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This Face for Rent


"You guys wanna know what I think about Apple or anything...? Are you sure...?"


This is the week of March expiration and Hewlett Packard (HPQ) is trading over $20.

My puts in the name... my gritty, gutty HP puts... bought before the demise of Carly (and subsequent "pop", detailed nicely in yesterday's NY Times)... back in the halcyon days gone by when I was thinking HP would have to guidedown... back when Carly had "the full confidence of the board" (a nakedly Steinberrer-esque two weeks or so prior to her firing).

Those were the days, my friends. They seemed so cheap, my puts. As harmless and loving as a pet-store puppy. Yet... here we are... they expire on Friday and HP is trading at 20 bucks and 20 cents. Without breaking into details on my options book, suffice it to say that "less than $20" would be a more Macke-Friendly print.

With no specific catalysts on the schedule (though it is warning season) there seems to be just one hope for my puts. One flickering candle of life in a brewing gale of "going-out-worthless" sorrow. I'm leery of jinxing this dream by stating it openly but desperate times call for desperate measures. It's Monday of expiration week and HP is over $20. It's not a time to be coy and the timing became perfect just this morning; making this an idea so good that I think just stating it aloud could very well make it happen.

HP needs to hire Michael Eisner. He's tan, fit and ready to "pack his Micky Mouse backpack" and look for adventures. Brother, there isn't a company in 2005 America more accustomed to the Eisner brand of imperious-ruling -of-Little-People-supplicants/ corporate adventure stylings than Hewlett-Packard.

Getting this done and done fast is a way for both Disney and HP to start demonstrating a commitment to shareholders. Or at least put holders.

Without this blockbuster of a hire... or maybe a sub-zero retail sales number and a warning from HP or, say, Lexmark (LXK... not that I'm expecting one) I'll be donning the funeral shroud on Friday to bury my puts. My gritty, gutty, once-adorable puts. They deserve a better fate.

Gimmick Infringing Random Thoughts:

* The fabled Brown Blazer as a prize for winning the Minyanville March Madness contest? Not to be a buzz-kill or anything but that wouldn't mean I'd have to actually watch that over-rated NBA minor-league ritual would it?

* "This is the goose-bump moment, Billy. The joy and the sorrow of March Madness brought to you by Sprite 'enjoy the refreshing flavor of an out of court settlement'... this is what it's all about. When you remember that less than 45% of these kids will get a degree and, let's face it, if they were good enough to go pro they'd already be there... well, that makes the disappointment etched on their faces all the more heart-wrenching..."

* That didn't come across as "Prickly", did it? Sorry... I'm just feeling a little underexposed these days. The media harlot habit is a hard one to kick. I'm going to apply for one of those cable-network bottom-of-the-barrel reality shows if I don't get to talk about "Jessie's Girl" on some sort of broadcast soon.

* "I've got a Harley. Does that turn you on? Harley-Davidson (HDI)" - Kelly Leak

* Now that my brief cool flare of a TV career is over it's time for my tell-all book, in the literary tradition of Canseco. "The people want to know about bathroom stalls? Oh, I can tell them stories, Oprah..."

* I do have Frozen Four Fever... The Gophers are gathering steam and Cornell has to choke against someone; it might as well be Dartmouth!

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Position in HPQ

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