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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Dumbest Moments

Maybe there's something wrong with me. Despite my desire to be a virtuous, godly man, I find that my affection for sarcasm runs deep. I'm not proud of it. I believe sarcasm can be deadly. Unfortunately, I find it can also be hilarious.

And while I strive to turn from that sin of the flesh, the world provides me with Dilbert cartoons ( and other crazy stuff, like news of the weird on Yahoo! News (;_ylt=AkC.bCkWFpMwMmfLsEnUaqWs0NUE).

This month, Fortune magazine ( tickled my sarcasm zone. They published their list of the 101 Dumbest Moments in Business for 2007. Of course I wouldn't try to print them all. I didn't think all of them were that great. But here are some of my favorites from that list.

2. - Eli Lilly ( won FDA approval to put Prozac into chewable beef-flavored pills to treat separation anxiety in dogs.

13. - Disneyland ( announced plans to close the "It's A Small World" attraction to deepen its water channel because the ride's boats are getting stuck under the loads of heavier passengers. Employees have had to ask heavier passengers to disembark --- and compensate them with coupons for free food!

32. - Rapper Jay-Z, founder of the Rocawear ( clothing line, was challenged by the Humane Society after it found that the "faux fur" jackets sold by his company were actually dog fur.

39. - British artist Damien Hirst, created the most expensive piece of contemporary art in history: a platinum human skull covered with 8,601 diamonds. The piece, called "For the Love of God," sold for $100 million. (See it at

44. - A Bank of America ( branch in Ashland, Massachusetts was evacuated after it received a fax with an image of a lit match being held to a bomb's fuse. The fax had been sent by the company to alert employees to an upcoming promotion. Somehow it came through without the text though, which should have read, "The Countdown Begins ... Small Business Commitment Week June 4-8."

51. - Nine-year-old Shea O'Gorman sent a letter to Apple ( CEO Steve Jobs suggesting ideas for improving her beloved iPod Nano, including adding onscreen lyrics so people can sing along. She got back a letter from Apple's legal counsel stating that the company doesn't accept unsolicited ideas --- and telling her to refrain from sending in any more suggestions.

62. - After mechanical problems grounded one of its Boeing 757s, officials of Nepal Airlines ( sacrificed two goats on the tarmac at Katmandu airport to appease Akash Bhairab, the Hindu god of sky protection. The plane then successfully completed its scheduled flight to Hong Kong.

70. - In a cost-cutting move, Circuit City ( laid of all sales associates who were being paid 51 cents or more per hour above an "established pay range." They fired 3,400 of their top performers in one fell swoop --- for no good reason. Over the next eight (8) months, Circuit City's share price dropped by almost 70%.

76. - Jessica Simpson ( starred in commercials for Pizza Hut's Cheesy Bites pizza. Then she told Elle magazine that she's allergic to wheat ... and tomatoes ... and cheese.

86. - Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin-Talal bought his own Airbus A380 jet, paying more than $320 million for a "flying palace." (I guess he could think of no better use for that money!) (

So there we are, my favorites from the Fortune list of the 101 Dumbest Moments in Business for 2007. What do they reveal (other than a world gone crazy)?

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