Saturday, February 20, 2010
(Your Name Here)
From the "Ideas I'm Enraged At Myself For Not Thinking of First" file (cross referenced with the "Too Many Prepositional Phrases" file) comes the story of Jason Sadler, a 27-year-old from Jacksonville who made $84,000 in a year by wearing tee shirts with company logos on them.
Sadler founded iwearyourshirt.com, where companies sign up for certain calendar dates when he makes himself publicly viewable wearing their logos.
Let's see that again, in slow motion:
For hanging out at the beach.
And farting around on Facebook and Twitter.
New shirts every day, which the advertisers provide.
Do you remember that woman from Colorado who agreed to have a casino's emblem tattooed on her forehead for a mere $10,000? I bet she's feeling mighty stupid right now.
But, then again, so are the rest of us.
I mean, really: Where was your skull from 1998 to 2006, when you could have been thinking of this idea?
My only consolation is that it might not be too late for me to use this concept for a fun media ethics experiment, and maybe cash in at the same time.
I'll call it The "Your Name Here" Experiment.
Do you own a business? If so, I'd be happy to write about it in my column for just $10 per mention. I'll even include your slogan for an extra $35.
I am completely serious about this. I want to see if I can save journalism. ("This photo of a fatal accident scene is brought to you by Fred's Auto Body".)
Not sold? Let me allay your concerns with these Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. Does anyone actually read this column?
A. Well, you're reading it, aren't you? You can't possibly be the only one, Mom.
Q. Will selling portions of the column to business interests compromise quality?
A. It can't get any worse, can it?
Q. Is this ethical?
A. Depends how much money I make.
Q. What if you write something I don't like in the same column (or sentence) where my name appears?
A. Then you can take your ball and go home, if it will make you feel better.
Q. Can you provide an example of what this might look like in practice?
A. Sure. Last week I took my family to Boston to see Disney on Ice. We stayed at the Holiday Inn, and also visited the New England Aquarium and the Museum of Science.
Q. Are those places that would have paid for space in your column?
A. No; I'm just mentioning them so I can write them off on my tax return.
Q. Oh, ok.
A. Anywho, between "Disney on Ice," which featured a muscular and shirtless Aladdin doing triple axels, and all the svelte gentlemen prancing around the rink at the Olympics, I became temporarily convinced that ice skating, even for non-hockey purposes, could make me feel more masculine.
My family convinced me to rent some skates at the "Frog Pond" at Boston Common. For an hour or so, I minced around the perimeter of the rink like a baby giraffe trying to contain its diarrhea.
"Wow," I said to myself. "I'm not moving nearly as fast as I would in a quality used vehicle from Daryl's Auto Sales."
9. How do I sign up?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll send you a free information packet with the details. Then, sit back and get ready for the rush of new customers.
By the way: Jason Sadler, you owe me $20.