Like anyone beyond 40 who has a mortgage, car payments and an investment portfolio heavily weighted toward sofa-cushion change, I am coming to grips with the fact I may never be rich. This is a shame because I’ve spent most of my life planning what I’d do as a man of unfathomable wealth and influence. In all honesty I think I’d be pretty good at it, and not just because I have a natural affinity for talking down to foreigners. Wash the Bentley, Miguel—not the driveway.
As one who since 1996 has insisted on riding in the backseat of his Corolla while holding a jar of Grey Poupon, I know exactly where I’d live as a rich man (a summer home in Tuscany, and winters on the moon). I know exactly what I’d spend my money on (caviar and revenge). And I know exactly which person I’d speak in (the third). Bottom line: Scott Feschuk believes Scott Feschuk is ready to be very wealthy.
Lest you think me selfish, I’d be generous enough to give a small portion of my vast fortune to philanthropic pursuits. But I’d be petty enough to give it to the charity that agrees to name the most stuff after me. Sure, my millions could help cure cancer, but instead please join me at the grand opening of the gleaming new Scott M. Feschuk Centres for Lactose Intolerance.
Alas, at my age it’s time to give up on implausible long shots, like winning the lottery or me working hard. Instead, this may be my last chance to convince someone of tremendous resources and limited due diligence to buy into one of my Five Surefire Ideas for Making Me Obscenely Rich.
1. Produce pay-per-view celebrity weddings. Don’t even try to tell me you wouldn’t pay $49.95 to watch live as Jon Gosselin’s ex-wife marries Sandra Bullock’s soon-to-be-ex-husband. You’d watch it. We’d all watch it. The pre-ceremony jitters and dramatic HIV tests. The lavish wedding featuring 18 bridesmaids—all of Tiger’s sexual conquests together at last! The part where Donald Trump fires the caterer. And, for an extra fee, after-hours footage from the video camera rigged up in the honeymoon suite. A pay-per-view wedding would be a great career move for aspiring movie stars keen to build their public profiles, and for declining movie stars keen to keep their mansions and breasts from being repossessed. I literally cannot see how this idea isn’t going to make me a millionaire.
2. Start up a magazine called The Beaver. What’s that you say? There already is a Canadian magazine called The Beaver? Wrong, idiot. After decades of publication, The Beaver just recently changed its name. Turns out the word “beaver” also has a completely different meaning that I’d tell you about except that I’m a guy and now I can’t stop giggling. Suffice to say the “unfortunate double entendre” was harming sales because subscription solicitations would get caught up in email spam filters, presumably along with pitches for Amateur Woodworker, Hot Rod and House & Scrotum. I plan to avoid that pitfall by advertising “Get Beaver Delivered to Your Home” on airplane banners flown over schoolyards. Just try to find a flaw in that plan.
3. Invent the next must-have toy. As someone who as a child personally witnessed his own grandfather bowl over a tiny, helpless woman during a mad rush for the last pre-Christmas shipment of Care Bears, I know the power of the Big Holiday Toy. But kids today are more advanced and savvy, making this the perfect time for Baby’s First Reciprocating Saw. Better get in line now.
4. Found the company Celebrity Eulogies, Inc. We live in a culture obsessed with celebrities—and yet our funerals continue to be sullied by the reminiscences of mere friends and family. Wouldn’t your grandmother go more easily to her eternal resting place knowing that the tribute to her life was uttered not by fat Uncle Jimmy but by TV’s Starsky? Call and within 48 hours we’ll have a D- to C-list celebrity on hand to pay tribute to your dead relative, sign a few autographs and pity the fools in attendance (Mr. T only). For the right price, we could even have the cast of The Sopranos act out one of the many scenes they shot around coffins. Believe me, those guys aren’t doing anything else.
5. Create “anti-product placement” and unendorsements. No one listens to celebrity endorsers any more. So how to increase market share? Hire one of our celebrities to talk trash about your competitors. (“Hi, I’m Leonardo DiCaprio, and this Pepsi I’m drinking tastes like urine.”) Or put your rival’s leading product into a carefully constructed scene in a movie featuring one of our celebrity clients, just as we’re pitching McDonald’s to do.
FADE IN. We see Pauly Shore. He is dressed as Hitler.
HITLER: This Burger King Whopper makes me want to invade Poland!
Investors, I await your expressions of interest and, more to the point, your expressions of certified cheque. Please form an orderly line outside the door of the van where I live.