But first . . .


Well, but if it makes you look this great, and if it saves you from skin cancer, and if it’s made in the U. S. of A. — how do I know what women’s hats should cost?  All I know is what Bernard Baruch famously told us to “Buy straw hats in the winter, for summer shall surely come.”  (And then of course there’s that Nichols and May “Adultery” sketch — “You’ve had your hat reblocked!” — but that was about a man’s hat.)  Oh!  And you can roll it up for easy packing and it’s got an adjustable headband and even a sort of secret wallet.  With 15 days to go, my friend Satya has nearly doubled her Kickstarter goal.


The reader who shared his $12,024-a-year budget with us wrote back to say, “I should have added at the bottom:  Thank Howard for Medicare and Medicaid.  Do you know Howard?”

I allowed as how I did not know Howard.  (Dean?  Well, he advocated Medicare For All, but didn’t found the program — did Lyndon Johnson have a Health & Welfare Secretary named Howard?  Was Howard Stassen involved?  Howard Cosell?)

He wrote back, “Who is Howard? was a legitimate question from a very young child, son of a cousin of my former wife, when he heard the prayer in church: “Our father, How-ard in heaven, How-ar-ed be thy name…”

Ah.  Beware the Undertoad.


The first thing is to recognize that the Joneses were crazy to buy that boat — let alone on credit — so the last thing you want to do is keep up with them. Just bring a chilled case of Pinot Noir each time you set sail so you get invited back.  The way an uncle gets to enjoy the kids all for the cost of a few gifts each year with none of the hassle, orthodontia, or tuition, it being better — from a strictly financial viewpoint — to give than to conceive.

And the second thing to recognize is that just because one of your classmates went on to conduct a major symphony orchestra before he turned 30 doesn’t mean you have to.  Sure, you may not yet have found yourself . . . after mini-stints in med school, on Wall Street, in rehab, and now “between things.”  But you still have time — as this inspirational video takes under two minutes to make clear.



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