Tuesday, October 05, 2010


Above: a cartoon of mine from a few months back.

I just saw this BBC News piece by Claire Prentice in which she reports firsthand on her "renting a friend" experience.

Now this is just plain wrong. And it sounds like a rib or something a business student makes up for class.

OK, renting a power washer, sure. Renting a car, yes. But renting a person to take to the ballgame or talk politics with is cuckoo nuts.

There are about 285,000 friends available for rental all over the world on the Rent a Friend site. They come in all colors, and, according to the home page photo, all seem to be well scrubbed, nicely attired and in their 20s. None of them LOOK like creepy loners. And it's not a dating service or an escort service or anything like that. How these people are vetted, I don't know. I didn't see anything about background checks on the site. My question: if I tip a renty friend, will he laugh harder at my jokes?

Turning friendship into a commodity is, as one of the owners of this enterprise says, just, kinda, sorts and extension of Facebook.

Yeah, right. Go read.

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