Three Cents Per Word Goes a Long Way

I went into the Guardian offices a couple weeks ago out of boredom and stumbled into one of the rooms. The nice people from the business office found three checks for me at about $20 each and I thought to myself, “”Whoa! $60!”” I quickly deposited them into my bank account and treated myself to a Jamba Juice.

But now that I’ve had some time to reflect on it, if I had no journalistic integrity whatsoever, I could just write random words and get paid for them. Luckily for me, I have no journalistic integrity. I did some quick math calculations and I get paid approximately $0.03 for each word that I write. Now, $0.03 might not seem like a lot of money, but this sentence is worth $0.48. And this paragraph is worth $3.99.

I think the irony is that the people who write letters to the editor about me spend at least as much time as I did writing the columns, if not more, and they don’t get paid anything for those.

I don’t really think they want to get paid, though. They’d just like their names up there next to their opinion so they can show their friends and say, “”Look, they published my response to that garbage column they printed last week.””

Now you might be thinking to yourself, “”This columnist is just writing a lot of crap because he’s getting paid $0.03 a word.”” Well, you’re right! I couldn’t have expressed it better myself (considering I did express it myself, but with the little thought bubble coming out of your head). But now you’re really thinking fast, wondering if those parentheses were thrown in at the last minute just to snag an extra quarter. Or even that last sentence.

You might be a bit insulted that I’m wasting your time just for quarters. Well, I need those quarters. I’ve got bills to pay just like everyone else. I’ve got a stack of parking tickets on my desk and those things double after 21 days.

If I were you, I’d be expecting a kickback for having to read this column. As luck would have it, I’m not you, and I am getting a kickback. But don’t act so surprised. You don’t think Bob Dole is talking about erectile dysfunction because he thinks it’s an amusing anecdote to share with the world? No, he’s doing it because Pfizer is paying him off. And you don’t expect Bob Dole to pay you for watching his silly erectile dysfunction commercial, do you? Well, then stop complaining.

Did you think this column would be over by now? Have you stopped reading yet? I think the beauty of the situation is that every single person that picked up the Guardian and was unfortunate enough to stop at this column can stop reading it right now, and I’ll still get paid for it. I don’t think the advertisers would mind either; chances are, when you stop reading this column, you’ll start reading the advertisements near it. That being the case, I could start writing shopping lists of groceries and most people wouldn’t mind. Lettuce. Tomatoes. I grilled a hamburger today and I only had relish and mayo. Can you imagine eating a hamburger with only relish and mayo? So, that being the case, I need lettuce, tomatoes, ketchup, pickles and onions. Actually, I don’t really need onions, but $0.03 is $0.03. I actually hate onions in my burgers unless they’re grilled.

I’ve also got to buy some bagels and cream cheese as well. Cream cheese is a vital part of bagels; it’s almost always a mistake to buy a bagel without also getting cream cheese. Most people understand this idea, but the one everyone usually screws up is the donuts and whole milk combination. Donuts and whole milk together is one of the greatest combinations of food products I can think of. It’s right up there with corned beef and cabbage. Or marijuana and In-N-Out.

Whenever I go to In-N-Out, I usually get a Double-Double with cheese and grilled onions, a fries, a drink and a vanilla shake. And a spoon. You can’t forget the spoon, otherwise you’ll be trying to suck through a straw with a 1 mm diameter. My girlfriend always gets a grilled cheese at In-N-Out. It’s not on the menu, but you can request it. It is, quite frankly, one of the stupidest byproducts of the vegetarian revolution. Basically, it’s a cheeseburger without the hamburger meat.

I was at Costco yesterday and I was going over my receipt, and they charged me $8.00 for a two-pack of A1 sauce. Can you believe that? As an impulse buyer, I’m very insulted. I can’t imagine Ralphs charging me $4.00 for a bottle of A1 sauce. And the sick, sad truth of it all is that I don’t even like A1 sauce. I just bought it because I needed a steak sauce. Lea and Perrins used to make a really good steak sauce, but they changed the formula, so it’s sweeter now and nowhere near as good. In fact, it’s rather bad.

What’s good at Costco is smoked oysters. They sell them in packs of three but I finish a pack of three pretty damn fast. They also sell them at Trader Joe’s but I’d imagine they’re more expensive there. I think Costco is just one big psychological game of buying in bulk. Cans of Coke are sold at Costco in packs of 24, but they’re the same price in Ralphs with the Ralphs Club discount. The thing I don’t like about Coke is that California Redemption Value thing they tag on you at the last minute — that’s such a load of crap. Because even if I were to take the trouble to recycle my cans, I’m not going to go to one of those machines where I have to manually put in two cans and get a nickel. It’s not worth it. It’s not even worth it to bring big trash bags to recycling centers and have them pay me by the pound.

But back to Ralphs: What’s the deal with stocking every product known to man? How come I can buy a 13-inch TV, a lawn chair, a cordless phone, matzo balls and flowers all in the same store? How many TVs has Ralphs sold, considering there are real appliance stores 100 feet from it?

More importantly, why doesn’t Ralphs sell drugs? Yes, I know they have a pharmacy, but I’m talking about real drugs. Over the counter crack and the like. Don’t you wish designer drugs were really designer drugs? Like you could go up to your designer drug dealer and say, “”Hey, man, first I want my entire vision to turn bright orange, and then I want to trip out on the fact that I’m standing up and my feet are touching the ground, and then I want to be able to see and create objects that I imagine in my mind and touch them, and then I want a really cool body high and I want it to be one really long orgasm the whole time.””

$0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. $0.03. = $3.00. Thanks for your support.