February 26, 2009

Sell Body Parts for Cash

Monetize your body. Or not. You decide. I make no judgments, just reporting.*

Sell your hair. A Chicago woman hopes her 12" of fresh-cut blond tresses will net her $800.

"Donate" blood plasma for a return of $9 to $50 per session.

Cash in your umbilical cord. This would be a one-time per nine months' sale unless you can pull off octuplets. Market rate unknown. One mother said, "I wouldn't mind having more cash for my unborn child's future. Not a ridiculous amount (of money) for his umbilical cord but, you know."

Huh?..."you know" what!?

Sperm. So my friend Ted told me this story last week: A friend of his, Jeff, was really into this girl he'd just met. On their third date she said, "You are like, so perfect! Is there anything I should know about you now—something that might come up later and surprise me?" He said, "Well, there is this thing where I once earned money contributing to a sperm bank. So there's the possibility that a dozen or so biological offspring might want to contact me at a future date." The girl made instant tracks. As he retold this date scenario to Ted, Jeff shook his head in wonderment and asked, "Do you think there was something weird about this girl that would scare her away like that?"

Eggs. A "loving couple" offers $20,000 on Craigslist to acquire fresh eggs.

Womb. Also on Craigslist: up to $30,000 offered for surrogacy, but you get it back nine months later, somewhat stretched for the wear.

Well, and um, there is this true story about my friend the pimp. I mean, I didn't know he was a pimp; I lived in the same small apartment building as he (in a very upscale neighborhood, mind you). We interacted daily because he was the building engineer and I, the manager /leasing agent. This all ended abruptly with a sharp rap at my door early one evening, followed by voices from the vice squad, "Police!" It's a fascinating story; someday I'll tell more. That 'splains how the janitor got by on his quarter-time job.

Oh, and then there are those who would never, ever, ever sell a body part, but their soul? Might be negotiable.

*Well, yeah. I do have my judgments; I'm just not saying.


Mid-afternoon update: My friend Ted (not his real name) just read this blog and emailed the following to me offline:
"Actually, (Jeff) told me he did it as many times as he could over a year; so, he was probably lowballing the figure and truth be told, there are probably hundreds of his offspring running around today! Think of the movie Gremlins times ten."

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