Frisky Critters

Frisky Critters

I'm not a big follower of the business of business. At uni in the 60s I went to one economics class, realised I wasn't cut from that cloth in all of about 1.5 seconds and immediately did two things: I opted to take the course as pass/fail, which meant all I needed was to pass by the skin of my teeth (these were "progressive" times), and then I went to a Crosby, Stills & Nash concert. (All in all, if you discount that one day of Economics 101, it was a great semester. At least I think it was.)In case you need further proof, I never bought one share of a dotcom/tech company during the heady days of the stock market - basically for two reasons. One, I just couldn't get into the whole thing. If I'm going to gamble, then I like to play something I understand, like craps. And two, even I, without benefit of Economics 101, know profits count for something.

All that said, you'd still have to be hanging out with Crosby, Stills and Nash (and these days, they're all so busy with getting new livers, donating sperm and fixing deviated septums - nudge, nudge, wink, wink - you'd have trouble finding them) to miss Mr Toad's Wild Economy Ride, so I've been paying a bit of attention lately. What really caught my eye recently was HSBC chief economist John Edwards' observation that the local economy was undoubtedly "frisky". Not a word one tends to hear often, but it's been on my radar for a while. That's because for some reason or another since seeing the movie my husband's identified with the Fat Bastard character in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and keeps asking me: "Are ya frisky, lassie?"

Interesting choice on his part because he's not got a drop of Scottish blood in him and hasn't been inclined to wear a kilt ever since that unfortunate New Year's Eve in Edinburgh a few years ago when the temperature dropped well below freezing and the wind was blowing, and . . . Well, let's just say some things just aren't meant to freeze.

But back to our "frisky" economy.

Seems to me frisky in this case means "that which will not die". Think about it. What were the big "business of business" stories last year? HIH, OneTel, Ansett.

And what's happening in 2002? Well, you might just think it's Judgement Day here in Oz. Ansett gets resurrected once, twice (three times a loser). OneTel wants to come back as TeleOne. What's next? HIH as HUH?

Now I know what Mr Edwards forgot to include in his bullish observation. He probably meant to say: The Australian economy is undoubtedly "frisky" because we've gone back in time and are living in 1999.

Or perhaps Mr Edwards, like my husband, enjoys Fat Bastard and when he says frisky, he means we're gonna get screwed again. Well, probably not on New Year's Eve.

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