Folks, times sure have gotten tough, economically speaking. There's no point in splitting hairs here (it'd take too long to find one on this cue ball of mine anyway!), so I'm just going to give it to you straight: We're in a recession. A deep one. Deeper than Dolly Parton's cleavage. Deeper than a poetry reading at the bottom of the ocean. I'm telling you, we're so deep in this recession, I just watched the dollar fall below a dinosaur fossil.

One still buried underground!

Yes, loyal readers, the stock market's been sinking faster than a skydiving Titanic and, surprise, surprise, your old pal Roger's going down with the ship. Yes, I've gotten into quite a spat with Mr. Jones—Mr. Dow Jones—and boy does he hit below the belt. Don't even ask me how my 401-Not-So-OK is doing!

More like I got 401-KO'd!

The stock market. Now there's a laugh. If you ask me, they should call that place the Woodstock market. Why? Because anyone who wants to get in is probably high. On drugs!

I didn't even know I had money in the darn thing until it was already gone. See, my brother-in-law John manages all my money. He's an accountant. Whenever I see him, I always say, "John, there are only two things accountants are good at: fixing numbers." Gets him every time.

What gets me is all this bailout nonsense. Whole thing's an inch shy of robbery, if you ask me. After all, I don't need the government taking money out of my wallet and deciding how to spend it…. That's my wife's job!

And speaking of Rosemary, can someone tell me what happened to women in the workplace? I thought the whole point of the women's lib movement was to get wives out of the kitchen so they could start bringing home the bacon. (Sorry, ladies—the low-fat turkey bacon.) These days, our household sure could use another breadwinner. Heck, I'd settle for an extra muffinwinner—or even just a packet of crackers!

With all the money we're spending on therapy bills and expensive miniature urns, I've got former presidents leaving my wallet like it's the White House on Inauguration Day! Yikes!

Now I know you're all thinking to yourselves, "But Roger, you're a successful syndicated humor columnist. You must see more bills than a cross-eyed duck!" Not so, loyal readers. The comedy world is not exempt from today's economic ills. Tony, my editor, has been breathing down my neck for months to think him up some T-shirt slogans or funny sayings to put on a coffee mug—anything to make an extra buck. Nothing doing. My columns can't be reduced to a snarky one-liner you can slap on a mousepad.

Besides, if I wanted to spend my time filling out T-shirts, I'd become Pamela Anderson!

Who would have guessed that in 17 short years I'd go from almost writing jokes for Billy Crystal to pitching greeting cards to Shoebox for some extra scratch? Seriously, I've seen kamikaze pilots with better career paths! (Look that one up if you have to—it's worth it.)

I suppose I can't complain, though. Writing birthday cards beats digging ditches any day.

Say, that gives me an idea….

What do your birthday and your in-laws have in common?

They both bring you closer to death!

Keep your head up, gang!