If you had purchased $1000 worth of shares in Delta Airlines one year ago, you would have $49.00 today. If you purchased $1000 worth of shares in AIG, you would have $33.00. If you purchased $1000 worth of shares in Lehman Brothers, you would have $0.00 today.
BUT - If you purchased $1000 worth of beer, drank all the beer, and turned the bottles in for recycling, you would have $70.50, and the pleasure of all that beer!

Caveat - I have no idea if these numbers are realistic. I got them from an e-mail from a totally unreliable source and enjoyed them. If you are anal-retentive enough to actually check them out, I would be absolutely enthralled to see the results.