17 April 2009

Larry Whitson Needs Work

[Note to readers: The Shark Tank is happy to give up some space today for a friend. Larry Whitson has been hit hard by the downturn in the economy. Normally this isn't a charity blog, but Larry is a good guy and he's willing to work for his dollar. The floor is yours, my friend.]

I appreciate being given the time to write directly to you fine people. I won't lie. It took a fair bit of pride swallowing to ask for this opportunity. Normally I wouldn't come to anyone, hat in hand, but desperate times call for desperate measures. And these are desperate times. You see, about a month ago, I was laid off. I've worked at the Speak n Spell factory in downtown Houston for about 25 years. I can't say it came as a shock. A bunch of us had a feeling something was going down, on account of the economy being so bad, and on account of us not having made a single Speak n Spell since 1990. But, of course, the real problem hit when Odamna got elected. That's right, you call him Obama, but I call him Odamna. Because O damn (a), what the hell happened to my job?

I had some savings. Not much. The wife...well she doesn't work. She's pretty well got her hands full with the 6 kids. Together, they've just about eaten through the savings (and then some). So, yeah, I'm in a bit of a pickle. The job market...christ, don't even get me going. Anyway, this is my last stop before heading out to the side of Highway 92 with a cardboard sign. I hope at least a few of you have a heart and I also hope you understand that I'm not asking for any handouts. Not in the least bit. I refuse to take so much as a single dollar without earning it. I want to be a man of service. A contributor to society, not a drain.

With that spirit in mind, I want to lay out some monetary figures. Don't get ruffled or step back with your hands in the air...these are just off the top of my head. I'm in a real jam here so trust me, these amounts are negotiable.

For $1: I'll write you a nice little poem and have my 3 year old son Tristan put his tiny little thumbprint on it.

For $15: I'll come out to your house and walk your dogs morning, noon, and night. Limit 3 dogs.

For $25: I'll come take your trash out. Every room in the house. I'll even do it for a moderately sized business, if you don't employ a janitor.

For $30: I'll come out and mow your lawn. Front, back, and sides.

For $37: I'll come out and mow your lawn. Front, back, and sides. I'll also eat the grass clippings and any yard varmints that get caught up in the mower.

For $49: I'll put on a Tyrannosaurus Rex costume and whistle the theme from Doogie Howser M.D. and then sleep under your bed for a month.

For $55: I'll paint a picture of Adolf Hitler riding a carousel at an amusement park.

For $76: I'll put a virus on your computer (PC only), remove it, and replace your current wallpaper with a picture of myself wearing a blue Best Buy shirt and no pants.

For $85: I will smoke the latest issue of US magazine.

For $101: I'll do a book report on Huckleberry Finn, written on Hello Kitty stationary.

For $125: I'll slap you so hard you'll see stars and possibly pass out for a few moments. Then I'll put my fingers in your ears.

Again, please note that these figures are merely meant as a starting point. If you'd like to negotiate, or if you have any other tasks or services that you require, please let me know. I am very open minded and very, very broke.


dizzblnd said...

LOVE IT! OK I have $125 Ishould be using to feed my family, but frankly, I need the rest so if you can slap me (preferably in the ass) til I pass out, I'd be ever so grateful!

Winky Twinky said...

I could have used that book report...but I don't like Hello Kitty, so that's out....though I could go for a guy under my bed!!

Helen said...

Wow... paypal please!!!

Anonymous said...

I'll take the $49 special please. I used to love Doogie. Did you see the SNL digital short when they had NPH playing the theme song on a keyboard with all the other cast members contributing?

shopgirl101 said...

I'm liking the $49 T-Rex/Doogie Howser combo. But could you gently spoon me at night instead of sleeping under the bed? Thanks!

Shawn said...

Dizz: Thank you for thinking of others instead of your own family in these difficult times.

Winky: I'm sure Larry would be willing to write it on the stationary of your choice. Or on your walls, if you prefer.

Helen: Larry will be in touch with contact information.

FTU: Yes, that short was so good it almost made me cry. I remember when the Digital Shorts used to be the worst part of SNL. Now they're usually the best.

Shopgirl: Well, Larry is a married man. Still, with the costume on...I guess there's no harm.

alantru said...

I need someone to dance the can-can in a music hall (oh, you'll have to build the music hall) to a group of Turkish sailors. And I need you to do it while basting a turkey. How much?

Chris said...

I'll take 1 poem because ... well ... I'm a cheap, selfish b*stard.

Having said that, $1 is a bit much. I've got 75 cents - take it or leave it.

I Hate Commercials said...

can the $49 plan include whitsling in costume on my neighbors porch?

Jenn Thorson said...

I appreciate the wide variety of services being offered.

You know, so few people get involved in strictly niche services, when clearly they need to diversify to grab the greatest audience.

DouglasDyer said...

Here's $80. Keep the change. Now, why are you still wearing pants?

Shawn said...

Alan: That seems like kind of a silly request, don't you think? I mean, Larry's here looking for legit work opportunities, and you're being ridiculous.

Chris: I don't know if Larry will be able to top your "Ode the the Bus Driver". Especially not for 75 cents.

I Hate Commercials: I think that can almost certainly be arranged.

Jenn: Precisely. Larry understands that there are a lot of services you can find in the phone book. And a lot of services you can't.

Douglas: THANK YOU for your generosity! Larry will be over shortly. Please hide the children.

Marissa said...

I'll take the painting of Hitler riding on a carousel, but he has to be wearing full ballerina gear and a tiara. It would look so nice in the nursery.

Dog Breath said...

How much for pulling weeds by the acre?

I have exactly one acre of weeds.

Blicky Kitty said...

OMG he must be so busy now offering this kind of service. I can't decide between having him do Hitler on a carousel for my formal dining area and the computer wallpaper. My husband might object to the no pants part at first, but it's for such a great cause and he might end up liking it.

Maybe he could paint me a lg. scale mural of Hitler in a Best Buy t-shirt with no pants.

Stickman said...

How much to walk 4 dogs (except they aren't so much dogs, as they are goats) while wearing the T-Rex costume and slapping a burning US Magazine out of a Huckelberry Finn costumed Doogie Howser's mouth as he takes out the trash? And maybe throw in a poem about Hitler riding a carousel at Best Buy.

I don't need my lawn done, having the 4 goats and all.

Jeff Tompkins said...

This is a great example of someone pulling themselves up by their bootstraps, a kind of one-man "Stimulus Package." (Also, "stimulus package" is a factor in the $76 deal, but I am not going to mention it, hence the parentheses.)

Jen said...

I'd like the lawn mowing service but I have managed to lose my lawn, I suspect the varmits got at it. If he lays some sod in the t-rex costume I'll throw in an extra $5.

Heather Cherry said...

What would you charge to walk my pit bull?

P.S. I dub thee King of Random. Of course, I'm speaking to Larry, not you, Shawn. So don't get all grabby with the new title.

Shawn said...

Marissa: Though he didn't explicitly say so, I'm pretty sure that's exactly how he intends to paint that picture.

Dog Breath: I'll have to get back to you on that...that's a lot of weeds though, man.

Blicky: Hitler in the Best Buy shirt (and no pants), eh? I like the way you think. I'll make sure and run it by him.

Stickman: That's going to be pretty costly, I imagine. Not just because you've combined almost everything, but because that specific combination would put Larry on the Homeland Security watchlist.

Jeff: He had originally offered "pull myself up by my bootstraps" as a performance act, but quickly realized he wasn't strong enough to do it.

Jen: It's a deal, he'll be at your house at 4:00 in the morning. That's when he likes to work. From 4:00 to 4:30.

Heather: Larry saw the video of Snuggles viciously attacking that sheep. $1000.

Thinkinfyou said...

And here I thought I was the only person that had the whole Dinosaur/Doogie Howser fetish.

ReformingGeek said...

How much to just shoot me now?

Dalton J. Fox said...

if I pay extra, can you get Doogie Howser to come with you to mow my lawn? I'd be willing to add at least an extra 3 bucks for that.

Wendy said...

What would be the cost for potty training a toddler? Also, shaving off a person's back hair? (Um, I'm asking for a friend, not for myself. Well, the toddler is mine but not, uh, the back hair.)

Snuggles said...

Hay! In my defense, the sheep totally provoked me. Sheep are known for being instigators, you know.

Tina said...

Maybe you should start by getting rid of one of the six kids. Kids are expensive!

Shawn said...

Thinkinfyou: No, it's actually quite common, believe it or not.

Reforming: Larry wants to know if that's a serious request.

Dalton: That might be difficult, I think NPH likes to think he's moved past that.

Wendy: Unfortunately, Larry has no experience with potty training, as he missed most of his childrens' important moment slaving away at the factory.

Snuggles: I didn't know that. Nor did I know you had your own Blogger profile.

Tina: Larry wants to know if you're offering to adopt.

Ian said...

Not a very nice guest. Don't invite him back again.

Michael said...

"The wife...well she doesn't work. She's pretty well got her hands full with the 6 kids."

When Larry's wife reads that his problems may be solved. His widow's next husband will be worrying about how to feed the family.

Surveygirl46 said...

I might take you up on that $55 deal for adolph on that carousel. My Mom has alzheimers and tells everyone she meets that she knew him personally, and I think that painting would make a great birthday gift!

Shawn said...

Ian: He's quite nice...just troubled.

Michael: Yeah, I see what you're saying. Still, raising the ragamuffins isn't bringing in the cash.

Surveygirl: Excellent! He'll be thrilled.

Diesel said...

You know, Google provides most of those services for free these days. I'm just sayin'.

alantru said...

You're right of course.

And please extend my apologies to Larry.

Okay. We'll pass on the can-can -- for now. I've got 37 dollars. He can eat my grass clippings. I'll even throw in a free glass of water for the poor fellow

Dog Breath said...

How is Larry's liver?

Is that in good shape?

I'll give him $200 for half.

Shawn said...

Diesel: Will you get the personal service and the friendly warmth from Google, though? I think not.

Alan: That's better. Larry, however, prefers to wash down his grass clippings with Maker's Mark.

Dog Breath: Years of working in a dirty Speak n Spell factory has rendered Larry's liver almost completely useless. He refuses to charge more than $19, purely out of principle.

Kirsten said...

Clarification needed. Is the Hitler painting on velvet? If not, you're asking entirely too much!

alantru said...

You have a sharp eye!

David said...

If you really want to work - how much for a theraputic massage with a happy ending?

I'm feeling very tense these days, what with the economy the way it is.

Shawn said...

Kirsten: The painting will be watercolors on tracing paper.

Alan: I do?

David: It is, how you say, 99 cents.