Bill Gates is the richest man in America, worth over $50 billion, but you would not believe where he does most of his shopping these days.

by Jim Harris

Questions from readers have been pouring in to my mailbox, so I need to answer some of the more pressing ones.

Q: Despite the stuff I read in the press about the economy improving, I think it is still in the dumpster. It is so bad that I just saw a picture of Bill Gates on TV, and he was in a line at Walmart to buy lottery tickets. What is the best thing I can do with my money to make it grow?

A: The best thing you can do is to diversify. For example, my portfolio is definitely diversified. I have white, black, Hispanic and Asian stockbrokers.

Q: I have flown out of Philadelphia Airport twice in the past few months, and I am getting tired of those agents getting a little too touchy-feely when they pat me down. What can I do about this?

A: You are in luck. Since the summer started, traffic at the airport is so heavy that passengers are now being asked to grope themselves.

Q: This whole controversy about the National Security Agency listening in on our phone calls has me really upset. What can we do to find out all these things the government is keeping secret?

A: I don’t know what you can do, but I’ll tell you what I have done. I recently filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to find out where the heck I can find Hidden Valley Ranch.

Q: I have read so many articles about NFL players being arrested recently, some for really serious crimes. These young men have so many advantages and so much money, and yet they are committing crimes. Is there at least a silver lining to this dark cloud?

A: Yes. Twenty-nine NFL players have been arrested since the Super Bowl was played in February. The silver lining to this cloud is that next year for the first time ever, there will be a prison football team in the NFL playoffs.

Q: I am a senior citizen who lives on Social Security, and all the talk about Congress cutting my benefits has me terrified. Do you think I am justified in being so worried?

A: No. You are not. The Republicans have a great plan that will take good care of you. They want to replace Social Security with scratch-off lottery tickets.

Q: I see thousands of people marching to defend their personal freedoms all the time, yet hardly anyone ever marches to demand better schools for our children. What can I do to help fund public schools?

A: Unless you have a small fortune — or a big fortune — to donate, the next best thing you can do is to smoke and drink like a fiend. If you are already doing so, then consider doubling your consumption. All that “sin tax” goes toward helping the school system. You may die young, but you’ll be helping young kids to learn to read and write.

Q: I donated a kidney to my sick husband, but as soon as he got well, he found a younger woman and divorced me. Can I get my kidney back?

A: Sadly, this is a story that I hear all too often. You need to contact Homer Ferrari, “The Transplant Attorney.” His motto is “When it comes to organs, Homey don’t play.” He will get you your kidney back and maybe even a spare gall bladder to boot.

Q: I find New Jersey Governor Christie to be refreshing. He definitely speaks his mind and doesn’t beat around the bush, unlike most politicians. But his weight is definitely an issue because he could have a heart attack at any time. I read that when he and his wife got married, they were registered at Old Country Buffet. What can Christie do to lose the weight?

A: Nothing. He definitely should not lose weight because now, when he wears a white suit, they can show movies on him.

Q: It seems to me that airline prices and all the little extras they charge you for have gotten completely out of hand. Am I right?

A: Yes. It now costs $450 to go from Philly to Miami on US Airlines, and if you want to land safely, that’s another $250.

Q: When I was a kid, I had so much fun playing with other kids in the schoolyard, but now it seems that kids just want to spend all of their time texting and playing with electronic gadgets. I wish I could get them to play games like I did. Am I hopelessly old-fashioned?

A: Not at all. I agree with you completely. When I was a kid, I used to always ask the girl next door to let me play doctor with her, but she refused to see me without a referral.

Thank you for your questions, gentle readers. I hope I answered them satisfactorily. In a recent poll of Local readers, 50% of those responding (two of my relatives, not necessarily real people) said that my advice had helped them “somewhat.” This is a record that I strive to maintain.

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