Sunday, September 18, 2011

Everything's Worth Nothin' Until It's Paid For

As of the mid-2010's there were 15 million IT professionals, 9.5 million physicians and between 10 to 15 million engineers worldwide. All highly paid professionals, all with a healthy disposable income, and all known for leading generally humorless lives.

Laughter boosts the immune system, triggers the release of endorphins, improves the function of blood vessels, increases blood flow and reduces the chances of heart attacks. But professionals, especially those in the fields above, won't take the time for a snort, a guffaw or a chortle. They are humor deprived. Why? Because it uses up valuable time and it's free. Laughing is considered to be a waste of time. But what would happen if they paid for it?

You see where I'm heading here. Charge people to laugh? Ridiculous?

How many of us have been on vacation and it hasn't turned out to be the splendid time we wished it would have been but we've said to ourselves, "Hell, I've paid a lot of money for this vacation and I'm damned well going to enjoy myself!" Or imagine not paying a shrink several hundred dollars an hour to talk about our neuroses. What value would that be then? We might as well be talking to an absolute stranger about our innermost thoughts. User fees are all around us in night classes, community services and parking lots. We have pay-per-view movies, pay-per-use cell phones and pay-per-click ads. Nothing is valuable until you pay for it. And if you're paying hard-earned cash to do something you tend to find time to work it into your schedule.

By 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be 2,125,700 top executives just in the United States alone. All earning from hundreds of thousands of dollars to more than $1 million annually. You won't find many of them laughing, I'll bet. Unless someone were to give them the opportunity to pay for it. Picture this: soundproof, strategically situated pay-per-laugh kiosks outfitted with two things: a fun house mirror and a list of laugh-at-yourself tips on the back of the door. Brilliant, right?

If I'm not around in the coming days I'm out trying to find old pay toilets to renovate.


  1. I laughed hard today.... and it didn't cost me anything but I earned a lot while I do it... hahah! What irony. I laughed while working. Met some very interesting characters that made that very easy... haha! :D I don't pay for laughter most days. It's usually so easy to find for free.

  2. Hmmmph. Obviously you're not part of the target audience... lol