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Jewish World Review Feb. 27, 2002 / 15 Adar, 5762

Art Buchwald

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Consumer Reports

The players are mad -- PEOPLE who play the market are now at each other's throats. The Bulls &Tigers of Forest Hills, a ladies investment club of 10, meets every month to play the stock market.

This month the meeting was held at Jane Peters' house. The club had made $20,000 in the year 2000, and while things went down in 2001, they could still barely hold their heads above water.

When the going was good they called themselves the "Sunshine Ladies," because they couldn't lose as far as their investments were concerned.

The club rotated their brunch meeting among the members. When times were good, they served smoked salmon from Alaska, Swedish pancakes, eggs Mornay, apple turnovers and an assortment of Danish. They were a happy sorority and talked of the club someday taking their winnings for an all-expenses-paid trip to Venice.

But that was in the past. Now you could tell that bitterness had seeped into the club. Instead of all the brunch goodies of the good years, Jane served each member an unbuttered bagel and one cup of coffee.

There were no jokes about face-lifts. Instead, their conversation was spent only on their investments. Sylvia Glass said, "Dorothy Sergeant made us buy Enron when it was $87 a share."

Dorothy retorted, "How did I know they were keeping two sets of books? Besides, Lucy Holzer said her husband, who was a security analyst, said Enron could only go up."

"If it was such a good buy, why did so many of its executives take the Fifth Amendment?"

"Wouldn't you after what the accountants did to the books?"

Alice Gordon said, "Forget Enron. Who urged the club to buy Global Crossing?"

Janet Elstrom replied, "Edna Smithers did. She said she read in the Buzz Street Journal that if you put all your 40I(k) funds in Global Crossing, you would never have to watch your pension again."

Erica Stromberg said, "Then why did they go bankrupt?"

Jane Peters answered, "They were supposed to lay optical wire around the world. Instead, they lost all their money."

"Forgive me, but I was in a Kmart store last week and everything was on sale. Do we own any Kmart stock?"

Janet Elstrom said, "If it declared bankruptcy, we own it."

Lucy Holzer asked Jean Peters, "Can I have another cup of coffee?"

Jane replied, "Only when the market hits bottom."

Lucy sniffed, "I never did like your coffee anyway."

Jane shot back, "And I never liked your Danish."

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