Funny Business with Jane Wells

2009: Which Is The Funniest Business Of All?

We made it! The year is just about over, and we’re still standing. Congratulations.

I’m off next week, vowing to step away from the computer/Blackberry/blogosphere. Wish me luck.

I thought I’d review my favorite editions of the blog in 2009 and let you vote on which inane musing was most amusing. It makes sense that you choose. Funny Business readers (uh, that’s you) forwarded me links and news items which provided the basis for probably half the blogs. Thank you.

Looking back at 2009, I see I often wrote about things that weren't funny in a comedic sense, like the economic collapse of my beloved home state, California. At one point I evenwondered if God was punishing us. There were also all those worrisome trips to Vegas, including a chat with Elvis.

Michael Jackson

Meantime, for weeks I couldn’t stop talking about Bernie Madoff, the real one or the fake one. Then I couldn’t stop talking about Michael Jackson, and then Tiger Woods.

But the best part about Funny Business this year was finding offbeat stories about small companies trying to make an outrageous splash. There was the small Canadian firm which jumped on the Balloon Boy story and designed a Halloween costume. Or Handerpants, the underwear for your hands! I howled over Winker Jeans the jeans that wink at you. The tale improved when I discovered the love story behind the product.  But nothing may have compared to The Comfort Wipe, complete with how-to video, eliciting my speechless wonder.


Then there were the fun websites many of you pointed out to me:,, and Good times.

We held outstanding contests, including the best Wall Street tie-in to the famous Crasher Squirrel photo. Few things brought me as much joy as the contest to name the prize winning boar at the World Pork Expo. 

Many of you sent me links to hilarious videos. Three of my favorites: The Pelosi Sports Car,  Boyfriend with Health Benefits, and Hitler’s reaction to the housing market collapse.

But one story stands above all others for me this year, a story that involved “funny business” in the saddest way. Lenny Dykstra went from baseball legend and entrepreneur/trader to a man without a home, without a wife, seemingly without an income. His story began in July with a bankruptcy filing to avoid foreclosure—along with accusations of mortgage fraud—only to spiral down into sordid allegations of Dykstra tearing fixtures from his mansion, a pawn shop auctioning off his rings and trophies, a judge turning his Chapter 11 reorganization into a Chapter 7 liquidation. I recently asked one of Dykstra’s creditors where things stood. “He’s toast,” was the two-word reply. Here’s the interview that kicked it all off, as Dykstra sat down with me at his home inside Sherwood Country Club on July 9th. Watch and wonder anew at how “the good life” can unravel so completely.

Here’s to a better 2010 for all of us—to health, freedom, security, love, and lots and lots of funny business, preferably the kind that makes you laugh, not cry.

Questions? Comments? Funny Stories? Email