This isn't to shit all over MFA students — they get quite enough of that already, both from snarky real-talkers in the Wall Street Journal weekend section and life — but perhaps the best an aspiring writer can hope for in this brave new media landscape tilled by Google adbots and fertilized with diploma paper is a gig as a toilet copywriter in New Yorker, because writing copy about toilets is both the perfect metaphor for copywriting, AND the perfect metaphor for moving to New York to become a writer. It's very efficient that way, not unlike a toilet with a DUAL MAX flushing system.
Michael Li, founder of the self-evident site ToiletFinder.com, made some waves this week when he dropped this huge, steaming writing gig on Craigslist: review public toilets and earn some $$$. A paid writing assignment exploring the conflicting primordial urges for bowel moving and secure comfort that plague the public pooper? It's the last great unexplored dilemma of the modern age! Who wouldn't leap at such a chance? From Li's CL ad, which has, thanks to a deluge of submissions, turned into a writing contest:
Search for, and pick a venue that has not been reviewed, and is accessible to the public on ToiletFinder.com. This should be a venue at which you have personal experience. Write a humorous review for that venue's toilet. Be creative, helpful, and slightly disgusting. Not necessarily in that order, LOL. Remember, the goal is to have fun while helping to make peoples' lives easier. Email me the link to your ToiletFinder.com profile, and your PayPal email address. From there, I will be able to read your submission(s). If you make me laugh, I'll PayPal you $20 simply for submitting a good entry.
In a week's time, Li will select the writer of the funniest toilet review to be Toilet Finder's official copywriter, whose task it will presumably be to ferret out the most agreeable public toilets in New York, foul them, then write about it in a manner that is both humorous and insightful. Of course, all this publicity probably means that the very thing that makes for an agreeable public restroom in New York — privacy — will disappear, prompting long-time Manhattan residents to finally flee for the toilet utopia across the Hudson: New Jersey.
Image via Getty, Dan Kitwood