“…No one, no one is more disappointed than I am in that result.”

A: So you’re looking to diversify your talents after spending too long in the IT side of the market?

B: As I see it “The bottom line is I got it wrong by being overexposed to subprime and I suffered as a result of an unprecedented liquidity squeeze and deterioration in that market.”

A: So you’re looking for different work?

B: Well you’ve got to really. It’s like a shark.

A: I see – the pinnacle of evolution – perfection in every detail.

B: Not really. I mean you’ve got to keep moving or you die.

A: Is that really true for sharks?

B: I doubt it. Since I’ve been watching Q.I. and reading about new research from scientists I have no faith in anything I believe to be true any more.

A: Such as…

B: One moon, the Corby trouser press not originating in Corby, death being bad for you…

A: These things aren’t true?

B: Probably not. Life is far more complicated these days.

A: It’s always been problematical for me.

B: Yes but you’re only 8. You had no simple past to look back on. No times when policemen rode bicycles, gave you a clip around the ear for scrumping apples, and swerved their panda cars home after a 3 hour shut-in at the British Legion. Ah. Simple days.

A: Dangerous days.

B: Possibly, but in a nicer, no publicity, way.

A: I’m still confused about what I’m supposed to do.

B: How so?

A: Well am I supposed to pretend I believe in Father Christmas, eat all my food and play computer games?

B: Of course.

A: But it doesn’t make sense. You buy me a computer, lots of games then tell me I spend too much time playing on it. Ditto red meat, mobile phones, the Disney Channel. As I say it’s confusing.

B: I see.

A: You also tell me how great life was when you were a child. You could play out all summer long, on your own, in a local wood for 14 hours each and every gloriously sunny holiday day. Yet if I go further than the end of the drive…

B: Well – things are different now.

A: Statistically not I think. The stats on child murders, harmers, etc haven’t changed significantly since Victorian times.

B: Good point.

A: Another thing. Say you gave me all your money for three months and I not only lost it but left you with a debt of say, $8.4 billion you wouldn’t be too pleased would you?

B: Probably not.

A: You wouldn’t pat me on the head; say “take some time off and go shopping” would you?

B: No.

A: And you wouldn’t give me $160 million to spend on aforementioned shopping would you?

B: Of course not. That would be silly.

A: I’ve one more question for you.

B: Shoot.

A: How do you apply for a job with Merrill Lynch?

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