119 Ways to Survive a Recession

(Originally written for Radar, October 2008)

#1. Maybe it’s time to put that dig ol’ bick to use?

#2. Move into an unfinished basement in one of the McCain houses

#3. Impregnate the shit out of Jamie Lynn

#4. Instead of Mariah playing birthday party, get Whitney

#5. Have sex with Maria Bartiromo; listen closely to the secrets she mumbles in the dead of night

#6. Type “NEEDIN’ MONEY REAL BAD” on the “What Are You Doing Right Now?” post on Facebook

#7. Open up that Christmas-themed store you’ve had your eye on since they announced their “Going Out of Business” sale in 1998

#8. No longer allow your helper-monkey to collect overtime pay

#9. Adopt a thick German accent, dye your hair red, slip on some Woody Allen glasses, and then pretend your last name is Rockefeller

#10. Finish winterizing that cardboard box

#11. Invest in a safer stock market than ours–perhaps in Guyana, Ethiopia or The Republic of Georgia

#12. Finally sell off all those pristine, still-in-the-box Love Guru toys

#13. From now on: Fake gold on the heads of your ironic pimp canes

#14. Collect the $200 that Puck from Real World San Francisco borrowed from you back in ’94

#15. Take over for Aiken in Spamalot

#16. Stop taking all those fancy designer drugs when the regular kind do the trick just as well

#17. Storm into the closest government office and demand a $700 billion bailout

#18. Make your own Sour Cream & Onion Pringles

#19. Scale back three-week vacation at Minneapolis Hard Rock Café

#20. Eat from neighbors’ garbage instead of from pricey restaurant garbage

#21. Outsource family to Bangladesh

#22. Wait until the latest M. Night Shyamalan blockbuster comes out on DVD and then ignore it at that point, also

#23. Notify sponsored African child that you’ll be needing your rice rations back, and real soon

#24. Hold off on second pec implant

#25. Find out if there are free online alternatives to magazine pornography

#26. Ask gym if they give discounts to people pointing a gun in their face

#27. Consider redeeming $325 million Powerball ticket

#28. Get free babysitting from visibly aroused man you found near playground

#29. Swap paper books and newspapers for total cultural ignorance

#30. Use spreadsheet to track exactly how much money is going to what orifice on which prostitute

#31. Snatch the fish from the dolphin trainer’s hand

#32. Don’t wash clothes until someone slaps a biohazard label on you

#33. Ask kids to point to the pet that should be euthanized

#34. Only buy from the discounted medical-supplies’ rack at the dollar store

#35. Remember that Spam makes a great meal, as well as a perfect Sweet 16 gift

#36. Obtain more affordable medical care with Mexican doctor/chicken gutter

#37. Go food shopping only to purchase necessities or to fill existential void

#38. Stop taking “must-see” movie so literally

#39. Find a coke dealer that accepts coupons

#40. Sell urine to trappers

#41. Flush toilet only when ordered to by EPA

#42. Save your sole, go barefoot!

#43. Invest heavily in drunk brother-in-law’s start-up alpaca farm

#44. Get every other finger manicured

#45. Extract decaying wisdom teeth at home with well-placed roundhouse punches

#46. Save on condom bills by ejaculating out the window

#47. Only shop at Ikea. Wait until furniture falls apart in a month. Only shop at Ikea. Repeat.

#48. Save electricity by using non-electric lung

#49. Ask Scientology recruiter if Xenu will contribute to health insurance

#50. Try drawing a better life with a purple crayon like that Harold kid

#51. Stop shampooing dog in Dom Perignon

#52. Put down life savings on horse only if some guy tells you it’s a sure thing

#53. Ask exiled Nigerian treasury minister if he’ll accept an IOU

#54. Remember, it’s not panhandling if you’re wearing a smart tie

#55. Ask yourself if you really need to live in such an exclusive tornado-ravaged trailer park

#56. As a Trump University alumnus, surely you’re recession-proof, right?

#57. Throw your own Burning Man festival

#58. Find a whore who accepts Medicaid

#59. Only purchase items using cash or in exchange for degrading jig

#60. Rent out your basement to that guy who sleeps in the park and calls himself “Blades”

#61. Move home and live rent-free with your 98-year-old parents and their nursing staff

#62. Make your own porn instead of buying it

#63. Put off those Krump-dancing lessons at the YMCA for a spell

#64. Get into this “cocaine business” you’ve been hearing so much about

#65. Barter feathers and shiny pebbles at your local Gap, Best Buy, and Sam’s Club

#66. Don’t panic and sell your property on the moon—it’s only going to gain in value

#67. Put your dream of being a short-order fry cook on hold, and get a real job

#68. Re-use plastic grocery bags for slippers

#69. Only tip bathroom attendants after making a “number two”

#70. Patent some of your fantastic money-making ideas. For instance, the edible wig.

#71. Start a religion based on a science fiction book, then get super rich celebrities and average morons to join

#72. Develop a process to extract the silver lining from clouds

#73. Limit Franklin Mint’s Gone with the Wind figurine purchases to three a week

#74. Save money by only indulging your diaper fetish on holidays and special occasions

#75. Train your dog to rob banks

#76. Move to a South American jail, where the dollar goes much further

#77. Internet too expensive? What’s wrong with a C.B. Radio, good buddy?

#78. Get your ass on Deal Or No Deal? and right quick

#79. Buy two thousand weekly lottery tickets instead of just one

#80. Escape into a magical winter wonderland imagined by Thomas Kinkade

#81. Drop your pricey insurance plan and receive medical care from that “doctor” who practices on the F train

#82. Buy all the stock you can get your hands on from the makers of Wild Irish Rose wine

#83. Hide all your money and assets in the folds of your skin

#84. Masturbate to fantasies that don’t involve expensive dinners or nights out on the town

#85. When chewing pencil, swallow and digest

#86. Solar power your daughter’s heart monitor

#87. When stealing candy, target smaller children with less prehensile grip strength

#88. Switch to scratch ticket brand with a luckier-sounding name

#89. Sew dollar signs on tuxedo and strut around, actin’ all rich and shit

#90. Refinance your mafia loans

#91. Junk food leads to diabetes, which leads to amputated limbs, which add up to beaucoup weight loss

#92. Eschew costly computers; write business letters with cut-out words from magazines

#93. Refill color inkjet cartridges with your spit after eating Skittles

#94. Have sex in hamster wheel; use lovemaking energy to charge fridge

#95. Sneak up on people in the dark, stab them, use their money to pay bills

#96. Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal . . . really so crazy?

#97. Guess you’ll have to stop wasting so much money on child support

#98. Learn some Bob Marley tunes and busk, busk, busk

#99. Gas oven suicides run up utility bills. Try rope.

#100. Be a lonely hermit beholden to and financially responsible for no one

#101. Forget expensive penis pills; a Taser to the junk swells ‘er up just fine

#102. Guess now you have no choice but to download music without paying

#103. Collect feral cats; hope for a run on the feral cat market

#104. Consider second career as dyed-green, garbage-dwelling Grouch

#105. Maybe you can’t afford to be a wino — try being a rummy or a gin hound

#106. No one ever went broke preying on lonely old widowers

#107. Apply to be a Gypsy

#108. Eat dirt. It’s that effing simple.

#109. No man is poor who has two kidneys

#110. Invite vandals into your home; hope for a run on graffiti art

#111. Run on treadmill, punch the air, scream “Yeah, baby!” all while watching Fox Business News

#112. Play the gee-tar on the MTV. That ain’t workin’, that’s the way you do it.

#113. That tip jar’s just sitting there. Just sayin’.

#114. Watch the MC Hammer “Behind The Music” — try not to do that

#115. Pan sorority girl blood for Goldschlager flakes

#116. Grow giant bazoomers; marry rich old dude; shrink bazoomers; joke’s on you, old dude!

#117. Notary license = license to print money

#118. One stripper pole in your crib is okay; two is pushing it

#119. Save yourself the time and effort and just fuck yourself up the ass, because, buddy, you are screwed

–With Scott Jacobson, Todd Levin, Jason Roeder, and Ted Travelstead