Bob Franken




I usually have my brainstorms after it’s too late because
A) the ideas are obsolete or
B) someone else thought of them first.
For instance, it would have been a huge moneymaker to be a clearinghouse for personalized face masks. Or autographed ones, like baseball cards or those from your favorite movie character. For example, I have several depicting Hannibal Lecter’s face covering, in spite of the fact that he was a cannibal and I’m a vegetarian. But then, there’s no accounting for taste.
We could have a special camouflage version for white supremacist militias, although they never indicated any tendency to wear masks, just hoods. Or perhaps masks with a picture of Joe Biden on them featuring a thumbs-down hand gesture, or thumbs-up. Or some other digit. The same for Biden’s predecessor.
In the case of whozit, the design could incorporate a faded spot by his mouth where he tried to swallow some bleach. And with Biden’s picture, it could show him with his foot in his mouth. (Actually, he’s done fairly well thus far, but let’s face it, it’s just a matter of time.)
Brilliant? Regrettably, this particular business scheme occurs to me just after Covid vaccines have spread to millions of arms and the interest in masks has tanked, no matter what Anthony Fauci says. This is one of those rare occasions where people won’t be taking your advice, Tony. Perhaps the next time you throw out the first pitch at a ballgame, they can give away Tony Fauci bobbleheads wearing teeny tiny face masks.
By now, everyone’s breath has been taken away with my entrepreneurial shrewdness, notwithstanding its tardiness.
Here’s another idea that might be a tad late. An enterprising chain of portrait photographers could have worked out a deal with the federal government to set up at every vaccine site in America. They could take a shot of people getting their shot, just like the portrait backdrops at JCPenney or Kmart, where you’d take the kiddies. And just like the youngsters, it could show the vaccine recipient as the needle goes in, bursting into tears.
Come to think of it, there is still a market for pictures … of kids returning to school. They’re going to need yearbook portraits, so they can write those inane comments around them. And they will certainly want to remember the visuals of prom and homecoming, otherwise known as super-spreader events.
In any case, the setup could be a bonus offered by Pfizer or Moderna where you’d get two chances to get the perfect shot-snap in a snapshot. Of course, in Johnson & Johnson’s case, it would be limited to “one and done.” But it at least would pay the severance of the entire J & J corporate public-relations staff after they’ve been fired.
Still, the biggest long-existing endeavor of all in Washington is the influence peddling game. The usual career path is a resume-building gig in government and then through the revolving door to the private sector. In D.C., “private sector” means “feeding frenzy,” as the gluttonous lobbyists scarf up whatever action they can consume.
Joe Biden has set out a full table to binge on called an infrastructure bill, which includes every bit of construction ever invented and touches every social program. Not only that, but it will be financed by taxing rich people. So a mob of lobbyists will be coming out of the woodwork. The more persuasive they can be and, more importantly, the better their connections, they will determine not whether they prevail, but how many billable hours they can accumulate.
What these ideas all have in common is they are accompanied by cries of “Now, why didn’t I think of that?” Except for lobbying, of course. Prostitution is called the “world’s oldest profession,” except in Washington, where it’s lobbying. And trying to determine the difference.

© 2021 Bob Franken
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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