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Madeleine Begun Kane,
Humor Columnist,

Madeleine Begun Kane

Bob Newhart Names Madeleine Begun Kane Winner of Robert Benchley Society Award For Humor


Do you spend money faster than you can earn it? These columns, song parodies, limericks, and comic strips won't solve your finance problems, but I hope they'll give you a few laughs. So I hope you'll enjoy all this money and finance humor, limericks, and light verse by Madeleine Begun Kane.

  • Limerick Ode To A Petty Thief "What sort of burglar sends stolen jewelry to a newspaper, complaining that the stuff he stole from a socialite turned out to be fake..."

  • Limerick Ode To The ATM
    "The money withdrawing machine
    Is a temptress that often seems keen..."

  • Paying Lots Of Bread ... For Toast "I read about horrifying trends, so you don’t have to. How’d you like some three and four-dollars-per-slice “artisanal toast..."

  • Birthday Limerick
    "Name something folks hate to the max
    And would love to destroy with an ax..."

  • Those Poor Italian Husbands
    "In Italy, men are bereft:
    The economy’s lost all its heft. ..."

  • Limerick Ode To the Government Shutdown
    "A government shutdown’s arrived–
    An avoidable crisis contrived ..."

  • Limerick Ode To The Gambler
    "A gambler enticed by the chance
    Of a win does a dangerous dance..."

  • Interactive Taxes "Hello. Welcome to Taxtime, your Interactive Tax Preparer Program. Do you feel like doing your taxes today?
    I see. Well, don't you think you should do them anyway? After all, it's April 14th..."

  • A Limerick Mistake
    "A fellow had made a mistake:
    Paid big bucks for a painting — a fake..."

  • Limerick Skill
    "A fellow was proud of his skill
    In drafting the hand-crafted will: ..."

  • Unpersuasive Limerick
    "A woman who tried to persuade
    A banker to come to her aid ..."

  • Taxing Times "My husband Mark and I usually prepare our joint tax returns jointly. Being good citizens, we begin early in February with tax planning discussions like this:

    Mark: We really should start doing our taxes next Saturday.
    Me: You're absolutely right. I'll pick up Quicksand's ShirkoTax this week.

    By late March we've made impressive progress:

    Mark: We really should start doing our taxes next Saturday.
    Me: You're absolutely right. I'll pick up Quicksand's ShirkoTax this week..."

  • Overpriced Limerick
    "A gal in an overpriced store,
    Who’d completely forgotten what for ..."

  • Reining In Your Returns
    "To the folks who find horseback transcendent,
    Please beware, you could be a defendant, ..."

  • Prone Limerick
    "A guy who was frequently prone
    To gamble with cash from a loan..."

  • Dear IRS (Limerick)
    "Dear folks at the Fed IRS,
    Your rules and your regs are a mess. ..."

  • Yet Another Tax Filing Limerick "I’m afraid I can’t stop writing tax return limericks — probably because it’s a lot more fun than actually working on my tax return. ..."

  • Taxing Deadlines (Limerick)

  • Finally, An Up Side To Filing Tax Returns (Limerick)
    “When paying my taxes great pains
    Always shoot through my muscles and veins. ...”

  • Edgy Limerick
    "His cash flow had put him on edge,
    And he needed a day to just veg. ..."

  • Limerick Ode To Greed

  • Trippy Limerick
    "A woman was planning a trip,
    When her husband said, 'Please, get a grip.
    Our bank account’s low.
    We have one-way cash flow.'
    But his wife said, 'Enough with your lip!'...”

  • A Dog Of A Limerick
    "A wealthy old woman named Kate
    Left her dog an enormous estate. ..."

  • Whimsical Limerick
    "A woman succumbed to a whim
    And enrolled in an overpriced gym. ..."

  • Miserly Limerick
    "A miserly fellow name Joe
    Was obsessed with his weekly cash flow. ..."

  • Hapless Home Buyer's Guide "The road to buying a house is paved with dwindling bank accounts, devious brokers, confusing insurance quotes, and home owners who (you hope) are desperate to sell. Yes, it's a challenge. But with the help of these easy to follow instructions, you can negotiate your way into unthinkable debt..."

  • Cautionary Verse
    "Identity theft is quite scary,
    Causing problems horrific. Be wary! ..."

  • Ode To Prosperity (Limerick)
    "The affluent prosper quite well,
    As their savings continue to swell. ..."

  • Pity The Poor Lawyer (Limerick)
    "“Your billable hours are low,”
    Said the partner. “They simply must grow..."

  • Man Can’t Live By Bread Alone … Or Can He? (Limerick)
    "Here’s some bread for some bread at the store.
    Bring back change or you’re toast, cause we’re poor. ..."

  • Working Stiffed "Finding a new job can be a daunting challenge. But if you follow my simple 21-step plan, you'll soon be battling cranky alarm clocks, rush-hour traffic, and the living for the weekend daily grind..."

  • Form 1040 Blues (Limerick)
    "There’s a tax form that makes me irate:
    Form 1040, a long form I hate..."

  • How To Refinance: A Harried Home-Owner's Survival Guide "Hear radio reports touting the lowest interest rates in recorded history. Find out everyone you've ever met just refinanced at what is surely the bottom of the market. Become convinced that rates will rise four points by tomorrow. Panic. Rip interest quotes out of the Sunday papers. Visits helpful sites like,,"

  • Taxing Verse (Limerick and Haiku)
    "My records are scattered. Oh dear!
    And tax filing day’s almost here. ..."

  • Bill Collection Time
    "The judge viewed your case with derision,
    So he rendered an adverse decision. ..."

  • Loan Poem (Limerick)
    "Are you desp’rate — in need of a loan?
    Friends and fam’ly won’t throw you a bone? ..."

  • Banking On Money Poems (Limerick and Haiku)
    "I once balanced my checkbook with ease.
    But, alas, it’s no longer a breeze. ..."

  • Ode To GOP Stimulus Hypocrisy "It’s getting hard to keep track of all the Republican 'trash and cash' Recovery Act hypocrisy. ..."

  • Wall Street Woes
    “I shudder when opening mail,
    And my sinking accounts make me wail. ...”

  • Doc Mockery
    "A nervous young fellow named Phil
    Asked his doc if he needed a will. ...”

  • A Limerick Meal
    "A wealthy old fellow named Bart ..."

  • Dear Boss, Where’s My Bonus? “The AIG bonus fiasco has been very enlightening. Giving incompetent employees huge bonuses, so they won’t resign? And with taxpayer cash yet? What a concept! ...”

  • Ode To The Wingnutty Pete Sessions Congressman Pete Sessions has a rather odd theory about President Obama, job numbers and the stock market.

  • Tough Negotiators, Those Bushies! (Limerick) “I practiced law for over a dozen years and negotiated lots of contracts. And, unlike the Bush administration, I always kept my poker face. Why? Because if you want the best possible deal, you must make the other party think that he needs you more than you need him. ...”

  • Go Away Already, Bushie Spinmeisters! (Limerick) “The Bush-Cheney spinmeisters refuse to go away. Last week it was Ari Fleischer, and this week it’s Dana Perino on CSPAN’s Washington Journal. ...”

  • Hey Republicans, Go Filibuster Yourselves! (Limerick)
    “Dear Republicans, stop all your bluster—
    Your obstructionist taunt: 'Filibuster!' ...”

  • Only Peons Have To Pay Taxes (Limerick) “First Tim Geithner, and now Tom Daschle. Anyone else getting tired of rich, powerful people failing to pay taxes, saying “Oops! Sorry! My bad!” and getting away with it? ...”

  • No Quid? No Quo! (Stimulus Bill Limerick)

  • Banks To Taxpayers: Drop Dead! (TARP Limerick)

  • Who Needs Oversight, When You're Spending Money You Don't Have?
    “I’m never a person to carp,
    But nobody oversees TARP. ...”

  • Dear “Everyday Working Class” Sarah "How many 'everyday, working-class Americans' do you know who own 'a single-engine plane, two boats, two personal watercraft and a half-million-dollar, custom-built home on a lake…'”?

  • Ode To Corporate Vultures (Haiku)

  • Wham! Bam! No Thank You, Phil Gramm!
    "We’re 'a nation of whiners,' says Gramm.
    Our economy’s not in a jam. ..."

  • Impulse Buy Haiku

  • Ode To An Absent-Minded Husband
    "Your umbrella can not have gone far.
    Can’t believe how forgetful you are! ..."

  • Charge! (Limerick)
    "'A charge account’s wrong to its core,'
    Said the dad, who paid cash at each store. ..."

  • Money Limerick Contest Results - And The Winners Are...

  • Deep Pockets/Pricey Dockets (Limerick)
    "If you’re broke, it ain’t smart to defame
    An affluent fellow’s good name. ..."

  • He's Staying! So, There! "No, I’m not talking about Alberto Gonzales, although Gonzo seems to be staying too – so far, at least. I’m referring to yet another Bush administration miscreant: ..."

  • Dear CardHolder: Frankly, We Expected Better Of You "One year ago we welcomed you to the EASY COME EASY GO ("ECEG") Credit Card Family with open pockets and the kind of unbeatable terms we could offer to..."

  • Trade Deficit, Budget Deficit, Truth Deficit

  • Threefer Haiku

  • Married To Money (Limerick)
    “He’s a cheapskate, so stingy with cash,
    That he threw an embarrassing bash: ..."

  • Tripped Up By Traveling (Limerick)
    "It’s outrageous, a rip-off, a gyp
    What we paid for that terrible trip. ..."

  • Me Gamble? No Dice! (Limerick)
    "You should never play cards on a lark
    With a Vegas-style card-wielding shark. ..."

  • Curb Your Age Of Turbulence Enthusiasm "Poor little innocent Alan Greenspan is shocked, SHOCKED, I TELL YOU, by the Bush administration’s budget deficits and loss of fiscal discipline. ..."

  • Antique Antics (Limerick)
    "Is this lampshade antique or just old?
    They tell me it’s rare. I’m not sold. ..."

  • Read His Lips: Tax The Middle Class
    "George Bush has at last found a tax
    That he’s fond of and backs to the max: ..."

  • Boot-Licked (Limerick)
    "My new laptop refuses to boot,
    So I’m thinking of filing a suit. ..."

  • Tax Cut Haiku

  • AWOL Jobs
    "Our jobs are disappearing
    To nations far and wide.
    While Dubya has no plan at all
    To stem this risky tide..."

  • Accounting For That CPA (Limerick)
    "This accountant is no CPA,
    Though he hopes to become one some day. ..."

  • How To Disorganize Your Life

  • Swift Intrusions
    "From the Times we know Bush likes to sift
    Through our bank records managed by SWIFT..."

  • A Bush Pioneer Who's Named Jack -- Limerick
    "A Bush pioneer who's named Jack
    Raised for Dubya a huge money stack..."

  • Rebuilder-in-Chief
    "George Bush said he'll Gulf Coast rebuild
    In a speech that was platitude filled.
    And he'll do it with cash..."

  • A Pox On Cox's Nomination
    "Chris Cox is Dubya's nominee
    To head the SEC.
    A man who boosted corp'rate rights
    With fervor, zeal, and glee..."

  • AMT Owed Ode -- Tax Poem
    "The AMT's a sneaky tax.
    Though meant to snare the wealthy,
    It burdens workers to the max. ..."

  • Bernie Ebbers Earns A Limerick
    "I knew nothing, said WorldCom Inc.'s Bernie,
    So I shouldn't make a prison-bound journey..."

  • 401(k) Ode (Owed) (To be sung to "Toot, Toot, Tootsie, Goodbye" by Kahn, Erdman & Russo)
    "Four-Oh-One-Kay, good-bye!
    Keeps on dropping, oh my!
    Republicans who tell me,
    I shouldn't be blue, no words can tell how mad it makes me.
    Four-Oh-One-Kay, oh when
    Will you rise up again..."

  • But Has He Ever Seen A Scanner?
    "In case there was ever a doubt at all
    That Dubya's out of touch,
    His answer to that three-job-mom
    Sure proves he don't know much..."

  • There Once Was A Con Pulled By Bush
    "Claiming "crisis" in Social Security,
    Prez George Bush says he'll fix its impurity..."

  • Limerick Madness
    "Saying "private" account proves we're biased,
    Charge the wingnuts in tones oh so pious..."

  • Taxing Memories Did you get it together and file your tax returns on time? If not, you aren't alone. Every year, the IRS is swamped with extension requests, thousands of requests ranging from the routine to the bizarre. Sometimes it even publicizes some of the wilder excuses, two of which featured wildlife. Who would have thought "My ocelot ate my tax forms," would work..."

  • Dupe-Meister Dub
    "Dubya's modus operandi
    Has become quite clear.
    Conj'ring up a looming crisis
    And inciting deep fear...."

  • Bush To The Rescue
    "Our huge trade deficit's no big deal.
    According to Bush, it's easy to heal..."

  • Bush's Burst Bubble
    "Our housing bubble’s fin’lly burst,
    Our pockets picked by George The Worst..."

  • On Wall Street (To be sung to "On Broadway")
    "They say that things are really bad on Wall Street.
    They say there's much malfeasance in the air.
    But I don't want to hurt my friends.
    And tough laws give my pals the bends.
    Then donors drop right off and I'm nowhere..."

  • Ernie Istook Explains All
    "I'm innocent,
    Says Rep. Istook.
    I'd never at your tax files look..."

  • I've recently starting doing Dubya comic strips, and some relate to money and the economy. They include Export Nation, Dubya Touts Tape, Our Prudent President, State of Disunion, and Blind Trust.

  • If It Is Broke, Don't Fix It "I have one basic approach to repair persons. I run as fast as I can in the opposite direction. It's the only way I know to avoid paying $200 to fix something worth $1.98..."

  • Loose Change Exchange
    "'Oh, please do you have some loose change?'
    Said a beggar all covered with mange. ..."

  • Bye Bye Mitch (To be sung to "Bye Bye Love")
    "Bye bye Mitch,
    Mitch D's quit, he says,
    He helped make a mess,
    I sure ain't gonna cry..."

  • Class Warfare Song (To be sung to "Moon River")
    "Class warfare,
    Poverty will swell
    If Karl and Dubya get
    Their way..."

  • Handling Harvey
    "CHENEY: Good morning, Mr. President. We need to discuss the Pitt problem. If anybody asks, we're mulling over the idea of asking Harvey to resign. (Wink, wink)
    DUBYA: But I like Harvey. More important -- our pals like Harvey. What's the matter with yur eye?
    CHENEY: There's nothing wrong with my eye! If anybody asks, we're mulling over the idea of asking Pitt to resign. (Wink, wink)
    DUBYA: I just told ya -- I'm not dumpin Harvey! Ya really should get that eye looked at..."

  • Let's Roll Trademark Adversaries Unite Against President Bush "A trademark dispute took an unexpected turn this week after President George Dubya Bush used the phrase "let's roll" for roughly the eleven zillionth time..."

  • Ode To Kenny Boy (To be sung to the tune of "Danny Boy")
    "Oh Kenny Boy, the jails, the jails are calling,
    From state to state, and through the world so wide.
    The money's gone, and all the chips are falling,
    'Tis you, 'tis you must go and you must hide..."

  • Pretzel Producers Allege Dubya Defamation, File Multibillion Buck Lawsuit "The National Association of Pretzel Producers ("NAPP") filed suit late yesterday against President Bush... NAPP's complaint, which seeks five billion dollars in compensatory and punitive damages for "pretzel product slander, pretzel product libel, and defamatory snack food disparagement," alleges that Bush and his codefendants "did willfully and maliciously and/or with reckless disregard for the truth, publish and disseminate false and/or untrue statements about the activities of one or more pretzels..."

  • Corporate Confessions "During this year's annual shareholders' meeting, Ford Motor Co. made some surprising admissions about the environmental and safety problems of SUVs. Ford's refreshing attack of corporate honesty has inspired at least one other manufacturer to make some confessions of its own..."

  • Millionaire for the Masses? I've come up with a great way to impress friends, relatives, enemies, prospective dates and, most important, your mailman: Subscribe to Millionaire magazine and display it prominently at all times. Better yet, order two subscriptions and...

  • Mad Gift Giving Guide "Exchanging gifts, while fun in theory, offers endless potential for aggravation: Thronging crowds, ransacked stores, confusion, indecision, cash depletion and, finally, the belated knowledge that you bought the wrong thing. And even worse, perhaps, is receiving a spousal gift that you wouldn't buy for your worst enemy. Well, maybe for your worst enemy, but only if it's on sale..."

  • Car Cons "Wait! Come Back! I'll drop the price another thou."
    Imagine a car salesman following you into the parking lot, banging on your door, and begging you not to leave. Implausible? Perhaps. But that very memory cheers me whenever I think about the horror referred to in polite company as buying a new car..."

  • Electric Note "Dear Sir: I am writing this letter to thank you for the services rendered by your able employees. You will be pleased to learn that their timeliness easily outpaced that of any other workers employed by me. Indeed, they topped the record set by my plumber last month, when their scheduled 8:30 a.m. arrival occurred before noon twice in one week..."

  • Taxing Summer "Summer -- the perfect season for playing outdoor sports, becoming one with nature, ... preparing tax returns..."

  • The Blue and the Gray "I have great news for all you fashion loving fans of navy blue: Navy blue is the new black. Or to be precise, navy blue is the new gray which (until roughly twenty seconds ago) used to be..."

  • You Really Want A House? Okay, Here's The Drill. "President Clinton recently picked up a cordless electric drill and joked that he'd be needing one now that he's about to become a homeowner..."

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