Saturday, February 16, 2008

Will Write for Food

Larry called from work yesterday and the first thing out of his mouth was, "Are you interested in being a whore?"

Not the sort of conversation starter I'm used to from my husband, but we've known each other a long time, so it's OK.

"Do I get a trip out of it?" Naturally, I envisioned a stay in a posh hotel in some cosmopolitan locale. Write about the marble bathrooms and room service. 

"No," he said. "It's advertorial stuff." 

Well, that is whoredom, and not the classy kind, either. The kind where you wear a thong and nothing else under your ratty fake fur as you totter along the boulevard in pinching platforms. (Like in all those late night HBO "documentaries" about prostitution. Or is it Cinemax? I get the dirty shows confused). No room service, no tense dinner with the pr person named Jasmine or Felicia or whatever as she details the plasma screen TV upgrade in the suites. Nothing but a couple of phoners to some guy wearing a bad toupee (you can tell this on the phone) to get pointers about how to choose a financial advisor or how to check the provenance of a piece of art. And yet, the magazine I've worked for these past four years just got sold and the editor I adore was let go. That's what they call it, letting go. We're letting go of you, and you are letting go of your salary. Well, I have been let go by proxy from a semi-steady income.

"How much?" 

Larry paused, maybe out of embarrassment. "Two hundred fifty words. Buck a word. Maybe five hundred words, depending on how many ads sell."

My stomach flipped. Why don't they just throw a couple quarters on the ground? This is not a step forward. This won't fill in any gaps.

Larry waited. "I'll send you the guy's number. Call him if you want."

What are my choices?

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