By contributing writer Dave Zimmerman

You know that tiny, indigent, starving little boy that always appears on television with a Tsi-Tsi fly resting gently on his eyeball? Well, that kid is gonna be me pretty soon, because this job market ain't offering up jobs like it used to. Now I don't wish to make a mockery of the horrible reality that created the plight of that young boy, but…..wait, yes I do. Anyway, the point is, I'm going to have to get extremely creative this summer if I intend to successfully support my Hemingway-esque drinking habit and eat at the same time. The benefactors have given me the post-finals month to search for jobs, but my half-assed efforts haven't succeeded as they have in the past. So here are some money-making ideas that I've decided to share with the public, because I'm sure plenty of you are experiencing similar difficulties:

1. Sever both of your legs at the knee, then proceed to roll around on a garbage can dolly accosting random people for money. Yes, this idea has been worn out a little, however, one can easily improvise to maximize its utility. For example, try severing just one leg and hobbling around on one crutch, stopping periodically to bawl your eyes out for no apparent reason. Sure it may seem a bit extreme to cut off a leg or two, but you won’t be saying that when the money starts rolling in, believe me! And heavens to Mergatroid if you ACTUALLY BAWL YOUR EYES OUT. You may not see six figures, but you won't be able to see five figures either, and that's what you'll be pulling in. Need proof? Beggar parents in India commonly maim their children at an early age to initiate them into beggarship. You will only be following a tried and true international custom.

2. For the women: SELL YOUR BODY. I mean seriously, girls, I don’t see what the big deal is. Most of you do it already, you just don't get paid for it.

3. Turn to the Lord. Everybody knows that praying works. Hey, who saw Bruce Almighty? True story, right?

4. Sing songs in the street, or play a musical instrument perhaps. If you can do neither, bludgeon someone to death. It's fun! Alternatively, gather a group of fellow no-talent, dead-beat scragglers and form a garbage drum corps on the corner. Not sure which is worse? Me neither.

5. Guys: Rob an ex-girlfriend. Bitch had it comin'.
Girls: Sell, sell, sell your body, gently down the street. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, wife is but a dream.

6. Move to the Gulf Coast, obtain a shrimp boat, wait for a strong hurricane, and go for a joy ride somewhere near the eye wall. This will be fun, exciting, and ultimately profitable because the competition will be obliterated. You might also find inner peace, especially if you attempted idea #1. God I’m clever.

7. If you happen to be a minority, here’s a great idea: go back in time and be born white. A controversial twist on affirmative action? Yes, but it's amazing how something so simple can make life so much easier. If you want an even better money situation, try being born Republican.

8. Find a struggling actor and help him out. Go ask a producer to pull some strings for the poor lad. If the producer refuses, leave a severed horse's head in his linens, the stubborn bastard. Then sell your screenplay to the producer anyway and watch as you rise above the struggling actor who will fail to gain a part in your movie.

9. Gather all the used soda and beer cans you can find, crush them, and take them to the nearest recycling center. Note current state deposit levels—CA: 2½ cents; CT, ME, MA, NY, VT: 5 cents; MI: 10 cents. Next, pelt the attendant into submission or unconsciousness—all the money is yours. This procedure is best done during the least busy hours, and you might wanna cut the phone lines. Congratulations native Michiganers.

10. And finally, your last resort for a summer job: become a self-employed job-search consultant. Hey, when all else fails, it's time to turn a collective weakness into your personal strength. Instead of lamenting your inability to find a job, capitalize on the same feeling in others. Simply charge a flat, upfront fee to help other people search for jobs. Tell them you'll continue to provide assistance at no additional charge until they actually land a job. What you'll actually be doing is sharing the progress of your own job search with another group of people. Here's the secret: provide all your clients with job leads that you've already exhausted. The key here is to trap as many people as possible into “running behind the pack.” Your clients will start to rely on your steady stream of dead leads, allowing you to decrease the initial competition in your OWN job search. Brilliant, I say. Essentially, you'll be getting paid to increase your chances of getting PAID.

Oh, and I'll let you in on another secret: #1-9 are all DEAD leads (and I won't even charge you for that one).