Well there it is: the Forbes 400. The list of the 400 wealthiest people in America.
I have scoured that list and did not find my name. I scour that list each year when it arrives and, each year, I suffer the same disappointment. They never mention me or, for that matter, you. We didn't make the Forbes 400 list again.
I always read the professions of those whose names appear. Perhaps a new occupation I could pursue is one that is guaranteed to produce the billions that it takes to make the list. Let's see...create Microsoft? Nope, already taken. How about start Wal-Mart? Hmmm, already done.
Wait, I'll sell books on line, I'll call it Amazon.com, that's it! What? Jeff Bezos already did that? Did he get the idea from me?
I noticed that hedge fund managers are frequently mentioned. A hedge fund, that doesn't sound complex. It deals with landscaping, how difficult can that be?
Knock knock. "Hi, I'm Jay Lawrence, I notice your hedge is overgrown, will you fund the trimming of your hedge?"
As I read the list, I wondered if there is a certain amount of jealousy. John Paul DeJoria is tied with eight others for the 92nd spot on the list. Does he seek to improve his $4 billion and step away from the others? Does he wake up each morning, plotting ways to help the other seven lose a certain amount so that he is alone in 92nd place?
And what about Larry Ellison -- number three with $41 billion -- is he angry or envious, that Warren Buffet is number two with $46 billion? Does Ellison look around the mansion and see what he can sell that would bring him up to at least a tie for second?
These are the questions that assail me each year when the Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans finds it's way to my computer. How can I better myself, how can I, by next year, make that list?
Then I remember the old saying money does not buy happiness, and I break out in tears of joy, thankful that, once again, Forbes has ignored Jay Lawrence.