10/03/2008 10:39 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Roads to Perdition

In discussions of the financial crisis, all anyone ever talks about is Wall Street and Main Street, over and over, as if these were the only two streets in the universe. Well, there are plenty of other streets out there that are also feeling the financial pinch, but getting no media coverage. Here is a brief summary:

Diagon Alley - This once-magical financial district, where Harry Potter stored his fortune, recently experienced the sale of its only bank to American muggles; it now goes by the less than enchanting name of JPMorgan ChaseGringott's.

Sesame Street - A $700 billion bailout means little here, because its residents can't count that high. Its economic hub, Mr. Hooper's Store, has failed and will soon reopen as a non-educational Pinkberry's. It can also no longer afford both Bert and Ernie.

Desolation Row - Never a solvent place to begin with, this street made famous by Bob Dylan is no longer selling postcards of the hanging; the circus has left town; there are no drainpipes left to sniff; and Cinderella, Romeo, Cain, Abel, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, the Good Samaritan, Ophelia, Einstein, the jealous monk, Dr. Filth, the phantom, and the rest have all taken up residence in a lesser song by Bryan Adams.

The Yellow Brick Road - Unable to receive funds from the hopelessly inexperienced ruling triumvirate of the Scarecrow, Lion and Tin Man, the Mayor of the Munchkin City, in the County of the Land of Oz, is selling off yellow bricks to Narnia and Elton John.

The Road Not Taken - The wood that Robert Frost once walked through can now no longer afford two roads; there is no road "less traveled by," just a badly maintained one with a lot of people on it for which you will soon need a yearly E-Z Pass.

Penny Lane - On the corner there's a banker with a motorcar, and the children laugh at him behind his back, and the banker never wears a mac, but he doesn't care if the kids laugh because he just foreclosed on all their parents' houses. Very strange.

The Road to Hell - Formerly paved with good intentions, which got too expensive. Now paved with good suggestions, which aren't as good.

Lonely Street - The Heartbreak Hotel at the end of this street used to be always crowded, with broken-hearted lovers crying in the gloom. Now the lonely are lucky if they can afford a Motel 6.

Thunder Road - Due to the high cost of gas, there is not enough redemption underneath the dirty hood to go anywhere on this dusty beach road haunted by the ghosts of old boyfriends.

Boulevard of Broken Dreams - Even broken dreams are now a luxury few can afford. This once-legendary thoroughfare is being sold to Tony Robbins, who plans to change it to the Boulevard of Neuro-Linguistic Programming.