by Mark Scheinbaum
AR Financial Correspondent
Angel Fire, N.M.
January 31, 2011
EGYPT AND THE 'GIMME' GENERATION
There's a lot to do when you have to flee the country you've led for 30 years.
First, burn the tapes. Next, burn statements from your bank.
Get all the gold you can carry from the central bank. Get all the great art you can from the national museum. Pack the latter carefully; just stack the gold in a crate.
Want to get to the airport but can't get a helicopter and marchers block the streets? Send people to the tallest buildings and drop hundreds of thousands of US-denominated $1 bills. Angry at them? Feel they betrayed you? Drop counterfeit $100 bills.
Don't eat much: You're probably going to puke before the day is out. Empty your bowels: they'll soil your pants if you end up getting hung.
Send your wife ahead without any money: she'll be very happy when you arrive.
Carry Kleenex in case you need to make a tearful farewell speech to the staff, or a passionate defense of your life at a public trial.
Practice something to say when you land in London. Try, "I did my best, but circumstances failed me." That covers everything, and it's short enough to quote.
Ask your countrymen to forgive you - if they are unarmed at the time, that is.
Pack all the jewelry, gold and silver plates and cutlery, and any objects made of rapidly convertible precious metals.
Cancel your car insurance. Buy large-denomination gift cards. Make sure your credit cards bills are current.
Stay off Twitter.
Shut down your Facebook page. Don't say "Goodbye," say "See ya!"
Lock the door but don't bother to close it. Looters will make you look good and may not damage the entry.
Choose a conspicuous vehicle, like a long, shiny black limousine with flags and tinted windows, and let your body double precede you in it to right through the crowds to the airport. If you're forced to go there yourself, climb in a beat-up cab and give the driver a counterfeit $100 bill to get you there in a hurry. Keep your real money to tip the stewardess.
Make a reservation at Claridge's in London for the Presidential Suite. Tell them you'll pay in gold when you get there. Then go the France and head for your chalet in the Loire Valley.
Give yourself a 90-percent chance of making it out alive. Try to figure out whether your Creator likes to be called God or Allah, and then pray for the other 10 percent. He likes that sort of humility, and may send you to Limbo rather than Hell.