Them That Has, Gets
Doesn't it strike you as more than a little unfair that so much largesse seems to fall into the laps of those whose laps are already overflowing?
For example, the gorgeous cheerleader has hunky boyfriends up to her pom-poms, so to speak. The wealthy tycoon is the first to learn about a hot new investment which doubles his net worth before the echo of the market's opening bell has faded. Frequent flyers get frequent flyer miles that enable them to fly even more frequently, amassing still more miles as they go. The list goes on and on.
At the top of this inventory of injustice, as far as I'm concerned, are the huge amounts of money made in endorsements by those who already receive outrageous payments for playing games, spitting, scratching their crotches, and screaming obscenities at coaches, umpires and referees.
Of course, not everyone who reaps these commercial harvests is nasty. Some are perfectly nice people. But so am I. And so are you, I'm sure. Why can't we share this jackpot? For a million bucks or so, I'd be happy to "just do it" in my Nikes, and I'd be more than willing to be photographed with a milk mustache for all the national magazines, or tout the pleasures of a luxury cruise ship a la Kathy Lee Gifford. Heck, I'd even agree to take an expense-paid cruise to authenticate my pitch.
I might even risk a social call to the Oval Office if The National Enquirer made an offer. But they'd better hurry. President Clinton won't be in residence much longer; and somehow I think (and sincerely hope) his successor will not provide such salaciously interesting copy.
Even royalty is cashing in. Weight Watchers® probably paid Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, enough to buy her own small castle, complete with a well-equipped fitness center. And I doubt that she had to pay the weekly meeting charge either. In fact, I'm sure she never attended a single one. I, on the other hand, graced them with my presence faithfully--and shelled out my fee every time. But did they offer me a king's (or duchess's) ransom to do commercials for them? Of course not. Apparently rank does have its privileges.
Furthermore, I bet I eat as much Jello® as Bill Cosby ever did-maybe more-but Kraft Foods isn't begging my agent for my services to help sell the stuff. Come to think of it, I don't have an agent. But that's no excuse. I'll be happy to take their calls directly, or they can e-mail me at OfferLot$$aBuck$.com.
And what about William Shattner? His Star Trek residuals don't satisfy him? I wonder if I can name my own price to launch him back into outer space and take over his Priceline® contract?
The list goes on:
Consider Oprah's personal chef, Rosie Daley, who I'm sure was rewarded handsomely for her culinary duties and then also reaped royalties by sharing her recipes in her best-selling book, "In the Kitchen With Rosie." I have the same first name. Shouldn't that count for something?
As if Regis Philbin isn't already disgustingly rich, he's now sponsoring a line of Millionaire shirts and ties. By contrast, I'd be happy to lend my name to a line of tacky clothes for the financially challenged. Are you listening, Seventh Avenue?
Then there's the lovely Liz who has mined enough gold from her White Diamonds® to finance the purchase of a slew of multi-colored, high-carat gems to brighten the dark recesses of her jewelry vault.
And let's not forget George Forman who is probably making more money touting his grills than he ever did in the ring? Would anyone ever buy one if George wasn't already rich and famous? Seriously. If I were to go on TV peddling my own blend of wrinkle cream, for example, would it sell? Of course not. Especially if I had to submit to close-ups. Which gives me an idea! Maybe I can get the Thigh Master® people to pay me to assert publicly that I do NOT use their machine. Suzanne Somers can do the "after" shots. I'll be happy to do the "befores"-and at half her salary.
Or, better yet, I could do voiceovers and not have to worry about my appearance at all. I'm sure Lauren Bacall doesn't even bother to slap on lipstick before purring into a microphone to extol the virtues of FancyFeast® to finicky felines.
Yes, I'm envious, but there are a few celebrities who couldn't pay me enough to replace them: For example, June Allyson's Depends® account is safe; I wouldn't touch it (even with disposable gloves). And Florence Henderson doesn't have to worry about my stealing her Polident® commercials. Do you think I'd ever imply on national TV that my teeth and I might not sleep together?
But the award for ultimate bad taste in advertising has to go to Bob Dole and his Viagra® pitch. Why in the world would a former highly-respected senator go public with his admission that he wasn't up to the job? I know, I know. He did it in the name of helping the millions of men who suffer ED (erectile dysfunction); but I think it was more a case of BD (brain dysfunction).
To prove that I'm not completely bitter about not being in a position to share the endorsements windfall, I'd like to extend kudos to Paul Newman who uses the proceeds of his Newman's Own® products to fund a camp for seriously ill children. I always knew he was classy, as well as gorgeous. I would love to express my feelings in person; so if you're reading this, Paul, let me know where and when we can meet. You can reach me at AbsolutelySmitten.com.
Editor's Note: Rose Mula's most recent book, The Beautiful People and Other Aggravations, is now available at your favorite bookstore, through Amazon.com and other online bookstores, and through Pelican Publishing (800-843-1724), as is her previous book, If These Are Laugh Lines, I'm Having Way Too Much Fun.