Jerry McNeely’s not an investor, he’s an investee!

1999 was a great year for Green Lake resident Jerry McNeely. He lost 10 pounds, moved to a nicer house and started a fruitful long-term pen-pal correspondence with a Scottish Terrier in New York named Rocco. He also made $150,792.33 at his job, writing naughty gags for bumper stickers- an amazing feat for someone who makes minimum wage. “And so I thought, why not let other people in on the success? Why not share myself with the world?” And he did. Last week Jerry McNeely became the first American to set up an Initial Public Offering for shares in himself. He will be traded on NASDAQ under the stock symbol JMCN.

“Isn’t it exciting?” McNeely exclaimed at a press conference held at his home on the east side of Green Lake. “You can all own me!” Analysts expect an opening price around 65 1/3 (even though stocks are traded in eighths, not thirds).

McNeely is the first American, though not the first person, to be publicly traded. In 1998 a Japanese man Seisho Kusanagi incorporated himself and sold shares through the Nikkei. Trouble arose soon after, though, as multinational corporation Queasland Petrochemical bought a majority interest in Kusanagi, which meant that they had the power to tell him what to do. Kusanagi tried to counter with promises of Twinkies and lots of thank-yous but was ultimately forced to walk on his hands for three weeks by his parent company’s CEO. Last year a Canadian woman, Joan Kirkmillan, put herself on the market, but not before enraged investors learned that she suffered from Multiple Personality Disorder. Her stock price plummeted (though one of her alter egos, Devilla, also went public and made millions.) Finally, two Bulgarians made history when they not only went public but merged into one conglomerate person after profits and share prices began to drop consistently.

McNeely seems unconcerned when asked about these instances: “Hey, stockholders have a personal interest in my well-being. If I’m not doing OK, my price will go down. So they’ll make sure I never take up smoking or eat at Big Dog’s. Of course, stockholders can come over and use my bathroom anytime they want, but I’ll get used to that.” A report from the Green Lake Flagbearer revealed that stockholders will also be able to approve or reject McNeely’s dates and marriage partners, recommend vacation sites and look through his checkbook once a month.

Investors seem completely confused by the McNeely IPO, though it remains to be seen if that is due to the inherent strangeness of the idea or due to recent NASDAQ instability. “Plus,” says one investor, “how do we know what this guy’s really made of if we invest? What if he’s a pervert? What if he drinks diet cola?” While McNeely tries to worry these investors, scientists in Finland may have the answer: they’re genetically engineering super-intelligent, attractive “blue chip” children who will go public once they reach 18.

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