Back in the black and ready to spend

Follwing a case of sudden-onset New Jack Fever, Sunday columnist Wes Burns was unavailable due to dangerously high levels of “funky-freshness.” Please enjoy this column from the “Best of Burns” file which originally ran March 10, 2013 and is in no way relevant to any recent, record-breaking closings of the Dow Jones.

There comes a time in a man’s life when he has to make a big decision.

I’m sure these times occur in the lives of women as well, but any time I see something about “women” and “decisions” its usually on a bumper sticker, protest placard or Super PAC ad; all of which are signs for me to turn my attention elsewhere.

There comes a time, and I’m talking about the here and now, when a man has to make a decision.

A real decision. Not one of those simple “oh, should I ask her to marry me?” or “should I run for public office?” or “should I move to China to pursue a career in international drinking?”

Those are easy: “Yes,” “No,” and “Is that a real job? Consider this column my two weeks notice.”

I’m talking about the kind of decision that can and will impact your life, everyday, from here on out.

Should I buy a helicopter or a yacht?

And HOW could I, a mere wordsmith earning a humble smithee’s wage, afford these trappings of extravagance?

Because we’re all rich again!

Didn’t you hear? Didn’t you hear that the Dow Jones industrial average closed at a record breaking 14,253.77 … um, ‘points’, I guess … on Tuesday, thereby eliminating the $11 trillion in stock loses which came as a result of the debilitating stock crash of 2009.

So … do I buy a yacht or a helicopter?

You see, each has its own advantages. A helicopter is handy for flying over the massive hordes of unemployed people, who seem to not realize that the economy has completely recovered and are still complaining about the lack of “jobs,” “medical care” and … I don’t know, “food” probably. Who can hear them from this sound-proof acrylic bubble?

All I want to hear is the sweet dulcet tones of Garth Brooks’ rock alter ego Chris Gaines as I hover above the great unwashed.

But Wes, I’m sure some of you are asking while receiving Swedish massages on the penthouse balcony of your own private glass towers, won’t someone else have to fly the helicopter? And won’t you have to stop for gas at some point?

I’m going to assume there is a robot, somewhere, that can fly the helicopter for me. But the refueling is a valid point.

Enter: The yacht.

While a helicopter may be superior for flying from building to building, and being a shining example to people who don’t realize that the recession has ended and Wall Street has destroyed poverty forever, you WILL eventually have to land; and then one of those poor people will try and steal your copter! Or wallet. Or shoes. Or something they can use to get some food.

Now, with a yacht, you can still have all the fun of an entitled European prince, while maintaining a safe distance from all the poor folk on land. Plus nothing screams success quite like wearing a crested blue blazer, smoking a pipe and sailing to the Caribbean just to “visit the money.”

You can see how this decision can weigh on a man’s mind.

I don’t understand people that aren’t getting ready to spend their newly found money. The massive gains in the stock market over the last few years, culminating in the highest closing average ever, have recouped all of the money lost in the recession!

Remember when you were unemployed for years? Remember when you had to take a pay cut because your boss shifted everyone to permanent part-time status and you lost your benefits? Remember when your kid got sick and you didn’t have insurance so you had to move your family out of your home and into an apartment because you couldn’t afford the mortgage AND the medical bills?

Well not anymore, buddy! $11 TRILLION in gains! All of that money, back in the market, just waiting to be spent. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before it makes its way back into our wallets … there’s no way that much cash could be hoarded by the one, small group of people that lost it all in the first place, right? Because that would be downright treasonous.

So … helicopter or yacht?


Copy Editor Wes Burns is a Sunday columnist. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don’t necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Wes Burns at 641-753-6611 or