If you’re like me, you’re really kicking yourself for missing out on a cut of the federal bailout money.

Through sleepess nights, I ask myself, “Self, why didn’t you run a Fortune 50 company into the ground? What has Rick Wagoner got that you haven’t got?” (Answer: about $20 million.) 

My admiration for the GM CEO, along with the employees of Goldman Sachs and AIG , all of whom are getting mad ducats in the bailout, is tempered by the realization that I am a slacker: when I could have been out hustling sub-prime mortgages, I was sitting in my office writing about the similarities between investment clubs and the kangaroo cults that Durkheim studied amongst Aboriginal Australians.

To quote from another Story of Wall Street, “Ah, Bartleby! Ah, humanity!”

So now I have to bail myself out, with no help from Uncle Sam. Necessity being the mother of invention, I’ve hit on a few ideas I like to call “Plan i,” in which the i stands either for innovation or for imaginary number. It depends how well my plans work out.

But surely one of these strokes of genius will catapult me into champagne wishes and caviar dreams territory:


1) Get adopted by Madonna

Reliable sources say she’s heartbroken over the rejection of her bid to adopt a young girl from a Malawian orphanage. I can hook a sister up! I’m female, younger than Madge, and no judge can come between us. Problem solved!


2) Write romance novels.

The romance genre–known in the trade as “women’s fiction”–is the only area of publishing that’s growing! And practically the only corner of the industry that still accepts manuscripts over the transom from unknowns. According to a recent article in Publisher’s Weekly, profits were up over 11% at Harlequin–one of the oldest publishers of romance novels, now entering its 60th year in business–during 2008, when virtually every other part of the economy was hemmorhaging cash.



3) Get married.

For many American Protestants, Catholics, agnostics and atheists, weddings used to involve registering for gifts–stuff like bed linens and appliances to help the young couple set up their household. Now, understandably, it’s all about the Benjamins.

But how does one convey that one wants a chunk of bailout money, without being crass? You could invite the entire United States Congress to your wedding, but they get drunk and noisy and start filibustering the groomsmen during the ceremonial toasts. Emily Post is useless on this question, so I’m going with advice from the Wall Street Journal :


…And those are just my top three ideas. Lots more where those came from. Take fancy dog sweaters, for example–have you seen what those things cost? Redonkulus. I can knock one of those suckers out in an evening watching TV. Look out world, I’ve got my cable needles and Ima get my tycoon on!

What’s your Plan i?