17 June 2007

The Day I Swapped My Dad For 2 Goldfish

Author: Neil Gaiman
Illustrator: Dave McKean

A boy is mesmerized by his friend's goldfish and (in perhaps the ultimate impulse buy) decides to purchase the fish by trading his father for them. This seems like a good idea at the time because the goldfish are freakin' cool--they swim around in circles, they blow bubbles, and... did I mention that they swim in circles?!

To the boy's credit, fathers are traditionally undervalued by most major financial institutions. It was definitely a buyer's market for fathers, so you can't fault the boy for settling on two awesome goldfish.

Unfortunately, like most financial bubbles (i.e. internet and housing), the Goldfish bubble bursts, leaving our young protagonist in dire financial straits. The goldfish begin to rapidly depreciate, their value diminishing with every inane little circle that they swim.

Meanwhile, the father's value is steadily on the rise. Our disgraced hero frantically tries to recoup expenses and get his father back, but he finds that his father has since been traded for increasingly more valuable objects. At one point he was even traded for an electric guitar--talk about an impressive return on investment!

By the end of the day, stock in Fatherhood is poised to break above a double-bottom base buy point of 178.79, which would be a record one day jump according to the NYSE. The book ends with a dramatic race against time--can our hero get his father back before the escrow agent finalizes the deal or will it be too late?

Gaiman's tale (coupled once again with McKean's insane illustrations) makes for a surprisingly touching story. Like any responsible financial advisor, Gaiman reminds us that despite the inevitable highs and lows, some commodities are always valuable. While some stocks may seem more appealing in the short run, Fatherhood manages to withstand the violent fluctuations of the market. It is one of those commodities that is easily overlooked, but is always much more precious than we realize.

In short: Happy Father's Day!

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