Ghost Writer (Compensation: $15/hour plus bonus)
Very busy executive would like to hire a writer to send emails on his behalf on personal dating websites. And do a few emails back and forth to get the ball rolling. This person needs to know how to write in a masculine, but romantic, way and at the same time create a challenge for the reader of the email.
This is an actual, unabridged classified advertisement. No kidding. I scan postings like these regularly in search of freelance writing work. Something tells me I ought to employ search engine minimization techniques here to avoid attracting the wrong sort of attention to the blog, which could be irremediable, but I can’t help it. I’ve been laughing all day.
Imagine the negotiations between the harried executive and his articulate stand-in, Cyrano, who wisely would refrain from asking these questions:
- If you’re that busy, why not streamline the entire process, reduce the paperwork, and go the traditional route? (Do pimps even exist anymore?) YouTube has downsized a major business. You can now deal directly with the source, who probably accepts PayPal.
- Dating websites? Aren’t they designed to make this process as simple, straightforward, and expedient as possible? And it’s still too much effort? See #1.
- What exactly does “get the ball rolling” mean? I’m afraid to ask.
- Did the inspiration for this strategy come from Pierre Bayard’s How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read? You might need Bayard’s helpful tips after the ball starts rolling. Or were you planning to hire a stunt double for the tricky parts?
- Does Cyrano need to know the gender of the object of desire? Maybe not.
- What’s the challenge method? Oh, right; it’s Cyrano’s job to design that. And there’s a bonus involved.
- In the process of outsourcing the romance, might you be skipping the most tantalizing part of the game by eliminating the suspense of not knowing whether you’ll be rejected? Seriously. I’m wondering how much tedious, burdensome, annoying ecstasy you can delegate and still call it dating.
Asynchronous lovemaking, anyone? Somehow this particular ad reminds me of a West Side outlaw motorcycle gang an old partner once told me about—the one with no motorcycles.