United They Stand, United We Fall

Time Warner and AOL. Exxon and Mobil. GlaxoWellcome and SmithKline Beecham. Chrysler and Daimler-Benz. MCI and Sprint. Whew. In case you haven't been paying attention, corporations worldwide are in

Time Warner and AOL. Exxon and Mobil. GlaxoWellcome and SmithKline Beecham. Chrysler and Daimler-Benz. MCI and Sprint. Whew. In case you haven't been paying attention, corporations worldwide are in the throes of merger and acquisition fever. And, folks, the fever ain't gonna break anytime soon. At least that's what my broker buddies tell me. Don't believe me? Well, look for the following "synergistic integrations" coming soon to a Business Section near you.

Krispy Kreme and Starbucks: Rumor has it that if the SEC approves this merger, we're less than a year away from the world's first self-dunking donut.

Microsoft and Paul Mitchell Salons: By all accounts, Microsoft intends to fuse its deepest, most-powerful proprietary industrial CAD/CAM software with Paul Mitchell's 10,000-plus chairs/stylists to conclusively correct Bill Gates' haircut.

Federal Express and the United States Postal Service: Many see the joining of these two delivery giants as a natural. But besides the obvious advantages of eliminating duplicate operations, consumers will soon have an entirely new resource for when they absolutely, positively have to have a coworker shot to death overnight.

Hyundai and Tidy Cat: In a last ditch effort to penetrate the American market, Korea's leading carmaker plans on being the first company to offer consumers a piece of shit and a place to put it.

Procter & Gamble and the Roman Catholic Church: A truly symbiotic corporate marriage. The Vatican will be able to boast vestments that go beyond clean, beyond white, all the way to bright; on the flip side, P&G will immediately secure the lucrative Holy See communion contract, meaning a global switchover to Olestra-fried wafers and Sunny "Blood of Christ" Delight. It is not known whether, as a condition of the merger, P&G will terminate its long-standing affiliation with Satan.

Yahoo and Lindt Confections: Executives of both the American Internet giant and the Swiss chocolatier have privately stated they are only interested in joining forces so they can name the resulting company Yodelayeehoo.

Phillip Morris and AirTouch Cellular: The world's largest producer of cigarettes and alcoholic beverages is very excited about the reputed links between cell phones and cancer, calling their first venture into wireless telephony "... a strong commitment to continue killing future generations."

Lockheed and The Franklin Mint: When the defense contractor that pioneered the $6,000 toilet teams up with the company that sells framed JFK half dollars for $29.95, can windfall profits be far behind? Sources report a tentative deal that would see the new company taking over all minting operations for the U.S. government and then just keeping everything they produce as payment for the job.

Old Navy and Sylvan Learning Centers: A lot of people wonder, "What kind of morons create Old Navy advertising?" If this merger meets with stockholder approval, the answer might just be "former morons."

Hustler Magazine and Check 'n' Go: Publisher Larry Flynt is anxious to add "obscene interest rates" to his pornographic empire.

MIT and the Richard Nixon Library: The Boston Brainery initiated this "non-profit merger" after learning the Yorba Linda, Calif.-based presidential library actually attracted a negative number of visitors annually. Researchers are anxious to establish whether this puzzling phenomenon is related to the well-documented time-space anomaly of Richard Nixon's 5 o'clock shadow always appearing at precisely 3:41 p.m EST. Asked what this link would prove, an MIT spokesman called the reporter an "intellectual maggot" and assigned him several months of reading.

McDonald's and Radio Shack: With this acquisition, the fast food giant — already the world's largest employer of pimply-faced dweebs — seeks to become the world's largest employer of mouth-breathing geeks.

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