Shitty story

Day 2
Schemes active/complete: 7
Money made: £0.11

Some swift groundskeeping following yesterday’s post. First, happily, my RentAFriend profile was accepted and is now live. I’d have been rather put out if it hadn’t been accepted really, seeing as having ticked that I was happy to partake in any activity from “Yoga” to “Casino” I should somewhat resemble the most sociable person ever.


A bit of a downer was that 118118 have been in contact after I pestered them to start getting paid to answer questions by text (Scheme #31). Their response was just a link to current job vacancies, and one of the project rules is that no scheme can simply be a second job, so 118118 will have to be discarded meaning for the time being I’m forced to stick to wanky Weegy.

Weegying though would have to wait until evening once I was back from work. In the meantime on my lunch hour, rather than have a stroll on the beach or a Wetherspoons burger, I visited my local police station.


This is Scheme #41: Take part in a police identity parade. Advertised on money-making databases such as this and this, just standing and holding a placard with a number written on it and looking slightly shady can bag you £15 a time. It’s not the most lucrative of schemes on a one-off basis, but according to these sources all it takes is to sign up at a police station and once you’re on their books there’s the chance of repeat gigs, particularly if you have a naturally criminal air about you, so it’s a good one to nail down early.

My girlfriend Rowena had voiced concerns when I told her of this plan that I could be falsely accused like in Shawshank Redemption, and that the lifetime erroneous incarceration risk wasn’t outweighed by the £15 reward. I was more unsettled by the thought of being stood shoulder-to-shoulder alongside an actual rapist. All these thoughts squirmed around my brain as I trekked through the drizzle to the station, looking down the whole time of course (#61).


I stood in a queuing area for quarter of an hour staring at an empty reception booth, I must have read the nearby poster about spousal abuse twenty times over. If I’d walked in to confess I’d committed a crime there was no way I would have hung around that long. Eventually a stern-faced ma’am summoned me, and when I explained why I was there, basically told me I’d wasted my time.

“No, we don’t do that here any more,” she barked, angry and confused. “Not just this police station either. Nowhere does that.”

I posited that surely police identity line-ups do still exist in some format, and the best she could offer, just trying to get rid of me at this point, was to continue to check their careers section online in case a parade role arose, so eventually I settled for that.

Upon returning home I thought I’d try a scheme that was more my bag, namely Scheme #173: Write a short story. The most recommended source of paid short story work were the contests at FreelanceWriting, which offers myriad competitions across every genre, from poetry to scripts to non-fiction. What sold it to me was the ease through which you could spool through comparing prize figures (it’s not uncommon for winning writers to waltz away with $1,000 plus) and seeing which contests demanded entrance fees and which didn’t. I quickly settled on:


I’m not the biggest patron of horror – I’ve read the odd Stephen King but most of his work’s bland now he’s not mad on cocaine – but this contest was nice and short and didn’t necessitate any submission fees so I nestled down with some beers and tried to think of something spooky.

Whilst I’m not impartial to a bit of fiction prose, even having spent 3 years dissecting the stuff at Uni, it’s never my first choice to write. I’ll always take concocting a gonzo journalism piece over a novella; the closest I came to the latter was writing a chapter of a story I conceived about a moth who falls in love with a lightbulb. It was going to be called ‘Light Hearted’ and I was a good thousand words deep before I realised what a stupid idea it was.

A rapid brainstorm later I decided to set my horror story on the toilet. Everyone feels vulnerable on the toilet, it’s the great equaliser of people, and lavatorial terror seemed a tempting gap in the market whilst on my fourth Budweiser.

What didn’t help was trying to write with Weegy constantly chiming in the background. I really do need to keep that site open as much as possible in order to hit the $20 minimum required before I can cash out, but just 2 days in and I’m impossibly sick of it. Questions on algebra, dementia, trees, Pythagoras, and someone simply asked the phrase “Olivia is on a swing in a playground”; I was truly being tested this evening and already Pavlovianally conditioned to shudder whenever I heard its little bell.

I was stuck on the third line of my story for half an hour. I’d written “Calvin grunted and wiggled his toes. He’d been sat on the toilet for 25 minutes now and the occasional fidget was necessary to avoid cramp.” and kept vapidly rereading my own shit opening. Every time a glimmer of inspiration would surface the Weegy bell would ring and I’d be distracted by a question about rocks, this happened time and time again.

Finally I spat out 350 words of my terrible toilet-based terror and hit ‘Submit’, only to be blindsided by a hidden £12 submission fee! My first instinct was to recoil and cancel the transaction, as if I was paying to enter I thought I should exhibit a piece that didn’t take just 2 hours to write whilst pounding back beers and answering Weegy questions about pyramids and principally not focused on a protagonist named Calvin whom we meet on the toilet. However ultimately I yielded and coughed up the £12, I’d spent most of my evening putting this yarn together and was reluctant to let it go to waste, plus part of me had grown attached to Calv and his restless toes.

I’m not going to include this outgoing, or any outgoings, in my overall total; that daily figure will consist solely of incoming cash, largely because I don’t want it to read -£11.89 when we’re only on day 2. What I will do is put together a grand debt/credit total right at the end once all these schemes are complete and have paid up everything they’re going to. I know I need to start getting used to investing my own capital into these schemes, besides you know what they say, you have to spend money to make money!

You do, also, at some point, have to make money to spend money. That has to happen. That’s the little known preface to that adage…

11 fucking pence, Jesus.


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