Speaking of April Furhst, The Loneliest Job, and The Contest!


He’s the result of ingenious marketing: The Maytag repairman. Alone. Unneeded. Lonely. Lonelier still, the actor who plays him, Hardy Rawls. He’s being let go. Instead, Maytag’s new owner, Whirlpool, has held a national audition for the “new face” of the repairman. The winner is Clay Jackson of Richmond, Virginia, a former realtor who entered the contest “on a whim.” Man, if I were a realtor in this housing market, I’d also be looking for a more stable career, like acting.

Ok, I get lots of pitches for stories in my email box. Lots. Like, way too many. Pitches from economists predicting Bernanke’s next move (zzzzzz), stories about stocks with market caps of about $2 million (no thank you), and lots from people who have never actually watched CNBC nor anything I have ever done in my entire reporting career (“Jane, how about a story on brain exercises fending off dementia?”).

Here’s one I got today: KFC is hoping Sanjaya Malakar will sport a “bowl cut” to promote the

chain’s “KFC Famous Bowls.” Malakar is the hapless young man on “American Idol” who manages to hang in there every week not because he sings well, but because Howard Stern keeps pushing listeners to vote for him, just to mess with the show.

Last week Sanjaya (yes, I call him by his first name because we are that familiar with “Idol” contestants) wore his hair in a sort of Mohawk-meets-Staples 'do'. According to the release I got, KFC is hoping he’ll do a bowl cut…for free. Hmmmmm. Should have been suspicious. I called the contact number for the story. Not a working number. Perhaps some sort of April Fool’s leftover. But I will be watching Sanjaya’s hair closely tonight…

The SEC has a sense of humor. Ok, that’s not the April Fool’s part. That’s an actual statement of fact I made. After everyone mocked the commission last year for pushing a plan that would force companies to reveal the salaries of their top 30 people (think Katie Couric at CBS), the SEC on April Fool’s Eve released a press release saying it planned to actually expand the proposal to include the top 100 people in any public company who make more than the CEO. According to Dow Jones, the news was coming from SEC spokeswoman “April Furhst,” quoting SEC official “Sue Offen.” Ok, if you were on your third Cosmopolitan by this time and not…gotten…the…joke… the release ended with news that the Commission was suing itself “both to save time, and to be assured of being on the winning side when the court rules.” Which I might have actually bought.

If you want a good laugh, click on my latest video story on CNBC about the bee population disaster. Yes, laugh at disaster! Why? Because I’m wearing a ridiculous bee suit. You can take the girl out of the tiny local news market, but you can’t take the tiny local news market out of the girl. Best part, I’m covered head to toe like I’m about to land on Mars, and I do a live interview with the actual beekeeper, Red Bennett. I say to him off camera, “You are gonna put on a bee suit like me, right?” “Why would I do that?” Eureka! I said, “Actually, don’t! It’ll be better this way.” So I interviewed him looking like I’d just walked out of an Intel “clean room,” while he’s in the midst of all these bees just in his shirtsleeves and khakis. Made me look like an even bigger dork. And when you’re going for the dork look, bigger is better.

Funny Business is holding a contest! Read the following press release, tell me what you think it means, and you could win… something. I think we have a t-shirt around here. More importantly, imagine the satisfaction you will feel beating out, oh, maybe, one other person to win. I will post promising entries and also post the eventual winner.

Here’s the press release:

RALEIGH, N.C., March 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Qualyst, Inc., a leader in the development and marketing of novel and proprietary absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and toxicology (ADMET) technologies, today announced that orders are now being accepted for B-CLEAR(R) Kits using rat hepatocytes.

B-CLEAR(R) is a proprietary, patented system that provides for the in vitro assessment and in vivo prediction of hepatobiliary disposition, hepatic uptake, hepatic accumulation, biliary clearance and drug transport.

Send your “translations” to funnybusiness@cnbc.com

Enjoy these two "translations":

Contestant #1:
It seems to me that they produce a product, illegal in some areas, that masks the fact that the user has consumed banned substances. Especially useful for job applicants, truck drivers, or anyone on probation....I wear size L, in T-shirts.... Am I clear?? Frank, Wisconsin

Contestant #2:
Jane - Clearly, B-CLEAR is a product targeted for expectant mothers. Prior to implantation, an embryo can be tested for the tendency to develop hepatitis. During pregnancy, the fetus can be tested for hepatitis. Always good to know, or is this a solution ... without a problem? Fight On! William

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