I went home sick after lunch yesterday. Don’t ask. Suffice it to say, I do NOT recommend the Squid and Limburger Footlong special at Subway.
As I lay listlessly on the couch, fortified with crackers, stale 7-Up and the remote, I checked out the strange world of daytime TV. For those not home during the day, here’s a peek at what’s on.
Daytime television is loaded with reality courtroom shows I watched Divorce Court, Judge Alex, Nancy Grace, Judge Karen and, the queen of them all, Judge Judy. That is one angry lady. I think the bailiff is really there to protect the litigants in case her barely contained scorn and rage finally breaks free and she tries to bash their skulls in.
I was interested in the businesses that advertise on these shows. After all, their target market is people who are lying on their sofas in the middle of the day (possibly excluding those of us swigging Pepto-Bismol). What are they trying to sell us?
Based on my hours of research, it looks like the advertisers all identified the same basic need of their target market: to get some money.
Here’s how they suggest we meet that need:
- Pawn something. I had no idea there were that many pawn shops within a 100 mile radius. It’s comforting to know they stand ready with a handful of cash (literally; every one showed the proprietor with a handful of fanned-out $$) to swap for old jewelry, valuable coins, or MY TEETH. I’m not kidding – they showed a picture. I KNEW those grills were a sound investment.
- Get a loan. These are not small-business start-up loans, or mortgages. These places will give you a couple of hundred dollars against your car. Or you can borrow against next week’s paycheck. They charge 183% interest and Cousin Vinnie will call on you in the event of default. This is too depressing to joke about.
- Learn a new skill. Lots of places with the word “Institute” in the title are ready, willing and able to teach you to weld, file insurance claims, or give people massages. I know from personal experience that filing insurance claims is neither as lucrative nor as glamorous as the gushing young woman in the ad made it out to be, but that’s OK. I’m all for good, honest employment.
- Sue somebody. The vast majority of the ads suggest this as the ideal path to financial success. The caring law firms that advertise on TV explain that just about everyone you ever met owes you. Menacing “Jaws” theme music plays in the background. They say you deserve whatever you can get. The caring attorneys are ready to help you make the bad guys pay until it hurts. They want nothing more than the satisfaction of helping others. That and 1/3 of your take. Just call 1-800-BADDRUG, or 1-800-HATEMOM, or 1-800-TRIPPEDONMYOWNDAMNTWOFEET. That last is an international number.
Although I have a job, it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan. If I need money, I’ll just pawn my gold fillings. Then I’ll accuse the pawnbroker of cheating me, and get on the Judge Judy show. My whiny, irresponsible, everybody-owes-me-and-it’s-not-my-fault attitude will cause her to finally snap. When she throws the scales of justice at my head, I’ll call 1-800-BADJUDGE and my caring attorney and I will sue Judge Judy for every penny she has.