For Love of Money

There sure has been a lot said and written about the topic of money. You know, money—
that green stuff that has pictures of the presidents on it like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin Franklin?

Warren Buffet—inventor of meals in which guests serve themselves—has been quoted on the subject of money. “Rule number one: Never lose money. Rule number two: Never forget rule number one.” That’s billionaire humor.
The famed painter, Pablo Picasso (who had a Blue Period, a Rose Period, a Crystal Period—but never a semi-colon) once said, “I’d like to live as a poor man with lots of money.”

And W.C. Fields said, “A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money.” So true, my little chickadee.
Ever since the idea of money was first invented, mankind has shown repeatedly that it will do almost anything to obtain it. Bonnie and Clyde, John Dillinger and other robbers helped themselves to plenty of bank loot—never even having the courtesy to fill out a single withdrawal slip.

More than 25 years ago, two guys dressed like Boston cops waltzed into an art museum and made off with a baker’s dozen of paintings—including some by Rembrandt, Manet, Degas—but not the great clown painter, Red Skelton. Total value? 500 million bucks. (The art is still missing, although my cousin swears he saw the Rembrandt at Value Village last month.)

The Northwest’s favorite son, D.B. Cooper, managed the only still unsolved air piracy
in U.S. history, making off with $200,000. He jumped out of a plane with it and was never seen again. Compared to Saddam Hussein (who swiped some $900 million) Cooper’s money theft was comparable to stealing a Snicker’s bar from Rite Aid—and then parachuting off the loading dock.

And Bernie Madoff ‘made off’ with $65 billion of investor’s money using a Ponzi scheme (different than a Fonzie scheme which involves a black leather jacket.) Madoff is currently in prison—but only for 150 years—after which he will be a free, wealthy man again.

If people were not ready and willing to take risks to get rich, there would be no casinos, lotteries, horse races or TV game shows. That’s right. No Vanna White.

My family and I used to play a game of our own—based on the premise of “What would you do for a million dollars?” Example: Walking along a bicycle trail we might spot a long row of thick, thorny blackberry bushes. “For a million dollars,” one of us would say, “…would you crawl through those bushes—naked, at night?”

There was never an explanation of who would put up the million dollars, nor why it would have to be at night. But the naked part was obvious. Thorns often win over certain body parts—and a person would want to be well paid for the pain. (The dumb game itself could have made us a million dollars if we had been smart enough to market it. Someone else did—and there is currently a TV reality show called Naked and Afraid. )
The reason I brought this whole money grab topic up in this space is to report on an intriguing proposition I just received via email two days ago. It came from a Larry Jones—a person unknown to me, even though you would think everyone would know at least one Larry Jones. Here’s what Lar’ wrote:

“Would you like to have a ‘Red Bull (Energy Drink) banner on your vehicle (car, truck, van, trailer, ATV, camper, SUV, motorcycles, bikes) and earn $200 a week?” He goes on to write, “It doesn’t affect your present job.”
At first thought, someone might say, “It doesn’t affect my present job? Who needs one? At a cool $200 a week, this could become my present—and future—job! ”

Most of the specific details are still unknown—such as, is the “banner” similar in size to a “Make America Great Again” bumper sticker—or will it wrap around the entire chassis like a NASCAR auto?
Will the banner simply sport the Red Bull logo—or include additional wordage like
“If you love Red Bull, honk. Or cut me off.”?

Would it be OK to supplement the Red Bull banner income with other advertising too? Like, say, a ‘Duncan Hines Pineapple Upside Down Cake” banner on the car’s undercarriage?

Uh-oh! Stop the presses! (I have always wanted to say that.) I just checked things out on an Internet consumer protection website. It turns out the Red Bull job offer thing is a swindle—and it has been all over the Internet for years. I should have realized something was up when I found it in my junk folder.

Wait! Now I just found a new one—from Spam itself. It reads, “Would you like to have a Spam (America’s favorite precooked canned meat) banner on your vehicle and earn $600 a week?”

What an outrageous, unconscionable proposition! Of course, I would!

As long as I can drive the car around naked—at night.