Last week, after reading about the plans for the Cotton Mouth Creek Golf Course, and hearing the latest nonsensical YJ (yellow journo) pap about sports star this and standings that, Elaine presented herself in my office nearly in tears.
“Why do we pay people for this crap?” She was deeply distraught….but that’s often when her best ideas appear.
“What do you mean?” I asked, trying to present myself as innocent and uninformed – a fairly easy task.
“We pay people for sports! I mean look at this crap: Athletes are making millions of dollars per year for what??? Hitting a ball with a stick?”
Apparently, she’d caught a sports mention on her favorite all news station (WOAI, San Antonio) about some athlete, or other.
“We have gotten SO STUPID as a country…do you realize what a scam it is to PAY to watch someone cooking on television? Yeah…we do that. Every (expletive) woman in America cooks,, right? But some fat guy with an accent comes along and people will PAY for that. Why doesn’t anyone come over to our place and PAY ME when I cook?”
She was sort of half-glaring at me and she was worked up into a lather.
“Well, maybe there’s a way to change that….” I spoke softly, not wanting to get her blood pressure any higher.
“What do you mean?”
“Well, remember here about 12-years ago, when I was trying to clear 12-acres of brush with a 42-inch riding mower? That’s when I came up with the idea of the American Competitive Lawn Mowing Association.”
“Yeah, I remember. But didn’t someone beat you to it?”
“Not with the idea, but in terms of roll-out, yeah.”
If you don’t remember our columns that far back (and there’s a reason to forget some of them, no doubt, especially those dealing with doom porn…) the idea eventually became the United States Lawn Mower Racing Association and they have a dandy website over here.
“So what are you saying?”
“Well, dear, let’s take a page from the Peoplenomics unpublished manuscript “How to Monetize ANYTHING” because ANYTHING can be monetized because this is America and we’re all CRAZY.”
I then ran through the list of monetized crazinesses we have collectively bought into because while Americans may be clever and inventive in rare (Tom Edison-like) moments, for the most part, Archie and Edith Bunker were pinnacles of middle class awareness.
“So you have your monetization of gays, monetization of genders, monetization of golf, monetization of swimming, monetization of oil changes, monetization of lawn mowing, monetization of cooking, monetization of auto repairs, monetization of traffic jams….”
“Who did that?”
“Just go listen to your radio station again…sponsored traffic reports…. where there’s a human activity, there’s a way to monetize it. That’s my point. All you have to do, my dear, is find some activity that’s done in your daily life – ideally everyone’s – and figure a way to monetize it!”
Elaine’s face brightened a bit. She does all kinds of things and she’s very talented at all of them. But her art (painting) for example, isn’t something that just everyone can do. We kicked around a few things.
“How about doing laundry?”
“You may be onto something there. But, of course, you’d have to select which monetization channel to do first.”
“What do you mean?”
“Sometimes, a person will monetize be becoming an expert. Take war, for example, or politics. Not everyone can do it, but to monetize about all you need is a) rank and b) a publisher. Then you write a book. Then, when CNN, or whoever’s snooze network calls, you’ve got product to sell and presto! You’re in the money.
But it doesn’t have to work that way. Doing high dollar tasks – like athletes do – simple things that they convince people to pay stupid amounts of money for – that’s an approach, too.
Or you could become the “first” at something or hold a record and get it into the Guinness Book… see?”
“OK, so everyone does….oh, let’s say laundry. How would you monetize that?”
“Seems simple enough: You would pick certain metrics within the category and figure out a scoring method. Maybe one track is “cost of stain removal.” Another might be the “timed bath towel fold.” And since you usually change the bed and do laundry on the same day (I do notice her work!), maybe “king-size bed-making with a mattress flip” could be in there too.”
“So we’d do a standard stain, on something like a regular terrycloth washcloth, and see who could get the stain out cheapest and fastest?”
“Exactly! Sure, you could drown it in Oxy-Clean and that would work, but what about a spritz of detergent and some hydrogen peroxide? Then use a standard light source and our old light meter from the film days to judge which way works best at what price point…”
“We’d need rules, of course….”
“Standard Wash Loads, too. And maybe there could be a special category for people who still remember how to iron…and you know, Niagara Starch might be a potential sponsor….”
By this point, she was beaming.
Sure, the world is crazy, obsessed with making a buck, and taking advantage. But why not just go with the flow…and a double rinse, of course?
I’ve started to call her “Commissioner” because I’ve noticed that the commissioners of these major sports deals tend to make a pile of dough.
Besides, if should could sell a Franchise – which would include a copy of her ebook “Professionsal Home Laundry Secrets – Half a Century of Hacks” – to half the homes in America, why she’d make enough money to launch the next level in home maintenance monetization.
The Professional Bathroom Cleaners Association.
Or, maybe we should be satisfied with one launch and….(bad pun alert) just scrub the other idea.
Write when you get the laundry done,
George@ure.net (and I can fwd email to the Commissioner if you’d like a franchise!)