Open for business

Open for business

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Ninety million dollars.

Nike is paying this LeBron kid 90 million dollars to wear their shoes.

They're banking on the hope and promise that this 18-year-old kid will be everything he's expected to be. And then some. 

Mind you, he hasn't touched a ball in the NBA. He may break both legs tomorrow. Or even worse, his legs might be fine, and he just might stink. 

Still, Nike is willing to risk Ninety Big Ones on the chance he'll be as good as advertised. 

Experts say this is just the beginning for this LeBron kid, too. They say he'll continue to sign endorsement deal after endorsement deal with companies hoping to be associated with this basketball player, who to date, has scored exactly zero points in college and zero points in the NBA.

Ninety million dollars.

I hate to be the one to rain on his parade, but this makes no sense to me. 

Why would any company take such a risk with so much money on an unproven commodity?

Wouldn't a sure thing make a lot more sense? 

Wouldn't it make more sense to find a spokesperson far more savvy than a naive 18-year-old basketball player?

Wouldn't it make more sense to have a spokeperson you know could embody the spirit of your company. As opposed to someone you hope will embody the spirit of your company?

Wouldn't it make more sense for companies to pay someone like say, oh, I don't know, me?

While I'm clearly not very talented with a basketball, I believe my combined life experiences and my general lack of skill in a multitude of endeavors makes me a superior marketing value beyond that LeBron kid and his limited ability to place a ball in a hole.

That's right. I'm now officially open for business.

I'm now ready and willing to endorse, promote and shill for any company, any product.

Every product, that is, except cigarettes. Because I don't smoke. 

Although for the right price, I'd be willing to start this afternoon.

While I see infinite possibilities for myself, I realize some of you may not realize the many advantages a 42-year-old balding Jewish man possesses over potentially the greatest basketball phenom the world has ever seen.

And so, I'd like to suggest just a few of the many ways my talents could be utilized.

Remember, working with me isn't about hope and promise like that LeBron kid. It's about proven results and the confidence in knowing that when you get me, you know exactly what you're getting.

Which happens to be a lot of nothing. But a lot of nothing is still, y'know, a lot.

And so.…

*Imagine there I am, taking my early morning shower. After an excessive amount of time -- say, 30 to 40 minutes -- my wife could shout from the other room, "Honey, what in God's name is taking you so long?"

"I'm masturbating, darling," I'd shout back. "And thanks to the softness and purity of Ivory soap, I'm able to sustain my efforts for a longer period of time without having to endure the smell of those perfume-based soaps you previously bought."

"Isn't Ivory 99 and 43/100th pure?" she'd shout back.

"Ninety-nine and 44/100th," I'd say. "And trust me, my penis can really feel the difference."

"Gosh," she'd shout, "that Ivory sure has changed your life."

"Yes it has," I'd shout back. "I can't wait to tell all the guys at work about Ivory soap. Hey honey, could you hand me last month's In Style?"


*There I am, looking at a recent family photo.

"Hey sweetheart," I could say. "Look at me in this picture. Do you notice anything about my face?"

"Yes. Your teeth look so yellow, it's sickening," she'd probably say.

"Exactly!" I'd reply. "Isn't it great?"

"What are you talking about?" she'd say. "You look like you have a mouth full of lemon peels."

"I know, I know, but don't you see?" I'd say. "They look as bad as they did 10 years ago. Which means my new Aqua Fresh with fluorides and whitener is doing a great job of maintaining my yellow teeth without any further discoloration!"

"I never thought about it like that," she'd say. "But I suppose you're right. That Aqua Fresh with fluorides and whitener must be one heckuva toothpaste to keep your teeth that disgusting yellow color without making them even more disgustingly yellow."

"Better make sure you tell the girls at the club about Aqua Fresh," I'd say.

"I will," she'd say. 

"Hey, did you notice anything else in the picture?" I'd ask.

"Your stomach looks gross?" she'd say.

"You're right," I'd say. "Man, I wish they made an Aqua Fresh for bellies."


*There I am, nearly 20 or 30 seconds into having sex with my wife.

"Omigod!" I could scream. "Omigod I'm ready! Omigod! Omigod!"

Afterwards, lying on the bed in total exhaustion, I'd look her in the eye and say, "Honey?"

And she'd say, "Yes, dear?"

And I'd say, "I just want you to know that my 'Omigod' was brought to you by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints."

"Really?" she'd say. "Then can you help me find greater happiness?"

"Darling," I'd say, "many people define happiness as possessing things that of themselves cannot bring lasting happiness -- such as wealth, power, beauty and fame. But from an eternal perspective, true happiness comes from developing attributes such as goodness, love, justice and mercy. It comes from serving God and others, and from preparing to live with our Father in Heaven again. Heavenly Father knows that many things contribute to your happiness -- such as work, a healthy lifestyle, friends, family and personal achievement. But your deepest, most lasting happiness will come from knowing God's plan and following it."

"Actually," she'd say, "what I meant by 'greater happiness' was, 'where's my vibrator?'"

"Oh," I'd say. "Be sure to tell your mother about the Church tomorrow, okay?"

Then, we'd pray together over the sound of a loud buzzing noise.


*There I am, driving to work in the morning when someone in a red pickup cuts me off as he changes lanes without looking behind him.

Like a good defensive driver, I would gently press on my brake, allowing the situation to pass.

And once calm was restored, I'd pull up next to him at the light, roll down my window and stick out my middle finger.

"You can thank Lee Press On Nails for this buddy," I'd say. "Product number 8328-000 in a natural color, in case you're wondering. If I didn't have these nails on, believe you me, things would really get ugly around here."

"That color goes really well with your eyes," he'd shout back. "I'm going to tell all my buddies about Lee Press-On Nails. Sorry about the driving, mac. I was actually thinking about how bad my cuticles look. I'm so glad you stopped me."

Then, we'd each get on with our days.


*There I am, walking down the street when I notice a girl in extremely tight jeans in front of me. 

Eventually, she'd turn to the left, when I needed to go to the right.

"Kids, stay right here," I'd say. "Daddy'll be back in a few minutes."

And so I'd follow her down city streets, across blocks and through intersections. Eventually, she'd stop, turn around and ask me, "Like, what do you think you're doing?"

"Well, I'm staring at your ass," I'd say.

"You're a sick pig," she'd say. 

"No, it's not like that at all," I'd reply. "You see, two weeks ago I wouldn't have stared at your ass because I couldn't have seen your ass."

"You're like a freak of the highest magnitude," she'd say.

"No, two weeks ago I had Lasiks Corrective Vision Treatment," I'd say. "And now, thanks to this wonderful procedure, my vision is 20/15 and I can see things better than I have in years."

"Like, my ass!" she'd say.

"Like, your ass!" I'd say.

"I so have to tell my friends about Lasiks Corrective Vision Treatment," she'd say.

"Y'know," I'd say, "just to be sure, I should stare at your chest, too."

"You're so funny," she'd say. "Hey, would you look at those two kids over there washing windshields? I think that 's so sad."


*There I am, standing in the kitchen, listening to my wife tell me for the third time today exactly how stupid I am.

"If there were a king of dumb, you'd be it," she might say.

"I'm sorry I've failed to live up to your expectations," I'd say. "I suppose I should've realized the garage door doesn't automatically go up when I get in the car. Again, I'm sorry."

"I'm sick of your sorry," she'd say. "You are just plain stupid."

"Honey, while I'm sorry for what I've done, part of this is not my fault," I'd say. "The truth of the matter is, if my parents had ordered Hooked On Phonics for me when I was a child, perhaps I would've learned to read better and become a better student, which would have resulted in me being a more productive member of society and not be as stupid as I am now."

And then, I'd cry.

"Aw honey," she'd say. "It's really not your fault. You're right. If only your parents had spent the time and effort to help you further your education, you might have an IQ beyond kindergarten level and be better able to understand things.

"Dammit," she'd continue, "I'm not going to make the same mistake with our children. I'm going to order Hooked on Phonics right now. And then I'm going to call all our friends and tell them to order Hooked on Phonics for their children, too. I'm going to be a great mom!"

"You are a great mom," I'd say. "Can we have sex and make up?"

"I said I want to be a great mom, not a great wife," she'd say.


*There I am, pulled off by the side of the road. With a police vehicle right behind me.

As the officer stepped up to my car, I might say, "Is there a problem, officer?"

"As a matter of fact, yes there is," he'd say. "You were going 80 in a school zone."

"I'm so sorry, officer," I'd say. "But honestly, the reason it appears I have a lead foot is because I really have a lead foot."

"Driver's license and insurance information," he'd say, trying to ignore me.

"Sir, please listen," I'd say. "If you can look down here you can see I've recently purchased some beautiful new shoes from Thom McCann."

"I love that store," he'd say. "They've got the best loafers."

"I know," I'd say.

"They have very supple leather," he'd say.

"Exactly," I'd say. "So anyway, as I bought these shoes I said to the salesman, 'Boy these shoes sure are heavy.' And he said to me, 'That's because they have a steel reinforced toe to protect your feet.' And I said, 'Who doesn't like to protect their feet?' And he said, 'Nobody I know.' So I bought them and I'm wearing them right now. Which is why I'm driving...."

" you've got a lead foot. Because you've really got a lead foot!" he'd say.

"You are sharp," I'd say. "Are you sure you're not a detective?"

"Not yet," he said. "Maybe next year if that bastard Kowalksi ever retires and they realize how much more I can do than write tickets."

"Well, um, so that's my Thom McCann story," I'd say. 

"Then that asswipe Thompson gets promoted because his wife's second cousin is 
Hispanic," he'd say. "I tell you, it's a load of crap. It makes me so angry."

"So," I'd say, "does this mean I don't get a ticket?"

"I'm just going to give you a written warning this time," he'd say. "As for me, I'm going to stop by the station and tell all the boys about Thom McCann shoes. Then I'm going to go home and take a nice hot shower to mellow out."

"Good idea," I'd say. "Say officer, have you ever tried Ivory Soap?"


Well, I hope this will convince any nay-sayers I can do anything that LeBron kid can do. And then some.

I believe I've shown conclusively that while a company like Nike will foolishly spend tens of millions of dollars to support the efforts of a naive young man-child, I'm here to offer my assistance and marketing expertise to a host of other companies.

Sure, that LeBron kid might be good at basketball, but I'm bad at a lot of things.

Sure that LeBron kid might pan out to be the greatest basketball player ever, but I'm well beyond the panning-out stage. I understand my limitations and failures and see no reason why I can't utilize them for the good of all.

And when I say all, I mean all.

Because the way I look at it, one 90 million dollar deal is no different than 90 million one-dollar deals.

Which reminds me. 

Fellas, have I mentioned the multitude of uses for Acme metal thumbtacks? 

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