t. This is decided through high-stakes dart games, the rules of which are too complicated to get into here.

Additionally, one is not only free to buy regular stock, but also futures. Investing in futures is a method of insuring that you can purchase make-believe stock at a certain price in the future. It is much like insuring oneself against a dealer’s potential 21 in blackjack, in that it is a fool’s game.

To add to the confusion, anyone attempting to buy stock at a stock market is required to sport rolled-up shirt sleeves, sweat profusely, and holler numbers at someone standing on a desk. The person standing on a desk then points a pen at the stock-buyer and screams at him, at which point he is free to go home to his loveless marriage.

If all of this sounds incredibly confusing, don’t despair. Stocks and the stock market are purposely confusing, so as to keep out undesirables. Yet none of it is terribly relevant when compared to the simplicity of the stock market itself: a bunch of white guys attempting to make scads of free money off other white guys. The primary rule of the stock market is to buy low and sell high, a simple enough rule. However, for the rule to work in any meaningful way, there must be just as many people willing to buy high and sell low, or else the entire system falls to its knees and spasms embarrassingly. For all the disorienting “NASDAQ”-this and “Dow Jones”-that talk, what the stock market essentially boils down to is a profoundly high-yield game of hot potato. In order for traders to make money off their low-bought stock, there must consequently be some podunk sap willing to buy it off them at a jaw-droppingly high price. This is where you come in.

What’s a Corporation?

If I buy a store, put up money for supplies and employees, and sell products or services to the public for a profit, I’m a business. If I raise money for a store through the stock market, sell off ownership of the store to twenty shareholders — none of whom can make a decision independent of the other nineteen — then deflect any liability for my products to a fictional entity composed of disinterested third parties, I would then have a corporation.

In simple terms, a corporation means that when you buy a toaster, and it doesn’t work, and the warranty is only good in five states, and your receipt was printed with cheap ink and isn’t actually legible, and when you dial customer service you get put on hold and, after listening to dead air for five minutes, get cut off — it isn’t actually anybody’s fault. It’s the corporation’s fault. And the corporation doesn’t exist, in a strictly physical, “I-am-going-to-beat-those-responsible-to-death-with-this- toaster-that-cannot-toast-bread” sense.

So What’s The Deal With Enron, Then?

There are of course many intricate and complicated reasons why corporations commit crimes, but as a simple answer, keep in mind that corporations are purest evil. The seeds of the Enron scandal were first sown in the late 80’s, when vacuous presidential gunslinger Ronald Reagan approved gas and oil deregulation, lifting controls on who could produce energy and how it was sold. Enron was first through the gate in a long line of corporations willing to exploit this like a blonde Iowan drama student. With energy privatized, Enron was free to monopolize it, often tripling costs in areas suffering energy crises.

Additionally, the fledgling corporation was free to manipulate the market as it saw fit. For example: Dumbshit Gas Company takes an ass-beating in profits if a winter is mild, as people won’t need gas to keep warm. So they trade futures (i.e., get future energy prices locked down) with Enron, the only game in town, to ensure that a warm winter won’t kill them off financially. BilkedHuge Electricity Company, conversely, fears a cool summer for the exact same reason, and trades futures with Enron, the only game in town, so they won’t get molested like choirboys if it gets a little chilly come July. Enron then makes money no matter what happens — because they’re the only game in town, and because they manipulated their prices enough to stir up problems in the first place.

Ah, good times. It’s not illegal, of course. Because capitalism works like my Uncle Doug does: In other words, seldom, and only for pot money. Is Enron evil? No. Enron got caught. There’s a moral here: if you’re rich and you don’t care a damn about anything but your own bank account, don’t get caught.

But Enron Did Get Caught, Didn’t It?

Oh yes, it did. As the whole world now knows, Enron cooked its books to a frothy boil, siphoning off substantial losses to make-believe “partnership” companies in order to hide the beating they took in the dotcom industry, among others. Enron was of primary importance because, once again, they were first out of the gate — this time as a wake-up call to investors that they could lose their shirts. Ironically, once Enron was outed, many other billion-dollar corporations, such as WorldCom, also stumbled — proving once again that there is no justice as swift as that which the American public is currently interested in for the next 15 minutes.

What made the story truly newsworthy, of course, wasn’t the fact that a billion dollar corporation had committed North American ass-sized fraud. No, what plucked our heartstrings (again, for fifteen minutes) was the human element. Joe and Jane EnronJob had devoted monthly stipends to their 401(k)s, investing their savings in the future of a company that, ultimately, didn’t have one. While Enron’s CEOs sold off their company stock in fat fistfuls, the employees were denied that same right, and lost a bundle. Much like a cute baby bear cub who watches as a small fire spreads to a pile of leaves, then hours later engulfs a tree, then over a period of days consumes the entire forest, the average Enron employee — sitting in the epicenter of the corporation’s day-to-day business and privy to all of its dealings — did not realize there was a problem until it was too late. People throughout America shed a tear for these poor brave souls, who, discerning Enron’s imminent collapse months ahead of anyone else, were unable to pawn off their worthless stock on unsuspecting people for profit. Luckily, the victims who had huge racks were able to sell naked photographs of their huge racks for money — yet America weeps for the flat-chested among them (for many reasons, many of them self-evident).

So how, you may ask, do you avoid a similar fate? By asking yourself some important questions. Firstly: does your company suck? Secondly: are you giving it money? Thirdly: if your company sucks, stop giving it money.

So What Should I Invest In?

Clearly, in pants — the clothing accessory for all seasons. Other than that, the only option available to you is getting yourself an organic hemp poncho and divesting yourself of capitalism entirely. But since this necessitates you becoming a filthy hippie, it is not recommended. Instead, consider investing your money in extremely high-risk stock in the hopes of winning big: namely, lottery tickets. Brokers advise investing heavily in Fantasy 5, which is presently enjoying a bull market share, and is paying off huge dividends to one in every sixty million investors.

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