Q: What is Enron?

A: Enron is the largest corporate bankruptcy in American history.

Q: What was it before that?

A: Not exactly sure.

Q: No idea?

A: Some folks say it was a farm boy who never made the big leagues. Others say it was the next Babe Ruth. But most thought it was just a desperate loner with nothing to lose.

Q: Like Robert Redford in The Natural?

A: With a fleet of company jets.

Q: Why did Enron collapse?

A: The company was ruined by its enormous debt, which, when it had outgrown even Texas-sized computers, was broken down and hidden in hundreds of offshore subsidiaries.

Q: Is that legal?

A: It’s not only legal, it’s also a great way to manage your credit cards and student loans.

Q: Did Enron break any laws?

A: It flagrantly defied gravity for at least 10 years.

Q: Is that all?

A: Enron may also be guilty of insider trading and fraudulent accounting.

Q: Was the White House involved with the collapse?

A: Technically, President Bush did not communicate with Enron. When CEO Kenneth Lay called to ask for help with the company’s credit rating, the president listened but did not respond.

Q: Then why did the attorney general recuse himself?

A: He had to go to the little attorney general’s room.

Q: Who is Arthur Andersen?

A: Arthur Andersen is a high school lacrosse coach in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He is also an accounting firm.

Q: Why is the firm in so much trouble?

A: Instead of properly auditing Enron’s accounts, Andersen employees spent their days playing soccer on the beach in their work clothes.

Q: I was one of the Enron employees who invested their life savings in now-worthless company stock. Should I join the class-action suit?

A: That may not pay off for years. In the meantime, visit eBay to auction off your Enron logo-emblazoned golf balls, Kenneth Lay “Light of My Life” desk lamp and vintage 1978 mint-condition Arthur Andersen plush doll.

Q: Vice President Cheney still will not reveal what happened during his meetings with Enron executives. What is he hiding?

A: A pastrami sandwich at the very least.

Q: How much have Enron’s political connections influenced U.S. energy policy?

A: Imagine America as an elementary school and its energy policy as a game of kickball. Then imagine yourself as the referee of this game. Along come to the two teams – one made up of budding environmentalists, and the other, would-be Enron executives. The environmentalists are very cranky, and when they kick a foul ball, they cry their eyes out if you count it against them. The Enron executives, on the other hand, pad your Swiss bank account and arrange for you to have sex with the supermodel of your choice. Which team are you going to let win the game?

Q: It seems like everything is collapsing – first the dot-coms, then the stock market, and now major corporations. How can we possibly go on?

A: Watch “Friends” Thursday nights at 8 (or join the Communist Party).

– Adapted from the Internet.

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