A few days back, I received an e-mail about something called **“The Birk Plan”** from one of my brothers. It was one of those e-mails that zipped around cyberspace and found its way into millions of inboxes. Much to my surprise, I learned that **“The Birk Plan”** was a diabolical experiment by my fellow St. Louis-area blogger, **T. J. Birkenmeier*** of **The Wise Buddha-hahahaha**.

**NOTE 1:** If you haven’t received **“The Birk Plan”** e-mail yet and do no want to spoil the surprise when you do receive it — and you will receive it or some variation thereof) — please stop reading here.

**NOTE 2:** If, on the other hand, you have received some version of **“The Birk Plan”** and want to know the story behind the experiment, continue reading.

After reviewing it quickly, I determined that this so-called “viral” e-mail promised a solution to the crisis in the nation’s financial services market that was based — intentionally, I might add — upon bad numbers.

In a Sept. 18 post at his blog, Birkenmeier wrote the following about the plan:

**You know the old saying, “You do the math.”**

**Well in my little experiment today, I wanted to see how many people really do do the math. So I sent the message below to 100 of my pals at random. I wanted to see how many folks would catch my intentional three-digit error…just three little zeros.**

**So far only 2 people have actually done the math and let me know about it.**

He went on to name names and explain the full measure of his insanity — something people in advertising and public relations (i.e., Birkenmeier and me) — often carry like a cross.

I won’t spoil it all for you. I will say, however, that you owe it to your friends to send the link below — or this entire post — to the person(s) who shared **“The Birk Plan”** with you and to all of the folks with whom you shared **“The Birk Plan.”** Your e-mailing friends and family members will thank you for clearing things up. Here’s the link:** **

### Zillion, Trillion, Billion, Million…What’s A Few Zeros Among Friends

Hat tip: **Mark Reardon at KMOX-AM 1120**

*****Listen to **Mark Reardon’s Interview of T.J. Birkenmeier (09/29/08)**

**UPDATE 10/01/08**:

**‘New and Improved Birk Plan’ Announced**
People are sheep!

Here is what I sent to my wife:

Connie, it was nice of you to forward your e-mail to me. I actually read the entire thing and doing the math in my head (factoring out eight zeros) I only came up with $425.00 per person.

Just to make sure I was not feeble I ran the numbers on a excel spread sheet. I can’t remember what I had for lunch but I haven’t forgotten my grade school math.

Sorry to burst your bubble.

The “Birk” plan would NOT sound so good if the math was correct.

85,000,000,000 = 85,000 = 850 = $425

200,000,000 200 2

Don’t take everything you read on the Internet as the truth and always check the facts.

Me and 4 of my co-workers have done the math and found it was wrong. So all the excitment is gone and now all hopes of paying off our debts have been deminished. We are all now thinking about going to therapy, if we only had the money.

Debbie — It was intentionally wrong, so don’t fret. Laugh instead!

You are wasting people’s time with your juvenile attempt @ trying to explain away your deficiencies in math computation.

Admit it…you’re just a moron.

dlbross — Learn to read. It will save everyone some time.