"Arenít you going to congratulate me on my incredible financial foresight?" I asked my wife as I read the front page of the morning newspaper the other day.
     She looked up and sighed, knowing she was in for another round of chest-thumping from me. "What have you done now?"
     I thumped my chest. "I predicted the end of the recession," I responded. "Not only that, I predicted the exact day."
     "The recession isnít over."
     "Oh, yes it is," I argued cheerily. "The stock market is up, the banks are making money again and, andÖ..thereís probably lots of other things."
     "And you predicted this?" she asked, falling right into my trap.
     "Yes, I did. Youíve conveniently forgotten that I said the recession would be over when the clocks changed. All people needed were longer days and a little more sunlight."
     "Thatís the stupidest thing Iíve ever heard," she replied.
     Clearly, she doesnít understand the financial world like I do. I have a keen eye for the intricacies of the American economic engine. And Iíve been predicting since November that the recession would end March 8th, when the clocks changed.
     "Happy days are here again," I chimed. "The proverbial light at the end of the tunnel has been seen, and it is in the form of barbecues and sunshine."
     "What are you talking about," she asked, instantly wishing she hadnít.
     I couldnít believe she was actually interested, so I had to come up with something.
     "OK, Iíll give you an example. I was down in Carmel a couple of months ago and I went into a menís clothing store."
     That got her attention. I never go shopping for clothes. I have the wardrobe to prove it.
     "Donít get so excited," I said. "I had some time to waste and was just wandering around. But miraculously, I did actually see some shirts that I wanted to buy. They were very comfy and very fashionable. You would have been proud of me."
     I could see her slump. "But you didnít buy them."
     "Of course not," I replied. "The days were too short. There was a recession going on. I really wanted to buy three of them, each a different color, and you would have loved them. But it would have been about a $200 sale, and I just couldnít do it.
     "So you didnít buy the shirts because the days were too short?" she asked, a bit too sarcastic.
     She started to get up. "Thatís the second stupidest thing Iíve ever heard."
     I need a smarter audience. She just didnít get it. "Donít you understand?" I asked, trying to be sympathetic. "When I was considering buying the shirts, it felt like the dead of winter. I had no hope."
    "And now you do?"
    "Of course. As soon as the clocks changed, I could hear the birds chirping, I could see leaves on trees, I could play outdoors until 7 p.m.ÖI could feel Spring and a glorious Summer in the air. Hope had returned. "
     Suddenly, I could see a ray of hope In my wifeís eyes, too. "Does this mean youíre going to make an effort to dress better?" she asked.
     "Of course," I replied. "Iíve been a Recession Child for too long. Iím going to go back to that store and find those shirts and buy them. I will do my part to add to the financial bonanza we will all experience now that the clocks have changed."
     And so I did. I had some business in the Carmel/Monterey area and headed down there once again a few days ago. I completed my work by the late afternoon and was ready to make my miraculous purchase.
    It was a beautiful day. I could taste Spring. There were people everywhere, laughing, eating, shopping. That ugly recession, talked about and talked about during those long, lonely, dark days of Winter, was clearly a thing of the past.
    With a bounce in my step, I merrily walked down Carmelís Ocean Avenue late in the afternoon. The sun wouldnít set for another two or three hours. I couldnít wait to spend my $200 for those three shirts.
     And had that store still been in business, Iím pretty sure I would have.



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