Bring On The Golden Parachute

One week after paying its former CEO, Bob Nardelli, a severance package worth $210 million, Home Depot raised eyebrows in the business community again today by paying an incompetent sales clerk $12 million "to go away forever."

In an official statement released to Wall Street analysts this morning, Home Depot said that it was paying the former salesclerk, Lucas Rekson, 24, the unprecedented sum on the condition that "he never shows up to work again."

The $12 million severance package for Rekson of the company's Torrance, Calif., store is believed to be the largest of its kind ever for a low-level, incompetent employee, industry experts said.

During his two-month tenure as a salesclerk at Home Depot, Rekson made his mark by repeatedly spilling boxes of nails on the floor and accidentally banging into customers with large pieces of lumber.

In defense of Rekson's gargantuan severance package, company spokesman Carol Foyler offered this rationale: "If it means that Lucas will never work for Home Depot again, then $12 million is a bargain."

Reached at his home, Rekson was taking his place in business history in stride, telling reporters that after a brief vacation in Aruba he would start looking for work again.

"I'd like to get a job at Office Max," he said. "After a couple of months working there, I wonder how much they'd pay me to go away?"

Elsewhere, the mysterious foul odor hovering over New York City on Monday was traced to the Sunday playoff performances of the Jets and the Giants.