Studies in Crap: On the One Hand… The Economist’s Joke Book


(Each week, your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from area basements, thrift stores, estate sales and flea markets. I do this for one reason: Knowledge is power.)

On the One Hand . . . The Economist’s Joke Book.

Author: Economic Futurist Jeff Thredgold

Publisher: Thredgold Economic Associates

Date: 2001

The Cover Promises: D&D-style sorcery fun with a one-eared Richard Gephardt.

Discovered at: Goodwill

Representative Quotes: Page 24: “An ‘acceptable’ level of unemployment means that the government economist to whom it is acceptable still has a job.” Page 26: “A recession is when your neighbor has lost her job. A depression is when you lose yours.”

All right, all right. Maybe The Economist’s Joke Book makes the same joke twice within three pages. (That’s economical!) And maybe that joke is a thumb gouging out the eye of funny in the first place. (That saves on R&D!) And maybe Economic Futurist Jeff Thredgold’s book is the self-published, sold-at-speaking-engagements, throw-awayable paperback equivalent of every forwarded e-mail your economist aunt ever passed on to everyone in her address book. Let’s keep an open mind, here.

Page 57: “An economist is someone who knows 100 ways to make love … but doesn’t know any women/men.”

I don’t know any women/men, either. But, really, Economic Futurist Jeff Thredgold, if you do get to know some women/men, or maybe some men/women, or even any other transgendered combination you happen upon in your Economic Futuring, the odds are good that the net gain in partner parts and orifices might boost your 100 known ways of making love exponentially.

You get one more chance, The Economist’s Joke Book!!

Page 14: “Q: What’s the difference between an economist and a befuddled old man with Alzheimer’s?”

Let’s see. Is it, At least the one with the tragic degenerative brain disease hasn’t impoverished billions by abandoning Keynesian principles in favor of Friedman’s system of deregulation and forced privatization?

“A: The economist is the one with the calculator.”

It’s worth pointing out that The Economist’s Joke Book has nothing to do with esteemed current affairs magazine The Economist. Instead, it’s the work of a guy would put this on his back cover:

It isn’t enough that he’s the only economist in the world to have earned the CSP designation. Or that he’s a self-appointed Economic Futurist. It’s not even enough that he looks like George Brett playing the Crypt Keeper. No, Economic Futurist Jeff Thredgold wasn’t satisfied until he’d actually paid to have half his last name dipped in gold.


Howie Meeker’s Hockey Basics

Author: NHL great Howie Meeker

Date: 1973

Discovered at: a garage sale just north of Winnipeg

Representative Quote: “Shin pads: Here is another example of boys’ equipment looking like the professional stuff while giving about as much protection as spats on a sparrow.”

Thorough, informative, and so deeply Canadian it keeps asking to be excused to the “washroom,” Howie Meeker’s Hockey Basics is, for the most part, stubbornly un-crappy. But a close examination of the cover reveals wonders that the Economic Futurists of the world might miss: “Butt,” apparently, is ’70s Canadian for “Howie Meeker’s Little Bitch.”