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Psst! Buy a Share in America's Future?

September 11, 1988|JEFF DANZIGER | Jeff Danziger is the editorial cartoonist for the Christian Science Monitor.

This is not an offer to sell. (An offer to sell can be made only by the prospectus.) But think now with me of the advantages. You've been wanting a son in college for a long time. You've wanted the pride that comes from being able to tell stories about your boy burning up the academic trail, playing all the important sports, going on quality hikes with the outing club, attending seminars with people with letters before and after their names, dallying ruinously on Flirtation Walk (that young rogue!) and, on holidays, bringing home beautiful, intelligent girlfriends from all points of the globe.

You've wanted to sit down and compare your golden university days with his, to pass on what you've learned since and give him your finely winnowed advice. What greater pleasure than to have him nod earnestly and assimilate it into his own experience? The fire crackles and the old leather-bound books in your study reflect deeply the dancing flames as memories mingle across the generations.

The only problem is you don't have a son in college. You've been too busy. You put it off. You're too old. You never got married. Your career got in the way. Or maybe you have a son but he likes cars, bars and guitars. Circumstances have robbed you of this great pleasure.

You'll never be able to show up for Parents' Weekend and have a crowd of 20-year-old fresh-faced youths clustered around the tailgate of the old Volvo while you dish out the handsome eats you've brought along. You'll never be able to ooff and uff your way through a pick-up touch football game organized for the dads out in front of the dear old Lambda house, scrambling for the pigskin over a carpet of golden autumn leaves. You'll never be able to take your lad and his special girl out for a really impressive dinner at the local inn, a place where in the flicker of candles you can be the entertaining patriarch you always knew you were.

Too bad.

Really.

But if you act now and take advantage of this really exciting offer, you can experience the rich, rewarding sensations sketched above. You can have "a boy in college." You can legitimately brag about him, worry about him, take him for shopping trips to Brooks Brothers, suggest and plan spring and summer vacations and, most important of all, have a decal to put in the back window of your car.

It sounds too good to be true, right? But relax. I have this kid. He's going to college. And I'm going public. Right now I can let you have a unit or two at prices that will look pretty good by the time he's a junior. Act now and a healthy 20% share will only run you a mere $10,000. You'll have a boy in college!

Lucky you.

Here's what you get. Besides the aforementioned car-window decal, you get your choice of an imprinted sweatshirt or a tote bag from the university bookstore. You get an invitation to have tea with some dean or other (no charge for refills). And you get a phone number at his dorm where you can call anytime you want. (A girl will answer and say, "Who? Does he live here? Who? Can you spell it? Not so fast.").

You also get to go to your choice of an unheated football game, an unheated basketball game or an unheated hockey game (and at this school we play because we love the game--in other words, not good). And you get a series of amusing charges on your AT&T account.

Investors may want to get a piece of the action in summer, too. Why not send "your boy" to Europe this summer to broaden his experience? For your investment you get one (1) postcard.

The Securities and Exchange Commission requires full disclosure, so here's the downside risk. Past performance is no guarantee of future success. Just because he got into this college doesn't mean he's going to make it. If he flunks out, you don't get your money back. But so what? You don't get your money back anyway. If he turns out to be a genius and discovers the cure for winter, you still don't get your money back.

In fairness I have to say he's a good kid and he works hard. Just because I am trying to sell him in 10% shares, he thinks I don't love him. But I told him, "This is college. We're talking 60 grand here. What's love got to do with it?"

Read the prospectus carefully before you invest.

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