My plan to become a millionaire and retire by the age of 40 is a little behind schedule. Personally, I blame it on a combination of factors: the recent volatility of the stock market, global warming, and the shrinking market in publishing for humor writers who are paid $500,000 / year for working eight hours a week. But mostly I blame my financial situation on China. Those ruthless bastards.
I tried starting my own business, with dreams of launching the next Facebook or Instagram. But after several weeks, I‘ve concluded that my mail-order business, Rent-a-Snake.com, is probably doomed.
Turns out being an entrepreneur is way harder than it looks. It requires a clear vision, years of hard work, unyielding persistence, and a willingness to take intelligent risks. My train pretty much left the tracks at “a clear vision.” Besides, who has the energy for all this hard work? There must be an easier way to become a multi-millionaire – and it’s called “Kickstarter.”
I’m excited to announce my own Kickstarter campaign to make yours truly a mega-millionaire. What is Kickstarter, you ask? It’s a web-based fundraising service intended to help bring projects to life by means of “crowdsourcing” the financing. What is crowdsourcing, you ask? Well, it’s the process of using the internet to get a “crowd” of people to help produce a project collaboratively, like Wikipedia. What’s Wikipedia, you ask? Stop reading right now. Just stop. You’ll never get the rest of this piece. I suggest you go online and Google it. Oh wait. Never mind. You’ve probably never heard of Google either.
For the rest of you, here’s my idea: You can support the hopes and dreams of a struggling middle-aged humor writer by joining with others to help him pay off his mortgage AND his kids’ college educations, while buying a winter vacation home in Key West. What’s in it for you to help me reach my goal? Check out all that you can receive in return:
For a $25 contribution: You’ll be officially certified as a Friend of Tim. This includes limited texting privileges and the option to send Tim up to ten emails a year.
For a $50 contribution: Up-level to our prestigious premier plan, Close Friend of Tim – reserved for people who he actually might recognize if he saw their photo on Facebook. Includes a lifetime subscription to View from the Bleachers.
For a $100 contribution: Join the most elite of the elite as a member of Tim’s exclusive BFF (Best Friends Forever) Club. Tim will even invite you to lunch at the restaurant of your choice (as long as you pick up the tab). BFF Club status is limited to the first TEN people who pledge at this level.
For a $500 contribution: Tim will UNSUBSCRIBE YOU and all your family members from his View from the Bleachers humor blog mailing list. Imagine never having to receive another one of Tim’s lame humor posts for the rest of your life! Frankly, Tim feels he grossly under-priced this pledge level.
For a $1,000 contribution: Tim will name a star after you. And it won’t be one of those puny, obscure stars that the International Star Registry folks assign you from some galaxy cluster you’ve never heard of. We’re talking serious galaxies, like the Milky Way or Andromeda. Or, if you prefer, how about a comet! [Fine print: The next comet to enter our solar system which has not already been named is not expected for another 10,000 years. So please be patient.]
For a $5,000 contribution: Tim will compose an original love song dedicated to you, in which he will pen rhyming lyrics like “in the pouring rain” and “never saw that train”. For $5,000 more, he will do his best to ensure your special song bears at most only a passing resemblance to Captain and Tennille’s classic Muskrat Love. (God, he loves that song.)
For a $10,000 contribution: Tim will give you your choice of ANY of his professional artist wife’s paintings – you name it, no questions asked. He’ll make up some story about how it was stolen by a band of gypsies with an eye for impressionism. Tim suggests the painting she did of water lilies. The lighting is magical.
For a $25,000 contribution: Tim will do everything in his power to undermine the democratic process to ensure your rightful seat on the throne as the next Exalted Supreme Ruler of the People’s Republic of Kazakhstan – or the “stan” nation of your choice. [This offer does not apply to Turkmenistan. That country is certifiably nuts.]
For a $50,000 contribution: Tim will legally change the first name of his elder daughter, Rachel, to your name. Unless your name happens to be Herb or Bert. Tim loves his daughter too much to do that to her.
Don’t see anything that appeals to you? Hey, I’m open to any suggestions you have that don’t involve asking me to do something illegal, unethical, or painting your house. On second thought, just don’t ask me about painting your house.
Do something good for the world, one person at a time, starting with me. Please help make me a gazillionaire, won’t you? I’ll thank you from the bottom of my heart – as will my elder daughter, Arnold.
That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.
© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2015