Old Charlie Stole the Handle

By David Glenn Cox

I would never buy a lottery ticket for a $1.9 billion dollar lottery. You might win, then what? My life is small and quiet and financially restrained, but it’s mine. There are many like it, but this one is mine! In the words of Jonnie Mitchell, “Nobody’s calling me up for favors and no one’s future to decide.” I made the mistake once of asking for an auto insurance quote online. They blew up my phone round the clock for the three days. Forever and ever amen.

You’ll go to the Post Office with one of those cardboard trays under your arm to pick up your mail. And the handles on the sides will be worn from extensive use. Sure, you could hire somebody to do it for you. But that’s part of the trap, isn’t it? Elvis had a bunch of loyal friends around him too, always looking out for his best interests.

But then, you start getting anxious phone calls from your accountant, about cash flows and tax brackets. About long-term Capital investments and hookers with lawyers. And there you are in the middle of trying find B.B. King’s real meaning behind his song “Reefer and Champagne.”

And all your new friends were there too and he’s harshing on your buzz! Somebody says, I should fire him. But that’s what you guys said about the last three! And it didn’t help, did it? They still keep calling me.

I suppose, I could get a secretary to answer my phone, and take care of a Billionaire’s minutia. Hire someone to wash the Ferraris. Someone to shovel the snow at the house in Vail, Astoria or Stillwater. Or did we hire a service for that? You begin to refer to yourself as we a lot, because you are never alone.

Of course, there would be a maid or two and a cook and bottle washer and a bottle washer’s assistant. Something tells me money would make me a sort of clean freak, (Wire Hangers? What? Wire Hangers!) if someone else had to do the cleaning. My tolerance of sloth would decrease as my level for generation of same, would probably explode exponentially.

But most of all, it could turn you into Elon Musk. Do you want that? Do you really want that for your family or for your children? You on the one hand, would probably feel embarrassed by your sudden wealth, wracked with guilt, and would give handily to all your favorite charities.

Make a note; call my secretary and have her call the accountant to find out how much I can afford to give away this month. Then have him text me that number on my private line. Leave a message; I’m busy!

Your children, on the other hand. Would fight for every last nickel. They would rail at the country club bar, about the unfairness of it and all that’s wrong with this country. Look at what it’s done to poor Elon, he’s lost his flipping mind.

And I say that without any partisan rancor whatsoever. Anybody who spends $44 billion dollars on a business that doesn’t turn a profit is just plain dumb. Or so numbed and desensitized by his wealth. That pluses and minuses no longer matter to him anymore. They are just red ink on page seven of the financial report.

You’ll get that Michael Jackson lilting voice, “Oh, but I can make it work! It’ll be different this time. Bubbles and I can do it!” But Mr. Musk you don’t understand, you stand to lose a great deal of money here! “So? I can lose money If I want. Forever and ever if I want too!” (Rosebud)

It is not so much that Elon Musk bought Twitter, it’s that Elon had a mind to want to buy Twitter in the first place. What was he thinking? Why in the world, would you ever want to own such a thing? Remember kids, always buy at the top and sell at the bottom! Okay, Junior stock analysts, here’s you chance at stock prognostication! Twitter in the next two years, up or down?

Now don’t forget, Elon’s fired 50% of the staff. But don’t worry, they were just the people who kept the conversation civil and decent. Advertisers? What do they know? I know, I don’t need their stinking money. I don’t need their experience or their expertise. I’m a Billionaire, and I know better!

Elon posts a picture of a WWII German soldier on HIS platform with pigeons in cages on the soldier’s back. The meme caption: “three unanswered messages” and then encourages people to vote Republican. That sounds like the ravings of a disordered mind to me. Any chance he ever had at being a babysitter at my house,  just went out a window. I would never leave him alone in the house with children, matches or around a gas stove.

Those of us who went to high school, even just for a few days already understand immediately. It was near the end the school year in Mrs. Glotfelty’s class.  I remember it specifically. It was a whole chapter on WWII and the Holocaust. It was terrible, tens of millions of people senselessly murdered out of bigotry and for political advantage. It was the largest conflagration of its type; the world has ever seen.  Experts agree, another one like it, will probably finish us off as a species.

But don’t let me harsh your buzz Elon or ruin your Popeye laugh at your “Sick perverted joke.” A tenth grader could have told you that was bad idea, Elon. A tenth grader.

The next chapter was “Our American Life Today!” I don’t remember much about that chapter, except everyone was happy and smiling a lot and we made a lot of steel and played baseball in Brooklyn.

But I’m not leaving Twitter because of Elon or his brain-dead brain-molested Tweets. Yesterday, I received a tweet from Jo Anne, “I’m 42 and still hot in a swimsuit.” Well, Jo Anne, that’s wonderful and you should be very proud. But why are you telling me for? Then ABC News tweeted, “Ukrainian forces advance against stiff Russian resistance.” That tweet had less useful information in it than Jo Anne’s! “Jimmy used the big boy potty!” I’m thrilled for both you and for Jimmy. Send my regards to the little man!

To me at least, the revenue problem is obvious. There is nothing to advertise, no programming. Just a series of farts and belches, Tweets cracking their knuckles and thumping out the drum solo from In A Godda Davida on the desk. (I want my M-TV) Video killed the Radio Star!

What Musk is doing is insane. He’s taking a product with a marginal appeal to begin with, and then he’s going to remove all the controls and polarize it. Boy oh boy, I sure do miss going to that old slot car track and riding on that mechanical bull and going out to the disco in my Chevy Vega.

Elon has bought a business that doesn’t earn enough money to pay its own bills. It is a concept that never ever has been proven to work…ever. And no one has ever made any money yet, even a dollar. So, what is the likelihood that anyone ever will? Would you buy a Tasti-freeze or a bowling alley that was hemorrhaging money and had never ever turned a profit in years?

Maybe some new bowling pins. Paint the room a bright color and spruce up the snack bar and fire half the staff.  Then we’ll charge Eight Bucks…just to get in! It’s genius I tell ya, pure genius. I thought of it while I was in my oxygen tent in my mummy coffin. I was listening to Paul McCartney sing, while I was trying to go to sleep. I told Sir Paul, that once I’d dozed off,  that he could go.

“And old Charlie stole the handle and the train she won’t stop going, no way to slow down.”– Ian Anderson

“In the event of a tie, in tonight’s lotto drawing. The tie breaker question will be whoever can come closest to the number of children and abortions that Herschel Walker has paid for. Without going over the actual number, will be declared the winner.”

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