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These essay and humor pieces have appeared in the New York Times Laugh Lines, the Huffington Post and Capitalist Banter. If you would like similar humor content for your publication, web site or blog, click on Writing Services and send me your info.

Me, Inc.

Starting today, I am no longer me. From this day forward, please address me as Me, Inc. Before I get doused in paint by an irate PETA member, that’s pronounced ‘me-ink’, not ‘mink’.  

As you may suspect, or at least hope, I have a perfectly good and possibly brilliant reason for changing my name to Me, Inc. The Federal Reserve Bank (slogan: “All the cash that’s fit to print.”) has recently decided to protect the economy from the housing crisis by bailing out Bear Stearns (aka Hannibal Lessor) instead of rescuing homeowners in danger of being foreclosed, including the aforementioned corporation-formerly-known-as me.  

As Me, Inc., (listed on the New York Stock Exchange as NOTU), I no longer have to fear bill collectors, natural disasters, manmade catastrophes, bank runs, animal stampedes or acts of God (or your preferred deity). Minutes after any of these events might occur, the economy will be saved from the collapse of Me, Inc, when Fed Chairman Ben ‘Cash or Check?’ Bernanke transfers funds to restore Me, Inc., to its full me-ness.  

Disaster recovery is not the only benefit of being Me, Inc.. My new shell company in the Bahamas, a telecommunications firm called Me Shell Ma Bell, Inc., will free Me, Inc., from paying income taxes. My wholly-owned subsidiary in Dubai, an energy company named Me Thane Gas, opens the door to huge no-bid government contracts. And just in case PETA is still mad about the name, Me, Inc., will write off any remaining tax liabilities through a non-profit kitten placement service called Me Ow.  

Don’t try to mess with Me, Inc. As a defense contractor, Me, Inc., is protected by the Department of Homeland Security, the Pentagon, Blackwater and a moat paid for by the hometown of Me, Inc., in appreciation for the job it created and for not relocating to Maine (abbreviation: ME).   

No matter who wins the upcoming presidential election, Me, Inc., is well positioned with three Washington lobbying groups: MERITE, MELEFT and MENUTZ. Me, Inc., has not donated to any of the candidates, but has photographs of the three frontrunners wearing T-shirts that read “I Love ME” (who could object to that?).  

I know what you’re thinking: isn’t Me, Inc., just a scam to rip off the government that will eventually be exposed, and how can I get in on it? To answer the first question, there’s a long line of businesses ripping off the government that are ahead of Me, Inc., in the investigation line, and to insure it will never get to the front, Me, Inc. is now doing business as MELAST, Inc.  

As for the second question, Me, Inc., has decided to open up franchises across the country under the name ME2. For more information, have your credit card handy and call 1-800-BLIKEME and talk to my new assistant in charge of franchising. Just ask for Mimi.  

I Want My Nano!
By Paul Seaburn

The most disappointing part of the unveiling of the $2,500 car by Indian’s Tata Motors - outside of it not having a cute name like the Curryvette or the Delhincoln - is that the Nano won’t be sold in the U.S. A twenty-five-hundred-dollar new car that’s not radio-controlled and I can’t buy one? That’s as un-American as making ethanol out of sugar cane.

  Why can’t I get one? The Nano, which comes from the Greek word meaning “billionth” but is defined in most modern  languages as “covered lawnmower,” apparently does not meet the minimum safety standards of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Did any of you currently driving across bridges with holes so big you can see the river below know that we still have a Department of Transportation?

  OK, so the Nano doesn’t have any airbags. Big deal. It’s only ten feet long and has a 35 horsepower motor. That means my stomach and a large belt buckle will do just fine in the front,  and a jacket with shoulder pads covers me on the sides.

  There’s no passenger-side mirror on the Nano to see traffic behind me. So? That’s what windows are for! Besides, I  won’t have anything blocking my view because no one will want to ride with me anyway.

  The basic Nano has no radio This isn’t a problem - it’s a feature! I don’t want any noise distracting me from the swearing by other drivers stuck behind me. Curse all you want, Hummer drivers. I paid less for this car than you paid for that fancy optional front grill my Nano is currently stuck in. No need to call your insurance company - any damage my Nano does to your extremely expensive vehicle can be fixed at a pop-a-ding place for ten bucks.

  An air conditioner is only available on the deluxe Nano. Isn’t “deluxe Nano” an oxymoron? Do you really need air conditioning in a car that’s not even five feet wide? A 64-ounce soft drink with ice in the passenger seat securely fastened in with the seat belt - yes, the Nano has seat belts! - will keep me plenty cool. Hmm, I’ll bet I could warm my Nano in the winter with a large cup of hot coffee. And I can afford plenty of those five-dollar heaters because my Nano only cost TWENTY-FIVE-HUNDRED DOLLARS!

  Why should millions of Indians be allowed to have a Nano but I can’t. They already have our jobs, nuclear weapons and trained elephants. I want a car that’s cheaper than what I spend on gas in a year. I want my Nano and I want it NOW! What? The Nanos are painted in China? Never mind.

McDonald’s Unveils The Big Freddie Mac
by Paul Seaburn

DES PLAINES, IL - McDonald’s Corp. held a press conference today to unveil its latest sandwich: the Big Freddie Mac. Priced at 50 cents, the Big Freddie Mac is the first fast food hamburger to be subsidized by the federal government. “The economy - not that there’s anything wrong with it - is causing Americans to cut back on eating hamburgers,” explained McDonald’s spokesperson Donald McDonald (no relation). “Washington has decided that the burger is too big to fail, so the Treasury Department has agreed to kick in three bucks for every Big Freddie Mac sold.”

  The Big Freddie Mac, while similar in appearance, is significantly different from the McDonald’s mainstay - the Big Mac. Big Freddie’s bun is inflated to look twice as large as it actually is, while the two all-beef patties are actually one all-beef patty sliced in half width-wise and pumped up by puffy lettuce. The “special” sauce is French dressing which is this week’s “special” at the dollar store next to McDonald’s headquarters. The number of sesame seeds has been reduced to one with a promise of more in two years if the burger market bubble continues. Each Big Freddie Mac comes in a special wrapper printed with suggestions on how to “flip the burger” for profit by selling it to people who are new to fast foods or kids who haven’t learned to read yet.

  “The Big Freddie Mac program does not mean we will be bailing out other fast food menu items,” said Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. “As they say in the business, it’s for a ‘limited time only’.” However, he did not rule out a similar plan to help Starbucks, which has recently been forced to close 600 stores. Rumors out of Starbucks headquarters in Seattle hint that the company is about to roll out a government-subsidized coffee called the Frappe Mae.