“Not so bleak,” I said to a good friend’s depressed daughter. She no longer watches TV or on her phone. She can no longer deal with the latest images of the nearly eighty-year-long war between Israel and the Palestinians. Anyway, I’m already tired of all the pictures coming out of Ukraine, and the pictures of the dismal withdrawal of Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh.
I thought I would make her happy by telling her that there were also things going well. Especially financially. For example, tobacco farmers are looking forward to golden years as they encourage young people to vape. The great thing about vaping is that many kids eventually start smoking a nice cigarette again. And then you get addicted the old-fashioned way.
Two weeks ago, I walked past the large Philip Morris cubes near Bergen op Zoom. This beautiful lung cancer memorial is in deep black. For some time now, these giant structures have been in danger of demolition because people smoke less and less. But the industry found a solution. Glory. Cheers. Deep bow for this wonderful success. Make kids addicted. Cool, isn’t it? I can also kindly congratulate the pulmonologists. Because there is still a lot of work to be done for them as well.
And what about the glyphosate lobby, which recently arranged to get the Netherlands not to vote in Brussels for a ban on the cancer-causing weedkiller? Delicious chemical junk that also causes a significant increase in Parkinson’s disease. Especially among farmers. We have plenty of that, so spraying hundreds of thousands of liters of poison is indirectly beneficial to the nitrogen problem. Neurologists also have a lot of work to do. Just like making wheelchairs and stair lifts.
A leftist friend of mine said to me: “But if this stuff is so dangerous, wouldn’t you ban it first and then find out if it’s actually harmful? And if that turns out to be a false alarm, you give the green light. But you won’t keep sprinkling it on God’s fields for ten years; Isn’t it? With the risk that it will poison the soil and the animals that live in it and also end up in the water?
I asked him if he knew a little about how real business life works and that herbicides are sponsors of major sporting events. So we enjoy the chaos.
My friend’s daughter couldn’t be happier with my story. And then I told her that I got filthy rich by investing my money earned through pranks in making weapons. I started doing this in the 1990s. Based on the advice of an investment expert from a major bank. And because of all the wars and misery, those stocks are going up like crazy. Especially now. The great thing is that every now and then I sing an immortal song about unattainable peace, and then I put the money earned from it back into this profitable stock portfolio. When I see an Israeli attack on Gaza, I hear the cash register ringing. And not kindly. That’s why I’m on my phone all day.
My friend called yesterday to say that my sarcastic sense of humor was not the best medicine for her daughter. According to the girl, it is not humor either. That’s just how things are. And you all know that very well.
Thursday night, I lay awake in a hotel room in Rotterdam. I woke up to one of the night explosions in that city. Sleep can no longer reach me. Reading and writing did not help. I heard news of the war on the radio. In addition to the evil plans of both parties and their supporters. I kept grinding. Crying was closer to me than napping. I thought: How are we supposed to move forward in the world?
Yesterday morning the bank called. My careful investment advisor. He had advice. Pharmaceutical companies are doing well. Especially those found in sleeping pills and antidepressants. You have to log in now. Otherwise, you are the thief of your own wallet.
A version of this article also appeared in the October 14, 2023 newspaper.
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