Business idea: Rent a platonic friend

With all the trouble public figures have gotten into lately getting caught with escort services, it’s occurred to me that someone with the right qualifications has a unique opportunity to make a lot of money.

All the navel-gazing about why anyone would pay up to $7000 for a service that typically maxes out at around $500 has pointed to one thing: Rich and powerful people need companionship and privacy, something that’s not typically offered by your run-of-the-mill $500 prostitute. Since politicians and other public figures may be starting to realize that paying for sex isn’t a very good career move, they’ve got a lot of extra spending money lying around, and they still need companionship.

That’s where my business idea comes in. What’s needed is some way to match up affluent people with overeducated, underemployed people with a lot of time on their hands. After all, a rich person isn’t going to spend quality time with just anyone. But fortunately, the internet has a solution:

Bloggers.

That’s right, bloggers are the perfect people to fulfill every desire of rich and powerful people, with the exception of one relatively cheap, commodity service. And since that one missing service could also destroy these folks’ careers, it’s the one service they’re probably most willing to do without.

The business would work like this: There’s a central clearinghouse that would allow rich people to hire bloggers by the hour to be their platonic friends. Since most bloggers have at least one liberal arts degree, they can chat about any subject the rich and powerful would like to discuss. Since they’re already being handsomely paid for their services, they wouldn’t ever be in the awkward position of asking their patrons for favors. The rich and famous person need never feel guilty about not calling if, say, their rent-a-friend’s dog died. Money erases all embarrassing social gaffes. It’s a no-commitment platonic relationship!

I envision the service priced in tiers, something like this:

The Divine Proportion
$6,500/hour
All bloggers in this group have at least one Ph.D. from an Ivy-League university. Their Technorati rankings are above 1,000, and they have at least two completed manuscripts that are making the rounds with agents. They have Wikipedia pages that they didn’t create themselves. All have been trained to mix the perfect Martini, and for an extra $500, they promise not to talk about themselves or their blogs.

The Salon
$5,500/hour
All bloggers in this group have a Ph.D. from a top-tier state school or an M.A. from an Ivy. Their Technorati rankings are above 5,000, and they’re well over 50,000 words into their first novel. They have made fewer than five edits on their personal Wikipedia pages. They don’t usually get embarrassingly drunk in public. An extra $500 will ensure they don’t talk about themselves, but there’s no guarantee about their blogs.

The Saloon
$4,500/hour
All bloggers in this group have or are currently in process of completing a liberal-arts B.A. Their Technorati rankings are above 20,000, and they’re thinking about writing a novel. They personally know more than 5 of their Facebook friends.

The Mosh Pit
$3,500/hour
All bloggers in this group can read at an eighth-grade level. They have posted more than ten YouTube videos. They have gone sub-one-minute on Mario-Kart: Double-Dash, Rainbow Road.

All Rent-A-Platonic-Friend bloggers would sign non-disclosure agreements, so patrons need never worry about disclosing embarrassing stories or trade secrets to their paid companions. The service would be 100 percent discreet.

Since this is MY idea, I expect anyone who actually executes this plan to offer me a royalty. I’ll be reasonable — just five percent of net income would work fine for me. And if you need someone to write copy for your web site, you know who to call!

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2 Responses to Business idea: Rent a platonic friend

  1. Ari says:

    Hey, I’m no blogger, too inconsistant for that.

    I am, however, offering platonic services in paradise, via CL.

    I googled “paid platonic companion” and found your blog.

    Groovy. Spread the word. My prices are much cheaper since I’m in the development stage.

    The non-disclosure is a good idea. Also the extra money not to talk about one’s self! LOL! Brilliant!

    Perhaps I will hire you to assist in tounge-in-cheek ads for me. I would happily pay 5 percent.

    I have the fodder for a few novels…where to begin. Highly informally self-educated though.*sigh*

    I am an art model, so among my offerings is introduction to the local nude each, etiquette, etc. I even permit photography and video. I have an impeccable reputation in the art modeling industry, so I can even provide references as to my legitimate beauty as well as the ease of being around me!

    I made an email address for this, if you are interested. I doubt clients would care to be included in a blog, but I did think a random website address with testimonials might be a good idea.

    Peace,

    Ari

  2. Greg Laden says:

    “Ari” That’s a man’s name, right? Just want to make sure before making any decisions.

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