Last summer the talk was about sex--not just ordinary sex, but major-league sex. It took up the conversation of every decent person in the country.

But this year, just when we couldn't take it anymore, people started talking about money instead of sex.

Danielson said, "Talking about sex is always important, but money has a higher priority."

"You can say that again," Mrs. Danielson agreed.

Albert Ratner said, "Sex has something to do with somebody else--money has to do with us. I never thought during the days when sex played such a big part in our lives that the Dow Jones would affect us more than what people were testifying to in a grand jury room."

Mrs. Socolow said, "I don't believe in infidelity, but if I had to choose between it and a good mutual fund, there is no doubt which one I would take."

Mr. Socolow said, "You can have both. I've never said this before, but I think my broker fools around."

"You never know how people are going to behave in the stock market until it's going up," Rorbach said.

"I'd rather put my money in an ordinary U.S. Treasury note than in a noble Chateau Lafite Rothschild. I don't think I would have said this at the beginning of the summer."

Glickstein said, "Can't we talk about something besides investments? It's so sleazy."

"There's a lot more to be said about blue-chip stocks than any of us wants to admit," Goldman said.

Then there was a vote. All those who would rather see the market go back to 8,000 than fool around were asked to raise their hands.

Then all those who would rather read about people who are having affairs were asked to say "Aye."

The vote was very close, but more people were concerned about their own money than they were about somebody else's pleasure.

Based on the vote, the market went up.

(C) 1999, Los Angeles Times Syndicate