Companions for Hire

by Ted Gargiulo – Could you use a friend? Be honest.
Forget that crass, beer swilling schmo who hangs out with you after work. It’s time you tell that bum to take a hike. We’re talking about the sort of friend you’re NOT embarrassed to be seen with. A sidekick with class, who doesn’t smell like rotten eggs, blow bubbles out his nose, or tell knock-knock jokes while you’re trying to impress a girl you’ve just met. Wouldn’t you rather have an ally who builds you up for a change, actually makes you look good in company? A champion who agrees with everything you say, takes your side in a conflict, even when you’re wrong, and feeds you excuses when you screw up? Well, of course you would!
Think about it. An advocate who’ll cover your ass whenever you’re in trouble. A team buddy who bowls worse than you do. A tough, hefty looking dude to threaten your neighbor the next time his dog poops in your wife’s flower bed. Your own personal medic who’ll scrape you off the floor and drive you home the next time you’ve had too many.
Beginning to sound good? Then COMPANIONS FOR HIRE is what you need to get your sorry life back on track. We’re your friends, your family, your college chums, your employers, your coworkers, your business associates, your in-laws. We’re anything you need us to be. What’s more, we’re flexible, always available…and cheap!
We attend weddings, graduations, reunions and testimonial dinners. We cater especially to actors, authors, speakers and other struggling professionals who are looking to make a lasting impression. We pack theaters on opening nights, fill lecture halls, populate book signings. We applaud enthusiastically when you enter the room and incite others to do the same. Hire as many or as few of us as you need. Rent us by the hour, by the day, or by the week.
We familiarize ourselves with the personal details of your life, so people will think we’ve known you forever. We’ll act as your fans, your spokespersons, your personal P.R. representatives. Brief us about your accomplishments, your virtues, your reputation, or whatever endearing B.S. you would have us con the world into believing about your otherwise unremarkable self. We’ll lend you credence, make you shine, help you impress the very few friends or contacts you really do have.
And here’s the best part. Once we’ve fulfilled our assignment, you don’t have to put up with us ever again. You see, we’re not like your typical friends and relatives. You won’t to have repay our favors by babysitting our brats, or picking us up at the airport. Nor are you obliged to listen to our boring, self-absorbed prattle when you’d rather prattle about yourself. We won’t bug you with phone calls at the worst possible times. We won’t show up at your door unannounced and expect you to drop everything and entertain us. We won’t criticize your lifestyle, or tell you how to raise your kids, or bust your chops about losing weight. Better yet, we promise we won’t make you feel guilty for not keeping in touch. We’ll never pressure you into accompanying us to all those unaffordable places and functions your snobby acquaintances at church expect you to attend. And hey, you won’t have to remember our birthdays, or send us cards at Christmas, or put up with all the tedious crap that goes along with having real friends—or worse, real relatives!
Our prime directive states categorically that the only feelings that matter are YOURS. Taking offense is not part of our job description. Our relationship is strictly business. You instruct us on how to act, what to say, when to agree, when to get lost. Should you terminate our engagement before we complete our assignment, we won’t think badly of you. We simply keep your deposit, you keep your dignity, and everybody parts friends…so to speak. We’re there when you need us to be there. And when you’re done with us, we‘re gone: out of your face, out of your home, out of your life.
And get this: we’ll keep your information on file for five years. Next time you need a reference, or if you wish to hire us again, we can just pull up your account and pick up where we left off.
PLEASE BE ADVISED: We are not an escort service. The companionship we offer is entirely platonic and above board. We do not traffic in hanky pank. However, if you have, shall we say, an “appetite” that our reputable service cannot satisfy, we’ll gladly (for a modest referral fee) connect you with less savory people who can. Isn’t that what friends are for?
Friend, isn’t it time you took up with a partner you don’t have to pretend to like? Someone who doesn’t lecture you about your bad habits, or act like he or she’s better than you are? An attentive listener who lets you toot your horn for hours, never interrupts and won’t blab your dirty secrets to the rest of the world? You know you would! Or perhaps what you need right now is a bleeding heart to hold your hand while you blubber into your brew about the girl (or guy) who ditched or spited you. Yes, a mature, clear-headed individual, who can console you by pointing out what weak, misguided, vicious losers everybody else in your life is.
So, what’s it gonna be? Are you tired of always being on the wrong end of the horse? Tired of being shunned, disrespected, or just plain ignored? Are you ready to pull your head out of that dark, friendless place it’s been stuck in these many years? Then COMPANIONS FOR HIRE is here for you. Call our toll-free number anytime, day or night. And before you know it, you’ll be strutting about like somebody’s business!
Admit it, you’ve never had friends like us!

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