The recession is serious business, but that doesn't mean we always have to be serious.
Two things help cheer up Americans: Junk food and laughter. Since you can't get junk food from a Coupon Sherpa blog, we've put together a list of 10 recession-related items that will at least make you giggle.
1. Squeezing Blood From a Turnip
The U.S. Treasury probably doesn't think this is funny but I'm sure taxpayers will get a big, cynical laugh. The Treasury has created a convenient online form that accepts taxpayer donations to help pay down the federal debt. (Credit cards and direct withdrawals accepted.)
2. Planet Money Bought a Toxic Asset Just to Watch It Die
Remember toxic assets; those complicated bonds full of home mortgages? The ones that almost brought down the economy? A team of reporters with NPR's Planet Money used $1,000 of their own cash to buy a tiny piece of one — and plan to track it until it dies. They even held a contest to name it. Kenny, Maverick, Nina and Tulip didn't quite sound right so "Toxie" took the prize.
3. E*Trade Baby Goes Hollywood
Hollywood is officially out of ideas. 20th Century Fox is developing a movie based on the E*Trade talking baby. According to Fox, "The film is a “mission movie” about a group of talking babies trying to make their way across the playground.
E*Trade created the commercials to put a "friendly" face on an industry facing public anger. (While we're on the topic, check out the E*Trade Outtakes video on YouTube.)
4. Hell No, You Can't
Remember will.i.am's collage-style video of President Obama's "Yes We Can" speech? Well, Tea Baggers now have their own version of this viral video. The mash-up combines "Yes We Can" with House Republican leader John Boehner's memorable "Hell no, you can't!" rant on March 21.
Of course, Rep. Boehner's outrage had nothing to do with his perpetual tan and the fact that the bill places a tax on tanning salons. against Obama's Health Care Plan.
5. Subways and Craigslist as Recovery Monitors
Ted Egan, an economist who works for the city of San Francisco, predicts local sales-tax revenue by looking at how many people come through the subway station in the city's main shopping district. And Egan dreams of mining Craigslist to get economic data that would be more timely and more granular that what's available now.
Google searches are another rich repository for predictive data. Jumps in such queries as "unemployment office" and "jobs" can help predict increases in initial jobless claims.
6. Bankers on The Apprentice
According to the Bloomberg News, former employees of Lehman, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Bear Stearns lined up outside Trump Tower with 500 other hopefuls in an effort to land a spot on Donald Trump's The Apprentice. Some even slept on the street to get a prime spot in line. Even though auditions were held on April 1, this wasn't an April Fools joke.
7. Recession for Men
Between love and madness, lies..."Recession?"
Only FunnyOrDie would create a video take-off on Calvin Klein's infamous expressionistic commercial for "Obsession" and call it "Recession for Men."
Oh, the smell of it!
8. Workplace Deaths are Down
Fewer people die on the job when there are fewer people with jobs. Workplace fatalities reached their lowest point on record last year, as the recession forced employers to trim back hours. Now there's a silver lining for you.
9. Condom Sales are Inflated
Real estate sales may be on a slow boat to China but sales are up in some areas. Specifically, sales are way up on fast food and junk food, romance novels, condoms and lottery tickets. Sounds like when the going gets tough, the tough turn to escapism and cheap entertainment.
10. New Words
Americans love making up new jargon and slang, and the recession has given us plenty of opportunities. "Mancession," frugalistas, "co-working," "recession porn" and my favorite, "femterprise.
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