Yeah, it’s a tough life, but there’s always a way to make a buck. You’ve just got to be creative. Sell your blood, sure, that’s an easy one. But what most people don’t know is that there’s a lot more money to be made selling your skin. It’s a very similar thing; you obviously can’t sell it all at once, unless you want to wind up looking like a skinless diet chicken breast. But nobody’s going to miss a little piece here or there. And it goes to a good cause, for the most part: women who’ve had too many facelifts and their skin is so tight they can no longer smile or laugh without splitting their faces wide open. So they take a little of your skin, graft it back under their chins, and then the poor ladies can breathe again without a straw. You’re really performing a public service.
There’s also a great market for people willing to sell their tears. Mostly they get used in Hollywood. You’d be surprised at how many teardrops they need to make your average made-for-TV movie or soap opera. Way more than any actor can provide naturally, I’ll tell you that. Especially now that everything’s being filmed in HD, you can really tell if they try to use fake tears on a show. You’ve got to use the real thing if you expect the audience to get their hankies out at home. I know a guy in Beverly Hills who’ll pay $10 a teardrop, no questions asked. You just go into the tear clinic, and they give you some really sad stories to read about orphans and widows and terminal victims of all sorts, and they’ve got a way to capture each tear as it runs down your cheek. Quite ingenious.
Some people sell their sperm and others their eggs. But there’s also a demand for the hair on your chest. A lot of guys are practically bald down there, and it’s embarrassing for them. You see the guy in a football uniform and he looks like a real he-man, but you see him at the beach and he looks like a baby. Those guys will pay a lot for a nice chest full of hair. It’s a bit of a painful process: They basically wax your chest and rip out the hair by the root, and then transplant it onto the hairless guys. Painful for them, too, but some guys have an image to protect, especially professional wrestlers, boxers, and any athlete that has to give a lot of interviews fresh out of the locker room shower with only a towel wrapped around their waists. Anything that can be bought and sold will be, so if you’ve got it and you need the cash, you might as well try to get top dollar.
There are other ways of making a buck, too. I mean, I’ve never gone hungry just because there’s nothing in the want ads that fits my resume. For instance, I used to work for an exterminator. My job was to go out to the fanciest restaurants in town and make sure I was getting my three squares a day. You don’t believe me? I’ll tell you how it worked. I’d go out for dinner at Le Parisien or The Blue Diamond and have a nice Prix fixe, maybe a bottle of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and then I’d head over to the restroom to wash up. While I was in there, I’d let loose a little Ziploc bag full of cockroaches in one of the stalls. If there’s one thing that an expensive restaurant fears more than the food critic from Bon Appetit finding a piece of glass in their truffled mash potatoes, it’s having their customers find cockroaches crawling around in the lavatories. Just as the maitre d’ or the chef was starting to freak out, my boss would show up in his truck: Murder Inc. Pest Control, “The Quickest Killers in Town, Restaurants Are Our Specialty.” He’d mention that he was in the neighborhood on another job, but that when there was an infestation in one place, there was usually a spillover into adjoining businesses and he was just checking if they needed his services. Of course they did and immediately wasn’t soon enough.
The best part of this scam was that these were trained cockroaches: The boss had spent years planning the first-ever cockroach circus. Obviously he didn’t think this through too well. Who is going to pay to see performing cockroaches? Fleas, ok, maybe, I’m not even sure why there was ever a big entertainment value in fleas. But nobody wanted to see tightrope-walking cockroaches. Cockroaches doing synchronized water ballet? Cockroaches riding bareback on little white lab rats? He couldn’t give the tickets away. Fortunately, he’d found an even better way to put their talent to use. Once those roaches had made their presence known by doing a swan dive off the flower arrangement into some horrified diner’s butternut squash ravioli, no amount of money was too much to pay to get them to disappear. After the last diner had scurried out the door, they’d lock up the restaurant and let my boss work his magic. Of course, although he had to make a good show of it, the boss didn’t even need to use any poisons on them. He’d just blow a whistle and they’d all come running back into the Ziploc bag. The dinner bell. Better trained than Pavlov’s dogs.
This is how things get done in the big city. One hand rubs the other, and vice versa. This is how you go make some money.