Thursday, April 5, 2012

Post-Retirement Bank Account Blues



When a person retires, she might feel a little guilty about her dearth of contributions to the joint bank account.  These days it’s essentially withdrawals. 

Therefore, always in search of a quick buck, I scan the papers for work - things I could do without exerting myself too much.  I’m guilty but not stupid.  I look for the easy money. 

In one such idle investigation I ran across a couple of opportunities that seem tailor made for a lay-about like me:   

I could be an overpaid actor.  Like Drew Barrymore, who has the dubious distinction of topping Forbes’ list, I could star in your multi-million dollar movie claiming my usual exorbitant salary, and return 40 cents for each dollar you invest in me. 

I like this option as I’ve always wanted to hang out with that funky film crowd.  Others on the overpaid list include Nicholas Cage, Vince Vaughn, even Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.  Now that’s a party. 

That in itself could assuage my guilt.  But option two is equally intriguing:  Celebrity tweets. 

At as much as $10,000 per tweet – which comes to $71 per character in the 140-character world of the Twitter-sphere – I could hold my head up quite nicely. 

That’s right; celebs sell their endorsements online the same as they do on air.  For example, charging only $8000, Khloe Kardashian tweeted about jeans that make “your butt look scary good.”  It’s an ad.  It’s a paid endorsement.  Doubtful that Khloe ever sailed into Old Navy.  She just lends her name to their product and collects the dough. 

Now I don’t shop at Old Navy either and my jeans do only half that job.  But it doesn’t matter.  I could tweet about my Calvin Klein’s and their 2% spandex.  “They give when your butt demands it!  #ad.”  

That last - the # symbol, known by tweeters as a hashtag - and the word “ad” are an addition suggested by the Federal Trade Commission to clarify that the tweet is sponsored by commercial interests.  How gentle of the FTC.  Folks on the internet are sure to follow a suggestion. 

Rapper Snoop Dogg gave his cool nod to the Toyota Sienna minivan, dispelling the myth that credibility presents an issue.  Of all the rides in all the rap joints in the hood, the Dogg’s props went to a minivan.  Here’s lookin’ at you, Snoop. 

Speaking of credibility, in the bargain basement of endorsers, Lindsay Lohan pulled in $3500 a pop for tweets indicating she participated in on-line challenges for college kids saying, “[they] are SO addictive!”  This on #CampusLIVE, a website dedicated to connecting advertisers with college students.  In other logic-bending agreements, Ms. Lohan endorses wind energy, “While saving the world, save money!  I love it!” as well as a gold mining company, of all things: “R ur savings safe?  Think again!” 

Now the Queen of Community Service has 2.6 million followers, many of whom could be high school aged with undeveloped skills in discriminatory thinking.  Perhaps they are likely targets for advertisers with money to blow.  But wind energy?  Really?  Lindsay Lohan.  And to whose ears were her insights about commodity investments directed? 

When Charlie Sheen tweeted for Internships.com at the same time he was running amok and getting fired from his job on “Two and a Half Men,” 95,000 clicks went to that site within an hour.  What’s wrong in America? 

But hey, if they can do it, I can do it.  At $8K a peep, er tweet, my believability and trustworthiness are indeed for sale.    

And what products would I endorse?  I’d sign off on almost anything from peanut butter to Porsche.  But realistically, if credibility were an issue, I’d be lending the weight of my cache to Olay Regenerist Age Defying Eye Roller, and that “Lose 10 pounds in 10 minutes!” swimsuit into which I will never squeeze.   

All right.  I’m exaggerating.  I don’t really have any cache.  And my placement of prepositions doesn’t appeal to the average tweeter, though some might say that’s a point in my favor. 

Nor do I have millions of followers.  Only my husband hangs on my words and even his dedication is dubious.  That’s the snag in this scenario.  If I endorsed a minivan, it wouldn’t generate much more than a shrug.  Which is what I do when I balance our checking account. 

Sorry Honey.