Now That I'm A Titan Of Industry, It's Time To Become A Titan Of Friendship

Top Headlines


Budget Travel Tips

With the bloated cost of airfare and hotels, many people are looking to save on travel however they can. Here are The Onion’s tips for planning a memorable vacation without overspending.

Upcoming Changes To U.S. Currency

Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew recently announced a series of significant changes to U.S. currency. Here are some of the more notable alterations on the horizon

Head Of IRS Has Personal Filing System To Keep Track Of Nation’s Tax Returns

Commissioner’s Office Cluttered With 100 Million Folders

WASHINGTON—Pointing out the towering stacks of manila folders cluttering his desk and stepping carefully around the millions of forms laid out on his office floor, Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service John Koskinen showed reporters Thursday his own personal filing system for keeping track of everyone in the nation’s tax returns.

Grandmother Palms Grandson $10 Like She Fixing Boxing Match

NEW BEDFORD, MA—Waiting until her daughter and son-in-law were occupied getting drinks in the kitchen following a family dinner at her home Sunday, local grandmother Ellen Sullivan, 72, is said to have palmed her 11-year-old grandson Jason Tucci $10 like she was fixing a heavyweight boxing match.

Koch Brothers Get Each Other Same Election For Christmas

WICHITA, KS—Chuckling and shaking their heads as they described their annual family gift exchange to reporters, Koch Industries executives Charles and David Koch confirmed Wednesday they had unwittingly gotten each other the same election for Christmas this year.

Budget-Conscious Obamas Strongly Pushing Malia Toward UDC Community College

WASHINGTON—Repeatedly emphasizing the benefits of completing her core requirements at a fraction of the cost of a four-year school, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama continued their efforts this week to persuade their 17-year-old daughter, Malia, to attend the University of the District of Columbia Community College.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

Now That I'm A Titan Of Industry, It's Time To Become A Titan Of Friendship

There's nothing quite like the thrill one gets from a successful corporate takeover. It took decades of capital accumulation and countless backroom deals to unite an agribusiness conglomerate, a chemical company, and now a telecommunications firm into the largest corporate umbrella in history. And thus having ensured that the name of Fessenden will be uttered in the halls of Harvard Business School well into the next century, it is now time for me to corner the friendship market. Charles A.P. Fessenden, Captain of Industry, Titan of Friendship. It has a nice ring, does it not?

And I've hit the ground running. I've already called together my board to assess any promising friendship candidates. Once the prospects have been scrupulously vetted, my agents will be dispatched to such elite locations as Bar Harbor, ME, Palm Beach, FL, and Greenwich, CT to quietly offer my terms. While I would not necessarily characterize those terms as especially generous—I have to make this worth my while, after all—they will certainly be adequate, and probably far superior to any other offers. Of course, they have the right to refuse, but in spurning a friend, they will have gained a powerful enemy.

While careful analysis and number-crunching are a vital part of this venture, sometimes you just have to go with your gut. I've kept a close eye on the society pages, searching for any signs of an undervalued personality that I could acquire with minimal effort. The world is full of them, though it really takes a discriminating eye to spot one. There's Alexander Halbert III, the scion of a Main Line family whose shipping fortune once rivaled the Vanderbilts. Some might dismiss the Halberts as stock that has outlived its worth, but I think there's still a great deal of name-value to exploit, and Alex's drinking problem could prove a definite advantage. And consider Porfirio Paloma, serial husband to lonely heiresses—a reprobate, a spendthrift, and achingly vulnerable to a life-takeover. I already have a 31 percent stake in him due to his brief relationship with my sister in the 1980s.

Naturally, after word gets out that I'm in the friendship business, the bids will pour in. Thousands will want the protection that only a Fessenden friendship can supply.

Those who despise me and condemn my business ethics will no doubt have a laugh at my expense. "Have you heard?" they will surely be saying. "Fessenden is trying to make friends with people!" Good. This is precisely the attitude that will help me in the long run. Thinking I've gone soft, they'll inevitably let down their guard. And when I invite them for a round of golf on my breathtaking Jamaican estate, their curiosity about this "once-ruthless man" will get the best of them. About the 12th hole, when they are inebriated with birdies and bourbon, I'll double-cross them with the pronouncement that not only are they now my friends, their own friends are mine too, and, worst of all, they like me more. I know it's cold and cruel, but friendship often is.

Once I have strengthened my position of geniality, I will turn to some of my former business competitors for friendship possibilities. Surely, with their finances in ruins and their lives shattered, they will appreciate my magnanimous gesture of friendship. I would expect no profit from this enterprise, save for a great way to advance a charitable image. I'll come out smelling like roses, and it won't cost me a penny.

Of course, diversification is the real key to success. I won't limit my holdings to friendships—I intend to branch out into acquaintanceships, cordialities, even advocacies. Perhaps I might test the uncharted waters of comradeships, which would certainly raise a few eyebrows on Wall Street.

After an aggressive period of acquisition, I will lay low and bide my time in order to lull my competition into a sense of complacency. By competition, I mean the blue-chip stock—those with a consistent history of popularity and friendship that pays high dividends. Then I will make a bid—leverage all if need be—for these rival friendship titans. A wholesale buyout of their affections? Why not? If you don't dream big, you don't do big.

By 2012, I shall monopolize American friendship. I fully intend to be counted among the top five friend-havers in the world. Chances are you yourself will be a Fessenden friend, and by golly, you'll like it. You'll have no choice.

Still, one truth remains painfully clear, whether it's business or friendship: It's lonely at the top.

Finance Video

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close