Thursday, April 22, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Below is an essay written by Hugh Gallagher when applying to New York University. He graduated from NYU in May 1994. In 1995, this essay was reprinted in The Guardian. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Gallagher_(humorist)
I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice. I have been known to remodel train stations on my lunch breaks, making them more efficient in the area of heat retention. I translate ethnic slurs for Cuban refugees, I write award-winning operas, I manage time efficiently. Occasionally, I tread water for three days in a row.
I woo women with my sensuous and god-like trombone playing. I can pilot bicycles up severe inclines with unflagging speed, and I cook Thirty-Minute Brownies in 20 minutes. I am an expert in stucco, a veteran in love and an outlaw in Peru.
Using only a hoe and a large glass of water, I once single-handedly defended a small village in the Amazon Basin from a horde of ferocious army ants. I play bluegrass cello...I am the subject of numerous documentaries. When I'm bored, I build large suspension bridges in my yard. I enjoy urban hang-gliding. On Wednesdays, after school, I repair electrical appliances free of charge.
I am an abstract artist, a concrete analyst, and a ruthless bookie. Critics worldwide swoon over my original line of corduroy evening wear. I don't perspire, I am a private citizen, yet I receive fan mail...Last summer I toured New Jersey with a travelling centrifugal force demonstration...My deft floral arrangements have earned me fame in international botany circles. Children trust me.
I can hurl tennis rackets at small moving objects with deadly accuracy. I once read Paradise Lost, Moby Dick, and David Copperfield in one day and still had time to refurbish an entire dining room that evening. I have performed several covert operations for the CIA. I sleep once a week; when I do sleep, I sleep in a chair. While on vacation in Canada, I successfully negotiated with a group of terrorists who had seized a small bakery. The laws of physics do not apply to me.
I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and my bills are all paid. On weekends, to let off steam, I participate in full-contact origami. Years ago, I discovered the meaning of life but forgot to write it down. I have made extraordinary four-course meals using only a mouli and a toaster oven. I breed prize-winning clams. I have won bullfights in San Juan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and spelling bees at the Kremlin. I have played Hamlet, I have performed open heart surgery, and I have spoken with Elvis. But I have not yet gone to college.
One day, a plain-looking man came with a pretty-looking office lady to
the LV (Louis Vuitton) store in Causeway Bay Hong Kong Island.
He chose an LV bag worth HKD 65,000 for the office lady. When it came
time to pay, the man took out a cheque book and wrote out a cheque.
The salesperson was hesitant because the couple hadn't shopped there before.
The man discerned what the salesperson was thinking and he said
calmly: "I sense that you are concerned that this cheque may bounce,
right? Today is Saturday and the banks are closed.
Let me suggest that I leave the cheque and the handbag here. When the
cheque clears on Monday, you can deliver the handbag to this lady. How
The salesperson was reassured and gladly accepted the suggestion. In
addition, he waived the delivery charges. He promised that he would
personally make sure that this gets done.
On Monday, the salesperson took the cheque to the bank. The cheque bounced!
The irate salesperson called up the client, who told him:
"What is the big deal? Neither you nor I have suffered any loss.
Last Saturday night, I went to bed with that girl already! Oh, by the
way, I thank you for your cooperation."
This story reveals the nature of the sub-prime mortgage crisis. When
people have high hopes for huge future returns, they lower thei r guard
about the potential risks.
This pretty girl thought that the HKD 65,000 LV bag was going to come
home on Monday, and so she lowered her guard. Therefore, she believed
that her investment in the ONE NIGHT STAND was worth it even though it
was based upon huge and highly uncertain risks.
Investment companies are great with packaging high return (but high
Stock speculators are like this pretty woman. As such,they deserve to lose money.
As for the media and the stock analysts, they often play the role of the LV sales person.