The Breakfast Table

Let’s Do Lunchables

Funny you should ask, Marisa. My thing is to walk from 11th Avenue to my office near Madison–it’s about three-quarters of a mile. This is “exercise.” And those who have walked around Manhattan in summer know that dark sunglasses are not only an affectation but also a leering device. Who they’re fooling is no one, but I keep the whistling and “ah-woooo … ruff, ruff” to a bare minimum. Anyway, I’m built something like the Michelin Man so when it’s hot out I tend to sweat like Nixon in the Kennedy debates. So I wear my walking outfit and carry my real outfit, which I slip into in the men’s room after I’ve basked in the air conditioning. To answer your question, I have on a patterned brown Armani shirt, lovely red tie (also Armani), and a pair of olive Slates that I was given when I made an appearance at a Washington, D.C., Hecht’s to talk about “Investing and Fashion.” Mostly about investing, really.

And speaking of things that go together, Philip Morris is buying Nabisco Foods. On the walk I referred to above, I head through Bryant Park. There’s often a field trip visiting, and if there is, more than 80 percent of the kids can be relied upon to be eating Lunchables (made by Oscar Mayer, a Kraft brand, and thus a Philip Morris product). This disgusts me, for all the obvious reasons–gross food, too expensive, overly seductive packaging, lazy or overworked parents. But adding Nabisco’s $8 billion in junk-food sales to Kraft’s $26.8 billion means Philip Morris will derive more than a third of its revenue from food sales (and plenty from beer, too). Is it even still a cigarette company? What I’d prefer is if instead of a miniature Crunch bar, every Lunchable came with an after-meal cigarette, filtered since it’s for kids.

But it’s a good deal for Nabisco’s shareholders and a better one for Philip Morris shareholders, so I’m not complaining. And if you’re thinking ahead, investing in Lilly (NYSE: LLY) might be the smart play here. They sell a lot of insulin. What does LOL mean? Is that a stock I should investigate?