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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write in the HUMOR genre (04/12/07)

TITLE: Marilyn's Money-Making Schemes
By Sally Hanan


Marilyn Monchek was going to make money. She was going to make so much money that her husband would not have to work some day.

Her first attempt involved a scheme that cost her the incredible price of $300 to get into. In return, she would get a box of overpriced cleaning products that she would sell. If she sold enough, and signed on enough distributors under her, she would get points towards greater things.

The conferences were amazing – the music, the fast cars, the vacations in paradise…all of the glamour made her even more determined to get her business going.

By the end of her first month she had called every person she had ever known in her life, including the boyfriend she had left on the pier 41 in August of 1969.

“Marilyn, we haven’t talked for 40 years, and THIS is why you are calling me?”

“Oh yes, Bob, but you don’t understand. This is such godly business, and we can make millions if we do it right.”

“And what does it involve?”

“Well, I don’t want to talk over the phone, but if we can get together….”

After that and other chilly receptions from further “old friends”, Marilyn realized that she had been delusional all those years, and really she had had no friends at all. Over the next three years she worked her way through the boxes of concentrated cleaning bottles until she had her next brainwave.

She began to fill out surveys at $5 a survey. Before long, every company in America had Marilyn’s e-mail address and she was inundated with offers of life insurance, boats, and something called Viagra©. Her husband began to grumble about her time online, and many was the night he went to bed alone while she typed out her income, hobbies and what she thought of the Clinton family. A few months later, the thing called Viagra© was mailed to the house. Marilyn looked it up on Wikipedia, thinking that her husband was a drug addict… She gave up the survey taking immediately, and dutifully went upstairs with Bill at 10pm every night.

Marilyn decided that she was going to become more educated and learn how to be a medical transcriptionist, but she had a lot of difficulty with many of the lengthy words, and because of a smidgen of acute memory loss, the lessons were a little difficult to follow and remember for long. She failed her final exams miserably.

Still feeling as if she had to contribute in some way, Marilyn started her own house cleaning business. Being 65 didn’t help her vigor, and when she got stuck between the toilet bowl and the wall of a neighbor on Sunrise Place with a left locked hip , Bill put his foot down.

“Marilyn, will you quit trying to get busy? I didn’t marry you to enlarge my income; I married you because I wanted to be with you for the rest of my life.”

As soon as he said it, Marilyn eyes filled with tears. Bill’s arms enfolded her carb. enriched body and he rubbed his shaven, cologne covered cheek against hers.

“But what about the lifestyle we wanted, the cars, the retirement plan?”

“I have everything I’ve ever wanted right here in my arms, and you’ve never earned my love; it’s just something I’ve always wanted to give you.”

Marilyn smiled to herself, because she knew that what she had been missing all along had been a PARTNER!

These days, Marilyn and Bill are deliriously happy touring the country in their kitted out limo. They only visit one town a month, because the travel makes them a little stiff, but once they arrive at their scheduled speaking location, they both address the issues of how to stay happily married and what a successful retirement looks like.

Marilyn and Bill also carry a few sales items with them for some extra income... the remaining bottles of cleaning product from their garage...

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This article has been read 1152 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Julie Arduini04/20/07
This is well done as I have fallen into traps of sorts just like Marilyn thinking I needed to earn my husband's love. The way he made that point was so excellently written. The products were hysterical, as were the potential customers, right back to the ex boyfriend from 1969. Great!
Sheri Gordon04/20/07
Ooh, I love the $5 survey thing -- mainly because I got duped by that too. (Luckily, the Viagra has not yet arrived.) It's fun, and healthy, to laugh at ourselves.
Pat Guy 04/20/07
This is not only funny - but precious. Great spots of 'funny' - great message to boot. I really enjoyed reading this! Most funnist visual? The toilet scene. ;)
Val Clark04/22/07
Too true! Close to the bone. Made me smile. Very visual. yeggy
Joanne Malley04/24/07
Made me giggle and smile which I desperately needed! Loved the visuals of the character stuck by the toilet and the boyfriend left on the pier - quirky and fun! Blessings, Jo
Joanne Sher 04/25/07
I love the vivid description throughout this - and definitely a fun read.
Trina Courtenay04/25/07
What a fun read! I do believe my very own parents tried their hand at selling those cleaning supplies and yes I do think their still trying to used it all up.

Rita Garcia04/25/07
You captured my attention from beginning to end, along with my laughter!! This was definitely a fun read!!
Shari Armstrong 04/25/07
A very enjoyable read :)
Shari Armstrong 04/25/07
ps -I've actually gotten some money from some of those surveys, but nobody's sent any pills yet. But, we did get a free pack of diapers and wipes :)
Verna Cole Mitchell 04/25/07
I accidentally skipped right over this delightfully funny entry. What a great laugh! Excellent writing!
Debbie OConnor04/25/07
Very cute...Marilyn is awfully familiar, though. I think someone I know might know her...not mentioning any names, though. :)
Cheri Hardaway 04/25/07
So our duping wasn't with cleaning products... it was with insurance. What a nightmare. But our "friends" sold the other -- classic line: I can't tell you over the phone, but if we could meet... Funny! And I loved when your MC learned the lesson about love from her dear husband. Thanks, Cheri