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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Confessions of a Failed Entrepreneur

Inspired by go-getters like Donald Trump and the Koch brothers I decided that I’d turn my life around by reinventing myself as a self-made businessman. After all, if these hyper-successful examples of the American dream possess any outstanding individual gifts they aren’t visible to the naked eye. Why couldn’t I, too, make a pile of money in the business world? What did they have that I didn’t have? After examining their success secrets closely I formulated my first money-making plan.

Get Adopted by a Very Rich Family
The easiest way to get rich is to never have been poor in the first place. In spite of all of my efforts to look cute not one set of rich parents seemed interested in adopting a middle aged man, although one family offered me a landscaping job.

Adopt a Future Sports Star
We’ve all heard stories of people riding on the coattails of their talented children. What could be easier? I don’t have kids of my own so I set out to discover some new, young talent. In hindsight I suppose that it’s pretty obvious but sitting around in a parked car near a playground watching children play through a set of binoculars might not seem innocent to many people although the cops didn’t show up until I started making a group of 4 year old kids do timed 40s—you can’t teach speed! I tried to take advantage of my time spent in police lock-up by interviewing some of my younger cellmates on their athletic prowess. I was beaten severely on one occasion and thought about managing the kid as a fighter but he wouldn’t be able to turn pro legally for another ten years or so. Back to the drawing board.

A Detour into Crime
After a number of legitimate business failures I decided to try criminal activity.  I don’t like guns so I opted on counterfeiting, a victimless crime unless you consider that I may have been taking jobs from people who make real money. This was a dismal mistake just like all of the others. The pennies that I was counterfeiting weren’t very convincing and the only way that I could pass them off as real was if I hid a few of them in a role of pennies that I deposited in my bank account. 

Harmonica Repair Shop
The space I rented on New York’s Fifth Avenue was really expensive but I was going for the upscale consumer. What really killed me on monthly bills was my insistence on providing lots of free parking for potential clients—I didn’t want to turn people away because they couldn’t find a space. I thought that I was getting on the ground floor of a niche market. I didn’t know anything about the instrument so I checked out the only book on the subject at my local library. Curiously, 86% of harmonica malfunctions are spit related. Anyone who complains about the lack of quality of modern American merchandise should take a look at the harmonica industry. My bankruptcy is proof positive that those things are built to last.

Cigarette Butt Detector
Have you ever been at a party when you put down your can of beer for a second, then pick up a can that you thought was yours only to take a big swig and swallow a cigarette butt? This will never happen again with my new product that tests the contents of the beer before you take a drink. I haven’t been able to develop the technology with this device but it just seems like a great idea. Some brainiac will make a fortune off this.

Maybe manufacturing isn’t for me? To be perfectly honest and not to sound too lazy but it sounds like too much work. I think the arts provide a completely manual labor-free opportunity to get rich quick. I think we can all agree that the terror movie industry provides the lowest talent barriers for entry but I’m too late to cash in on the Vampire/Zombie gold rush. I decided to mine the rodent order of the animal kingdom for the nemesis as, to my knowledge, this is virgin territory (virgins have been fodder in horror films since the beginning). To all of the Hollywood big shots reading this I present my cinematic masterpiece.

I have chosen the common squirrel as the heavy; not exactly the Great White of the order Rodentia but easier to work with than the lazy hamster and the obsessive-compulsive prone beaver.

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