Friday, November 17, 2006

Colleague's Retirement Plans

Lunch at Carls' Jr
Over lunch, a colleague related his retirement plans: Where is good money to be found? Not in the volatile stock market nor in commodity or derivative trading nor the rental off prime real estate. The good money is to be found in the pockets of the superstitious and this is how he will get his paws on some of that stuff:
  1. buy a plot of land and build a temple
  2. engage the services of a popular monk (like the one who rappelled down Suntec City) to head the temple
  3. install a grotty (cheap) but ginormous Buddha statue, the grottier (cheaper), the better, for authenticity
  4. provide the usual temple-y services including divination by lots (and at the back of each lot, the Chinese mainlander who wrote the whole Buddhist canon on a grain of rice shall inscribe exclusion clauses to protect the temple from liability)
  5. draw the crowds by procuring that someone win the lottery with numbers chosen from divination in the temple
  6. sell gold-leaf to the pious to plaster the statue with and so earn karma points
  7. (And he smiled a beautific smile and spread his arms wide to indicate the riches of the world for the taking.)

  8. scrape the gold-leaf off the Buddha for resale at the same absorbitant prices
  9. start a funeral business and gloriously overcharge the bereaved for prayers, rituals and, even, entry into heaven!
  10. charge a yearly rate for the upkeep of the tablets (polishing, dusting, not accidentally stepping on the said tablets etc)
When he'd done telling us his nefarious plan, he threw back his head and laughed loudly. HAHAHAHAHAHA. One minute later, he was still laughing, alone and as loudly, like the evil corrupt man in a kung-fu movie, dressed in black clothes to match the blackness of his heart.

In the far corner, an old man looked at us with watery eyes, and shook his head, slowly.



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