Friday, November 27, 2009

Secretary Lapre?

My mentor Don Lapre once said "Small ads equal big profits."

Actually, that was pretty much the only thing he said, but he managed to do it in many and varied ways, always with an enthusiasm normally only seen from coke fiends on a four day jag.

This guru clearly provides sage advice in any era but it's especially profound given today's economic climate.

I see you cringing.  "Steve!",  you exclaim.  "Don Lapre is a has-been and when he did have a TV presence on those 3am Making Money infomercials in the 90's, he was a transparently cartoonish huckster.  His utterances were pure nonsense."

My reply is simple: That's the point.  That's his genius.  

And don't forget his good works in the 21st century: "Greatest Vitamin in the World!"  They were some pretty good vitamins, I hear (better even than Flintstone Chewables or - dare I say - Lucy's Vitameatavegamin).

Mr. Lapre is a man whose time has finally come.  Two dimensional (really, closer to 1 1/2 dimensions) and so cartoonish he makes Roger Rabbit seem like Edward R. Murrow.  A guy whose catchphrases - indeed, almost everything he has said or written, including the contents of his Making Money package  - are filled with more mumbo jumbo than Alice through the Looking Glass.

And I know: I bought Making Money back in 1998.  I did it not so I could make money for myself - it was clear it wouldn't be much help there - but to help Don make money.  It was the Pet Rock of Get Rich Quick schemes, minus the rock.  It was magnificence unbounded - truly a sight to behold.  Mainly, I did it out of curiosity and I was most definitely not disappointed.

This is precisely why Don's more essential than ever.  We live in a world where the goings on of our nation's financial industry resemble nothing so much as a Road Runner re-run strained through the worst sort of acid trip and topped with unbridled brilliance in the art of idiocy.

Folks are calling for Tim Geithner's head.  He's a sharp numbers guy, but he's pretty light on charisma, on camera presence, on pitching lumps of shit and making the world see diamonds.   That's Don's sweet spot.  We need to sell small ads to countries with deep pockets and gullibility to spare (not an all that uncommon combination).   Like Don did, we'll start out from "our tiny one-bedroom apartment" at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.  Ship those All American Making Money packages at 50 mil a pop of pure profit.  If anyone can sell it, our boy can.

I say let's welcome Treasury Secretary Don Lapre to the cabinet.