October can be a tough month for the stock market, which is lower now that it was five years ago and could be lower still a year or two from now. A five-year dip in the American market is rare. A six- or seven- year dip would be rarer still, especially considering how little stocks have paid out in dividends along the way.

Between inflation, population growth, and productivity gains, stocks should generally go up, and one is more often right predicting market gains than losses. So my caution may prove unjustified (I have a good chunk of my own assets in TIPS and cash and even some puts) and I hope it does (because I also have a chunk in stocks).

But either way, life is too short not to keep a smile on your face most of the time.

To wit (pun intended), more of your input for a Monday morning:

Jim G: ‘Never criticize anyone until you walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you do criticize them, you’ll be a mile away – and you’ll have their shoes.’

Jonathan Pond: ‘A guy and his dog seat themselves on a pair of bar stools and the bartender comes up to take their order. The guy says: ‘I’ll be you a drink that my dog can answer a question.’ The bartender agrees. The guy turns to the dog and asks: ‘What’s the highest part of a house?’ The dog replies: ‘Roof, roof.’ The bartender says: ‘That’s not bad’ and serves the drink. After the guy had finished, he calls the bartender over and says: ‘I’ll bet you another drink that my dog can answer another question.’ The bartender agrees, thinking he’s called the patron’s bluff. The guy turns to the dog: ‘Who’s the greatest player in the history of baseball?’ The dog replies: ‘Roof, roof,’ at which time the bartender physically throws them out of the bar. Owner and dog are sitting in the gutter. Dog turns to owner: ‘Should I have said DiMaggio?”

☞ Jonathan, a thinker of great thoughts, adds: ‘I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.’

Which is wordplay that calls to mind the new Bluth family attorney on ‘Arrested Development,’ Bob Loblaw. (No? Say it fast a couple of times.)

Marilyn Perry: ‘A frog goes into a bank and approaches the teller. He can see from her nameplate that her name is Patricia Whack. ‘Miss Whack, I’d like to get a $30,000 loan to take a holiday.’ Patty looks at the frog in disbelief and asks his name. The frog says his name is Kermit Jagger, his dad is Mick Jagger, and that it’s okay, he knows the bank manager. Patty explains that he will need to secure the loan with some collateral. The frog says, ‘Sure. I have this,’ and produces a tiny porcelain elephant, about an inch tall, bright pink and perfectly formed. Very confused, Patty explains that she’ll have to consult with the bank manager and disappears into a back office. She finds the manager and says, ‘There’s a frog called Kermit Jagger out there who claims to know you and wants to borrow $30,000, and he wants to use this as collateral.’ She holds up the tiny pink elephant. ‘I mean, what in the world is this?’ (you’re gonna love this) (it’s a real treat) The bank manager looks back at her and says . . . ‘It’s a knickknack, Patty Whack. Give the frog a loan. His old man’s a Rolling Stone.’ (You’re singing it, aren’t you? Yeah, I know you are……..) Never take life too seriously! Come on now, you grinned, I know you did!!!’

☞ Well, of course I did!

John McCoy: ‘You might try this. I always seem to stumble across the Prairie Home Companion ‘Joke Show’ by accident while I’m driving with the car radio tuned to NPR – and usually end up laughing hard enough to be a safety hazard. Garrison Keillor’s delivery obviously helps, but some of the jokes are pretty funny even on the cold page.’

Don’t sell your puts. As of last Wednesday, Nitromed’s 7-day rolling average daily BiDil prescriptions was a very modest 67. Not the kind of exciting uptake that (I think) justifies a $600 million market valuation.


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