About a week ago, 20-year-old Travis Broyles woke up to news that his driver's license had been suspended for failing to pay a speeding ticket.
Then, when he logged onto his computer, his e-mail contained a series of overdraft alerts from his bank.
Broyles hung his head. He'd been between jobs since being let go from a full-time gig as a copywriter in Atlanta, where he lives.
"I said, 'You know what, I'm not leaving bed until I do something about this,'" he tells Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz.
So Broyles rolled over, grabbed his computer and wrote an ad to place on Craigslist.
'I DO ANYTHING'
The title of the ad is "I DO ANYTHING." Broyles was serious. "I will do whatever you want me to do for less money than whoever you are paying to do it now," he wrote.
Want him to compose and perform your own personal theme song? $20.
Want him to "try to fly in a public place for an hour"? $50.
Want him to "tell your kids which one is actually your favorite and what the others could do to improve their standing?" $100.
Oh — and if there's something you want him to do that he doesn't suggest in his ad, he just wants to emphasize: He does anything.
"Anything legal," he adds. "I've gotten a lot of e-mails asking me, 'Can you please punch this person in the face for me?' I'm not on board with that."
Broyles says he's received hundreds of e-mails from all over the world requesting he do anything. On Valentine's Day, he'll be someone's Valentine for $19.66.
"For texting, e-mailing and letting her know she's my one-and-only," he explains.
Broyles Suggests A New Nickname For His Customer
Theme Songs Are OK, But No Sex
By far, Broyles says, the most popular requests come from people who want him to write their own theme song, but he's hoping people will start taking him up on more big-ticket items.
For $1,000, he's offered to build a full-size cardboard car and make "vroom-vroom" sounds while the owner drives it. For $100,000, he'll yell your name every time he wakes up for the rest of his life. No takers on those yet.
But he has made about $300 so far — not bad for a week's worth of work.
"And it's been doing something I really enjoy," he says, "which is anything."
There's one thing Broyles won't do: accept payment for sex.
"To be clear," he says, "I'm very open to sex. I don't want people to think I'm some prude who's closed off to these ideas."
As he writes in the ad, "the sex has to be unrelated to the payment, like, 'Oh, after you're done cutting those trees down, do you want some lemonade?' but the lemonade means sex, mostly."
"People meet in crazy ways and maybe something special will come of it," he says.
Broyles says he hasn't heard from any congressmen — yet.
"Fingers crossed," he adds.
Things Broyles Will Do For Money
As Broyles says, he will do nearly anything for a price. From his ad, here's a list of suggestions.
Things I Will Do For $5
Stare at you for 5 minutes
Give a hug to the person of your choosing
Call you on the phone and seem genuinely interested for 10 minutes
Draw your face on a balloon
Sing Barenaked Ladies' One Week from memory to the best of my ability
6 minutes of copywriting
Things I Will Do For $10
Spin until I throw up or you lose interest
Rename your Pokémon
Host a conference call with you and a person that you've always thought was cool but never really got the chance to hang out with, you know?
12 minutes of copywriting
Things I Will Do For $50
Break-up with your boyfriend or girlfriend
Help you quit smoking (I'll call you every day for a month and yell "HEY DON'T SMOKE")
Tell the person you like that you think they're cute and what if you had sex together?
Try my best to fly in a public place for an hour
Make you a really great profile picture
1 hour of copywriting
Things I Will Do For $100
Tell your kids which one is actually your favorite, and what the others could do to improve their standings
Fight someone much smaller ... than me
E-mail you a list of 250 things I like about you (need access to any and all social network accounts)
Clean most of your house and apologize for the things I didn't
Deliver five fully cooked DiGiorno pizzas right to your door (5-mile radius from my home)
2 hours of copywriting
Things I Will Do For $1,000
Host an event (will not host anything racially insensitive, e.g. human being auction)
Give a PowerPoint presentation on team building to your business and/or extended family
Rename your children
Build you a cardboard car and make vroom-vroom sounds while you drive it
Star treatment for a month (I'll hide in bushes and take pictures of you)
20 hours of copywriting
Things I Will Do For $100,000
Yell your name every time I wake up for the rest of my life
Change my political and spiritual leanings
Screen all your phone calls for five years
Recreate the best day of your life (or worst, whatevs)
84 straight days of copywriting *BEST VALUE*