Just in case there is any confusion, let me be very clear about this. I am not Warren Buffett. Let me be more specific. I am not offering you $1 billion. Heck, I'm not offering you a penny. But I would like to help you get some extra vacation at work.


Here's the scoop.

Whether anyone admits it or not, a whole bunch of us right here in Montgomery County are going to take part in NCAA office pools over the next few weeks. Don't know about you, but I'm thinking Staples made a bonehead decision a few days too early to leave. A whole lot of ink and cartridges are going to run dry copying off all those brackets. (By the way, I hear Tim Jones and the good folks at Phantom Point have copiers, cartridges and toner ready and waiting, but I digress.)

If you are an employer, there's some frustration that time and office supplies are going to be wasted. If you are an employee, you could care. It's what we do every year during this madness in March. How about a win-win answer involving that vacation? Maybe you could even help a local organization that really needs it?

Employers, pay attention.

Let your employees have their office pool. Set the price for each bracket at whatever amount you feel is appropriate. (Not that anyone gambles, but I hear that one local business that maybe specializes in newspapers is setting the price at $10. Just saying.) However, instead of the winner getting the cash jackpot, our winner, uh, I mean the winner from that local business, is going to get two free vacation days. And all the money they turn in with those brackets is going to MUFFY.

Let's think about that for a second.

Employers, your folks are going to have an office pool - heavy emphasis on three words, "are going to." They are going to use your copier - emphasis on same three words again - and they are going to spend time yakking about it pretty much every day starting Wednesday.

Why not get a little of that back?

Be the good guy. Offer up a little vacation. Maybe a day? Maybe a week? Heck, that's up to you. You know what you can afford and what you can't. For us, er, I mean that unidentified local company having to do with newspapers, I hear the two vacation days can be taken on a Friday and a Monday. What a deal . . . uh, for whoever that is.

Thing is, it's not a bad time to do something for MUFFY. The 2014 drive won't be officially starting anytime soon and this will be one simple way to keep the importance of our local non-profits front and center. After last year's drive raised a little more than $400,000, there is a sincere hope that this year goes well beyond that. Heck, think about how many office pools there are right here in Montgomery County. We could probably raise about half of that amount with this.

I know, I know, some of you might be wondering if this is legal or not. Heck, I don't know. If the NCAA wants to come after us for trying to raise money for a local charity well then that's up to them. I do know that these pools are going to go on with or without consent.

And that's where you, Mr. and Mrs. Employer, come in. Why not have a little fun with your folks? Why not offer up a day or three in compensated time off? Think that'll just kill morale? Yeah, I kinda doubt it, too.

So be daring, live a little, have some fun and give your employees something to shoot for. And in the meantime, help those who really need the help. Send all winnings, uh, I mean donations to MUFFY at Box 247 Crawfordsville, Ind. 47933.