NEW YORK, NY — Thousands of depressed Wall Street traders, portfolio managers and investment bankers have flocked to a small bagel shop on Broadway to see a toasted bagel that appears to be burned with the face of Adam Smith, the father of free market economics. “It’s a sign!” cried ex-Lehman Brothers employee Scott Remkluy. “Adam is coming back to help us through this mess!” “It’s a miracle!” exclaimed former Washington Mutual vice president Les Imtrew, in New York looking for work selling fake leather briefcases on the street. “It’s bunk!” yelled an unnamed long-haired bearded man wearing a sheet and carrying a sign that read, “The end is near – buy me a beer!”
Murray Johnstein, owner of the Hello Jelly bagel shop, says he saw the unusual bagel while filling an order for a sesame-toasted-with-a-schmear. “It’s a good thing I didn’t schmear,” said Murray. “I can buy a lot of cream cheese with what these crazy bankers are offering to pay for that bagel.” At first, Johnstein didn’t know whose picture was toasted on the bagel, but a number of out-of-work Wall Streeters in the shop for the “Free bagel if you show your old Bear Stearns badge” promotion immediately recognized the regulations-eating grin of Adam Smith.
Both Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson refused to examine the bagel to determine if it is indeed Adam Smith and if might have miraculous powers. That hasn’t stopped the parade of believers through Hello Jelly to view the toasted treat. Johnstein has placed the bagel in a glass case to protect it from unemployed traders trying to rub Adam’s face on their now-silent Blackberries. Johnstein plans to put the bagel up for bids on eBay, but will wait until all of the tortillas, pieces of toast and grass-stained pants adorned with the faces of Jesus, Mary and Abraham Lincoln are auctioned off to avoid competition.