Rent A Friend? Or Even A Whole Country!


A friend mentioned that he had inadvertently come across a web site where a person could "rent-a-friend."

And even though the initial thought struck me funny, I began considering all the items available to rent in the name of convenience - movies, homes, cars, roller skates, bowling shoes furniture, and storage space - so why not "rent-a-friend" also? And as usual, my curiosity took me to cyberspace to see what else is out there to rent.

I found Rent-a-Nerd to work on my computer, Rent-a-Wreck to drive a really old hunk of metal, and Rent-a-Toilet for those large outdoor gatherings where people enjoy drinking copious amounts of liquid and wait to pee in two-by-two blue plastic telephone boxes.

You can Rent-a-Ducati (a very expensive Italian motorcycle for those who think it's a coffee drink), Rent-a-Grandma to take care of those little ones who need homemade cookies, and let's not forget Rent-a-Relic, which I assumed was the same as Rent-a-Grandma, but upon further investigation realized it was another car rental place.

Academic textbooks are popular rentals nowadays since the price of buying new can take a hefty chunk out of a semester's budget. Rent-a-Green-Box keeps cardboard boxes out of landfills. Rent-a-Toy actually recycles toys for kids who get bored very quickly. I think they should combine to create Rent-a-Toy-in-a-Green-Box.

Rent-a-Ruminant, a goat, helps keep all that junk piled in the yard down to an edible minimum. The ad states, "When you rent a herd of goats to clear land, you don't need to dispose of the debris ... and you don't need to apply for land clearing permits." I ruminate if that would require a ruminant permit.

Another odd rental was Rent-a-Rambling Naturalist, not to be mistaken for a Rent-a-Robust Naturist (nudist). A nature loving instructor comes to you with "thematic educational messages" about natural history, teacher workshops or group building activities. Pictured are people who take on the appearance of famous historical naturalists, such as John Muir, Jane Goodall, and Father Christmas, replete with long white beards, except for Ms. Goodall, of course, and I am happy to report that none are naked.

Rent-a-Husband sounded interesting, but I've already got one.

A few entire Austrian villages and German towns advertise to be rented for the bargain price of $50,000 per night. Mayors and marching bands welcome you and your entourage with a medieval festival, a wine-tasting at your estate, and a fireworks show.

Or perhaps your tastes tend toward a monarchy. Rent-a-Country! For only $70,000 per day, the Principality of Liechtenstein is at your beck and call. With a total population of 33,000 inhabitants living in 11 villages, a feeling of close community togetherness is bestowed upon you and 500 of your closest friends.

So, I went back to the original rental curiosity, Rent-a-Friend, and filled out the form. I needed a price quote to rent 500 people to join me in Liechtenstein, and they're welcome to bring their rented ruminants.


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