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7.19.2002 by Forrest, every Wednesday.


Car-sharing


This has got to be one of the most clever business ideas since Larry Flynt decided to put full frontals in Hustler. A company, such as Communauto, leases a fleet of cars, and parks them in various locations around a given city. Customers sign up, and get registered with the corporate fleet insurance policy. Then, when they want to use a car, say, to drive to IKEA, they book the car by phone, and pay a quite reasonable by-the-hour-and-kilometre rental charge. This way, someone who is an occasional car user (such as myself) can have access to a car without having to pay for maintenance, insurance, parking, etc. For those weekend road trips, customers also get fleet rental prices from car rental places (C$38, unlimited km). It's so brilliant it could pass for one of my ideas. Maybe.


Eleanor Clitheroe


Hmm, this lady earned over 2.2 million taxpayer dollars a year as CEO of Hydro One. Yes, of course, you know, because I’m sure it takes a lot of brains to be a CEO in the cut-throat, breakneck, seat-of-your-pants business of government-owned(snooze…) monopoly(snore…) electricity distribution (zzzzzz…). And what brains 2.2 million dollars buys!; Turns out she’s been caught
-Having company contractors renovate her house
-Using the corporate credit card for personal shopping sprees
-Making the accounting department guys do her personal accounting
-Using the company car and chauffeur “excessively” for personal and family purposes
-Claiming various club memberships as expenses
-etc.
Well, anyhow, to make a long story short, she finally got the boot she deserved. Good for Hydro One.



Taco Bell


Think quick: you’re stuck at the office, you realize that you only have a small bit of change in your pocket and you need to find enough nourishment to get you through the afternoon. You have few options: Buy a small 1$ chocolate bar and risk fainting; walk repeatedly by the secretaries’ desk where she keeps the bowl of candies until she screams at you; try and find some sort of edible office products, such as, maybe, correction tape… OR you can take your $1.59 to Taco Bell and buy a chili cheese burrito, possibly the most filling item that this amount of change can buy. Maybe not nutritious, healthy or particularly good, but it will take up space in your stomach for less than anything else. Mmmm… Life-sustaining…


Gambling


So this week we find out that our governments made 6 billion dollars in gambling profits last year. That’s a good thing, right…? Uh, maybe. But it’s sure as hell debatable. On the one hand, we get tons of cash from people who were dumb enough to gamble it away. On the other hand, we encourage people to spend their money on one of the most addictive and useless activities out there. And spend it they do; 424$ each, on average. As well, since they built the Casino, it has become the biggest tourist attraction in our region (“hmm, there’s a Tom Thomson exhibit at the National Gallery… Oh wait! The Casino has a Frank Sinatra lookalike!!“). The resulting crowd of beer guts and Hawaiian shirts that swarms town every summer has been most disturbing. Not that I have anything against Hawaiian shirts though; I wear them myself a lot, but that’s just because I like to pretend to be gay in order to pick up chicks. Anyway the point is that gambling is bad.




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