It's said that it costs around $200,000 to raise a kid from birth to the age of 18. That's a significant amount of money: Enough for a low-end Ferrari, a modest home in the Midwest somewhere or a lifetime of Fourth Meals. Why the hell would you want to waste it on something as pedestrian as child-rearing?
Thankfully, there are ways to have your children pay you back, often without them even knowing it and--like icing on the cake--you can do it all without technically breaking the law! Well, man's law anyways; you'll be breaking the shit out of several moral and spiritual laws.
If you're really hard-up for cash, like if you're right above the stage of selling your own blood, you can volunteer your body for use in clinical trials. It's good money if you've got a solid pain tolerance and love cancer. Or, if you've got kids, you can have all of the upside (ie, cash) and none of the potential side effects! That's right, you can volunteer your stupid kids instead!
What exactly do they do with the kids? Do they use them as crash test dummies for the next generation of spy car ejection seats? Inject Super-Ebola into their eyeballs? Probably not, but for the right money, we won't ask.
"This will either make him burst into flames, or really burst into flames."
That's right: When children are used in clinical trials, it's the parents that receive compensation. Minors can't even sign forms of consent, but mom and dad can and do, and it's up to junior to bear the brunt of the chemical blitz.
Sure, of course there are strict regulations on trials with children as subjects. But on the flip side, the regulations dictating whether or not children can participate in the studies in the first place are rather loose: As long as they're not provably coerced into participating, inject away, science! After a few weeks of needles and a lifetime of unintended side-effects, maybe next year little Billy will save up for a Prada handbag for Mother's Day instead of this stupid handmade ashtray.
"Well I'm very sorry you've got a terminal case of blood spiders, sweetie, but mommy gots to get paid!"
Wondering what to name your unborn child? It's a tough decision. So fuck it! If something's hard, it's probably that way for a reason. Making things that hard is like the universe's way of warning you of impending danger. Why not outsource the naming to professionals, and maybe make a buck while you're at it?
And by "professionals," we mean "corporate sponsors who will slap their brand on your child's name forever." One of the first attempts at this was by a New York couple, Jason Black and Frances Schroeder who, in 2001, tried to find a corporate sponsor to buy the naming rights of their child for a very reasonable $500,000. They blamed the idea on a fortune cookie.
"It says here 'You will ruin your unborn child's sense of self-worth forever.' Whoa, that's uncanny!"
Another couple, Ryan and Jami Hawkins of Indiana, again tried the stunt in 2004. They asked for the much more realistic reserve price of $8,000, but only for their son's middle name. They listed the auction on eBay and, as the publicity grew, the bidding went all the way up to $7999.99 - but never reached the reserve. Because seriously guys, how stupid do you think the Internet is? We'll drop 30 bucks a month to watch porn stars dressed like librarians get railed by a guy in a duck suit, but nobody's dropping eight grand for the middle name; the unlovable red-headed step-child of names.
But every once in a while, the stunt does work: if the stars are right, if the gods are kind, if the standards are really, really low. Like David Partin, who traded the naming rights of his son for a $100 gas card. The hosts of a local radio show, Dixon and Willoughby, were offering to trade the card for the best offer they received. So, presumably while screaming, "I just don't give a shit, life!" Mr. Partin stepped forward with the offer of his son's identity.
Sometimes you just gotta get 'er done.
So if you find yourself in Florida one balmy night, three sheets to the wind and eyeing that handsome man across the bar who sidles up to you, holds your hand and listens so well, just remember to run like crap if he tells you his name is "Dixon Willoughby Partin." Because there is no fucking way that kid is growing up to be anything but the country's most prolific serial killer.
You can bet on anything: sports, horse races, American Idol, the results of your STD test (come on, Mexican Jumping Chlamydia!) and now even your children. Couples often wait until the child is born to find out the sex, hoping against hope that you'll eventually ask them "Is it a boy or a girl?" At which point they'll answer in unison "We want it to be a surprise!" not realizing the bitter hate that wells up in every human being around them afterward.
Well, now there's another reason besides uncontrollable asshattery to avoid the sonogram: Profit!
Yes, before the little living avatar of crushing responsibility is even brought into this world, you can start making money off of it by placing bets on the gender. English bookmakers, William Hill, quote odds on the sex of an unborn baby as being 10/11 for a boy and 10/11 for a girl.
Yeah, you'd have to lay down some serious cash to see any kind of return with those odds. But don't worry baby, if your parents are gambling on whether or not you'll have a penis, they probably have a wacky back up plan involving some clear tape, a tiny little wig and a cab driver's license.