As Super Bowl hysteria reaches its peak in Indianapolis, I’ve boldly jumped on the bandwagon. Sure, I’m excited about the football game itself, but most importantly, I’ve been exploring ways to make some extra cash under the table.
Really, why should downtown residents and businesses get to have all the fun? Surely there are ways to increase my suburban household income by getting in on some of those serious tourist dollars.
It’s been a challenge, most definitely. I’m not used to providing unusual services for exorbitant rates (I usually don’t provide common services for reasonable rates either). But hey, I’m willing to learn.
Although I started out with an extensive list of possibilities (for instance, would out-of-towners pay for dueling pianos on a cul-de-sac?), I narrowed it down to a few specialized options. I’m hoping they’re winners:
Parking. I’m selling parking spaces on my front lawn for $100 a spot. Even though I’m miles away from any of the publicized hotspots and smack dab in the middle of an average residential neighborhood, I’ve got a plan.
Visitors can park and then hob knob with local unknowns in a newly constructed bar, located right in the middle of my living room. My neighbors have agreed to serve as waiters, and I’ve asked my husband to try his hand at making some homemade brews. Since he’s never actually made beer before, I have a refrigerator full of canned domestics as a last resort.
Three old bar signs that I found at area garage sales have been hung on the wall in order to set the tone, and I hooked up a portable speaker for my daughter’s iPod (I hope fans like Taylor Swift). I’ve also taped down bright green tarp to cover our carpet, and my son painted it with white stripes, replicating a miniature football field. My customers can drink and practice their tackling techniques while I avoid stains and cleaning bills.
Transportation. Once my customers are parked and appropriately inebriated, I will pile them into my minivan and drive them downtown for a drop-off. In order to appear professional, I have ordered a set of magnetic door signs: Suburban Super Shuttle.
Of course, I will have to drop my children off for various athletic events on the way, but I will also provide complimentary juice boxes and snack bags full of whole grain crackers.
Room and Board. Not only am I embracing the cold weather, I am using it to my advantage, having commissioned local ice sculptors to construct what I am calling the Super Ice Hotel in my back yard. Guests can enjoy a frigid room of their own, which will consist of a 10 ft. by 12 ft. frozen box boasting an ice mattress, built-in wet bar and a hole-in-the-ground toilet.
Obviously, I am providing faux fur bedding, a bonus SpongeBob SquarePants blanket, and a backup air mattress in our spare bedroom (should the temperature soar above 32 degrees and cause severe melting).
Food. The morning after the Super Bowl (or afternoon … depending on when my guests emerge from their alcohol-induced comas) I will provide a scrumptious spread of homemade breakfast casseroles, various fruits, coffee cake and ibuprofen.
I will also provide a play-by-play analysis of the game – just in case they can’t remember it – and I’m hiring a local high school student to impersonate Tony Dungy. I might even throw in a Jeff Saturday look-alike, but only if I can find a very large neighbor with sufficient facial hair.
Advertising Opportunities. My hope is that area businesses will be so impressed by my plan, they will purchase advertising packages that include: modest tent cards on the back of all my toilets (even the frozen ones); signage on my front door; parking space sponsorships; shuttle bumper stickers; printed bar napkins; and goody bags.
Overall, I’m pretty sure my Super Bowl specials will be lucrative and memorable. I don’t have any takers yet, but once the word gets out, I’m thinking it’ll be a sell-out. Who knows … maybe I’ll expand my services to capitalize on other citywide events like the Circle City Classic or the Indy 500. Just don’t tell my Homeowner’s Association. Or the IRS.
©2012 Michelle Freed