Day 54 — Sob Stories Get Paid

Darn. I missed Bailout Bill of Bailoutbooth.com. He came to town recently to hand out money in return for a sob story. I read about him in the paper and gave fleeting thought to hopping on the bus and standing in line. I’m glad I didn’t. Turns out, folks waited hours, and all Bill handed out was $50 per person, $100 if you had a really sad story.

I don’t want to wait in line for hours next to what I imagine are stinky-smelling people who don’t want to work for a living. Well, maybe some of them do. But I bet the line was filled with the likes of homeless chaps, not unemployed professionals like me. His stunt reminds me of the 1950s TV show Queen for a Day, which featured housewives telling a live studio audience their stories of woe in the hopes of winning a new appliance.

But I’ve got to hand it to Bill, described as an anonymous mystery entrepreneur who would rather go around the country handing out money than spending $3 million on a TV Super Bowl ad. But Bill has a motive: He wants people to sign up on his website, which somehow allows registrants to be featured in a classified advertising video. For me, craigslist.com is good enough. I don’t think anyone wants to see me sporting a used QVC sweater in eight fashion colors.

According to The Huffington Post, Bill’s strategy to dole out dough seems to be working. He had 60,000 people sign up on his site in one day! Go Bill. Since Bill is in this for the money, I thought I’d send him an email asking if he’d help pay for the cost of this blog’s design services. After all, I don’t have much to lose, except another dent in my pride. No one’s going to fire me.

Here’s my letter:

Dear Bailout Bill,

I missed your recent trip to Washington, DC. I don’t think I’ll be able to catch you again because I no longer have a car. Some schmuck slammed into my aging Audi before the holidays when it was parked along a residential street, severing a tire, which caused more than $9,000 in damages. I’ve decided to “go green” because of it.

I’ve got a sob story, just like all the other poor folk who come to you. But I’m trying to write my way out of my mess rather than wait for pennies from Heaven to fall on me. I’m the anonymous blogger for Girl On the Brink: Surviving Desperate Times with Desperate Measures at www.girlonthebrink.com.

The site has gone live, but I’m in the process of seeking grants to pay a $2,500 fee for a new design. I thought you might be interested in helping, and I would be willing to incorporate a video ad from your site on my homepage if you like the idea enough.


Ann Powers

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2 Responses to “Day 54 — Sob Stories Get Paid”

  1. Rita Riter says:

    I think your letter to Bill kicks ass! Hopefully, he’ll see this fab opportunity and help out!

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