If Hindsight Were Foresight

A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster

The world’s largest phone bill – $218 trillion. The Malaysian man who received the bill said there must have been ‘some mistake‘.*

I would have thought so too – after I picked myself up off from the floor.

I found that interesting bit of information in Uncle John’s HEAVY DUTY Bathroom Reader, 23rd edition. If you spend most of the day on the john you might as well learn something.

I suspect the man’s bill was a computer or clerical error unless it was meant as a forewarning of what we can expect once Rogers gains control of Shaw Cable. I know we should be happy our companies are doing so well, but do you not find they are getting just a tad too big? I realise the whole idea of business today is to become an even bigger business and eventually take over whatever industry you are involved in then put your competitor in the poor house, destroy his marriage, and with a bit of luck find some way he or she could spend the rest of his or her life in prison, but isn’t there a limit? This constant growth has to end somewhere. Now here is a fine example.

Like everyone else we are deluged every day with fascinating e-mails, some you could even resend to your mother, assuming your mother is a bit of a pervert like yourself. One I found a bit earth-shaking was an article meant to console someone having a bad day. It cited the plight of Ronald Wayne. Ronald sold his ten percent stake in Apple for $800 back in 1976. Today it is worth $58,065,210,000. Now I have no idea whether this titbit is true or not but it would be a bit disconcerting if Ronny spent the 800 bucks at the Casino and his wife found out. He would have been sleeping on the couch for at least a week, maybe even longer.

We can all look back and think about certain business opportunities we had years ago and realising that had we done this instead of that we would be farting through silk undies today. Well perhaps that isn’t a good example and I bet there are folks out there with no undies at all who put their life savings into Kodak, International Buggy-Whip, or in my case, the Esquire Spats Company and wished they hadn’t bothered.  

We are not all like Nostradamus who could predict the future. Miguel would be worth a fortune today had he not croaked several centuries ago. Some folks are convinced his prognostications for 2022 are a sure thing and are gambling heavily on his visions for today. I was sure he was talking about spats, but apparently not.

I am sure most of you remember my column last June about Miguel’s recipes for jellies. Sadly only one company namesake read that brilliant article and acted upon it. Thank you for your faith in me, Mr. Smuckers, and congratulations on your success. By the way we could use the occasional free jar now and then. We are quite fond of your orange marmalade.

Imagine though if you could see into the future even if it was only for a day; the money you could make. But it would be helpful for more than just business, but also in your everyday life. You would never have patted her there if you could see yourself lying in traction in a hospital bed today. Why did you think she parks her car in front of the Banzai School of Karate, Judo and Tai Kwan Do every day? Give your head a shake!

But as much as we would all like to be the CEO of some giant industrial complex or any other multi-billion-dollar organisation, think of the headaches that come along with it. Let’s take me for instance, the decisions I would have to make. Like, should I get up, after all it is almost noon, or should I lie here until it’s time for Jessica Fletcher? I could go into the office, but the last time the doorman wouldn’t let me in. He didn’t recognise me. Of course he had only worked there for a couple of years. I had to sign a bunch of papers and that tired me out. I wonder what they were all about. They must have been important since the very next day I was being hailed as a genius and one of the Captains of Industry. Do you know what? I think this genius deserves a day in bed.

*I wonder what the Malaysian guy’s phone company said when they got his series of post-dated cheques.

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