Rab McNeil’s Week:
Now, I know it’s infra-dig to do that fuddy-duddy thang, affecting to be out of touch with the modern world an’ all but, seriously, who in the name of wee man is Sean “Diddy” Combs? Well, further research reveals that this Diddy is a rapper, who made £102.7m, not including tips.
Rap? I asked a learned friend for an explanation. He said: “I am familiar with the phenomenon and my understanding is that it is complete tosh.” Sounds like something even I could manage. Lord knows, I’ve made a career hitherto out of talking the same.
Another singer and performer, Agnes (is it Agnes? Hilda?) Beyoncé, came second to Mr Combs, earning just £82.7m, while another rapper, called Drake (don’t look at me; no idea), came fourth on £74.1m.
You have your calculators out and are hollering: “By our reckoning, you missed out third.” Correct. Number three, on £74.8m, was JK Rowling (now known as JK Trolling for her activities on Twitter), the writer of fairy stories.
OK, knowing little about guns or cannabis, I’m not likely to cut it as a rapper. I’m not cool and gold jewellery brings me out in a rash (damned nipple-rings; never again).
But, crikey, I could write fairy stories. God knows, I was a reporter on The Scotsman for long enough. All I need to be the next JK Rowling are the right conditions and a different brain, preferably hers.
Perhaps I should diversify. The aforementioned Diddy diddie did that, making his dosh not just from rap but from the two staples of the modern world, clothes and vodka.
Though I know Diddy-squat about clothes, I do like a vodka-martini from time to time, particularly when I confuse myself with James Bond (pretty much every Saturday night).
Casting around for a different venture, I put in a bid for The Body Shop chain, but was just beaten by Brazilian cosmetics manufacturer Natura Cosmeticos, which offered a billion euros.
Perhaps it was just as well, given previous experience in this field and the unexpected business failure of my fragrance, Farté by Roberto.
Kids coining it
“What about the children?” I hear you cry. Yes, damned brats, how can we teach them to be fiscally responsible?
According to a ground-disturbing survey by M&G Investments, one in six parents don’t feel confident about teaching their children how to manage money. At least that’s how the story was reported by our confidence-sapping press.
Closer analysis of the second paragraph revealed that five in six had no problem with it, though most of these also wanted schools and grandparents to help in bludgeoning the children’s brains with the need for financial sagacity.
I find this sort of thing intolerable. Listen up, kids: blow every penny you get as soon as you get it, before you grow up and get shackled to mortgages, taxes and Sky.
Mind you, some people never grow up. I was flabbergasted to read research by GoCompare Money, which purported to find that 82% of Scots stash money away in piggy banks or coin jars.
I was about to holler “Poppycock!” (don’t worry on my account; I do this every hour on the hour), when I remembered I did have a coin jar, in the shape of a jolly red pillar box, into which I bung unwanted bronze pennies and whatnot.
I don’t do this as an alternative to making regular savings into a bank account, as the survey suggested many financial fatheads were doing. I do it to stop more or less worthless coinage weighing down my pockets and spoiling the cut of my executive-style anorak.
Then, every two years or so, I take the coins into the hills and bury them as insurance against the day of destitution that astrologers have long predicted for me.
Excuse me while I breathe
Absent-mindedly surfing yonder internet, I find that it is all the rage to advocate the use of mindfulness for success in business.
My understanding of this is that, when involved in tricky negotiations, it is a big help to stay awake. After that, if you can focus on the matter in hand, you improve your chances measurably.
Breathing also helps, according to top experts. A neat trick I saw recommended was to indulge – preferably when someone else is talking – in alternate nostril-breathing. Here is the technique: breathe deeply up one nostril, hold it for 15 minutes, then, with a loud snort, blooter it out the other nostril. Repeat on the other side.
If, after this, you look up to find yourself alone in the conference room, remain awake and focus on pleading out the window for your putative business partners to return to the meeting.
Queen’s speech gets my goat
A new business plan: reading that courses in goat-keeping are experiencing a “surge in demand” in Moray, and learning further that the Queen’s Speech is written on goatskin – upon which the lieges may not cut and paste – I put two and two together … and get millions.
However, on pitching my plan to the bank, I am informed that Queen’s speeches are few and far between, amounting to at most half a goat, upon which the bank was not willing to invest capital. In response to my inquiries, they also averred that the beasts ponged a bit and were rubbish at fetching sticks.
Oh well, back to the drawing board.