matt martin

travelling through china monkey and pigsy saw mourners at a funeral burning paper cash      “what a waste” said monkey      “they could buy some wine with that and give a lovely wake”      pigsy replied “you idiot      they’re making ghost money      smoke carries the cash’s spirit to heaven where the dead use it”      monkey wondered why things still cost money in heaven      maybe the dead just played mah-jong with it      but if everything that burned ended up in heaven      that explained why it was such a nice place      huge forests from all the lumber torched on earth      and lots of recreational herbs      he felt grateful that fossil fuels weren’t in wide use so early in chinese history      otherwise heaven would be full of coal heaps and oil slicks      monkey decided to invest in futures      he bought cheaply a group of plum tree saplings too young for bearing fruit      and made a bonfire of them      pigsy said “what’s going on here”      monkey explained “when we get back into heaven those trees will be waiting for me and by then they’ll be laden with plums”      pigsy said “my mouth’s already watering      let me buy some from you now so i can eat them when we’re let back in”      so pigsy bought futures in monkey’s plums for more cash than monkey had spent on all the saplings      but their quest took years and pigsy got bored of waiting for his feast      he sold his futures to dying people so they could enjoy monkey’s plums when they passed away      monkey and pigsy thus both accrued profits without harvesting any fruit      eventually our heroes gained enlightenment and re-entered heaven      there they found lao-tse had eaten all of monkey’s unguarded plums      an angry crowd of the dead awaited them      demanding the expected treat      what should monkey and pigsy do

     •    repay in ghost money the dead who can only use cash to play mah-jong
     •    give them a different treat and mix them all mojitos instead