Wait till the teabaggers hear about this. Adult entertainment moguls Larry Flynt and Joe Francis are planning to ask Congress for $5 billion in stimulus funding. Their logic: if struggling bankers and automakers are entitled to bailout money, why not the porn biz? They have a point, sort of. Like a lot of other industries, pornography is suffering from a serious economic headache. Sales are flaccid: X-rated DVDs are off 22 percent from a year ago. “It’s time for Congress to rejuvenate the sexual appetite of America,” Flynt says. (C’mon, Larry! Haven’t you ever watched C-SPAN?)
More stupid bailout tricks. Maui wants $6 million to heat the county swimming pools. Austin, Tex., wants $850,000 to build a frisbee golf course. Sumter, S.C., would like $33,000 to install automatic-flush toilets around town. These are just a few of the ballsy bailout requests advanced by mayors around the U.S. Well heck, if that’s how it is we’re gonna get on the horn to our own mayor and ask him to put in for a minigolf course. (As long as it doesn’t have an anthill. We always take at least a 10 on that hole.)
Let’s get serious for a minute. On a more gloomy note, recent numbers from the Treasury Dept. show that big-bank lending to small businesses dropped yet again in November, the seventh month in a row that small-biz credit sank. The really galling part, of course, is that while small businesses are strangling, bailed-out banks are humming “Happy Days Are Here Again” and celebrating with record bonus payouts. This has spurred our increasingly vapid prez to issue a stern reprimand to the profligate bankers. (By George, that’ll show ’em!) But Rep. Pete Welch (D-Vt.) has a better idea: a 50 percent tax on bonuses over $50,000 at banks that got bailed out, with all money raised by the tax to fund a new Small Business Administration direct-lending program.
OK. Enough seriousness for today. It’s been awhile since we featured a zany small-business idea. But it’s been awhile since we heard of anything as zany as Urinal Games. Founded by a Denver dude named Jeff Haverkate, the company specializes in “innovative and alternative advertising in restroom urinals.” (Now there’s a product placement every business should jump at.) Customer ads are displayed atop the plastic basket that holds the sanitation cake, which is known in the trade as the “urinal mint.” Maybe it’s just us but we think the whole idea is kinda…never mind. But if you like it, you can join the UG Street Team and talk up the product at your local bar. Urinal Games will send you product information and free Urinal Games gear. (Yow! Where do we sign up?)