Howtomakeadollar has already written about how to make money by selling stuff that you can get for free. Today we are doing it again.
You've probably heard about the oil rig accident in the Gulf of Mexico* that is gushing gazillions of gallons of oil every gazillionth of a second. This is a golden opportunity for anyone with an idea, but most people seem to be taking it as bad news.
Well, lots of people are wrong. Lots of people thought it was bad news when the first car ran over the first horse-drawn carriage, but nobody stopped making cars did they? In any case, that particular horse had it coming. Everybody thought it was bad news when the German blitzkrieg defeated the Polish cavalry. And it was bad news. It was a disaster. But my point is that nobody tried to use a cavalry against tanks after that. I have waited a long time to use the old Polish cavalry analogy. I don't think it is particularly relevant to the subject at hand, but its my blog, not yours.
The way I see it, there is a colossal amount of oil sitting around waiting for someone to get it. In fact, the government and the environment people are begging someone to get rid of it, to the point that I'm sure you could get paid to do it.
Now think about this. The rig was about 41 miles out at sea. The drill was under a mile of water, and it cut a hole about 3.5 miles deep into the ground. A 4.5 mile pipe with numerous safety valves connected the bottom of the well with the rig above the water. The fact that such a rig ever existed is an engineering marvel. The technology required to go down a mile under saltwater, to drill a 3.5 mile hole into bedrock, to pump out that much oil, and keep it all contained for even a minute, is simply beyond my ability to grasp. Sure, this one failed, but there are countless others that have not failed, and the fact that any of them ever existed in the first place is simply astonishing.
My point is that this oil used to be impossible for the average person to get. Now it isn't. This is a golden opportunity for anyone with an idea. This is where you come in.
1. Get a boat
2. Get a bunch of old paint buckets, ice cream buckets, or beer bottles. If your beer bottles are full, it will help to drink them quick.
3. Paddle out into the open sea
4. Keep your eyes peeled for a big black pool of oil. You will probably know it when you see it. Its the one that is 10,000 square miles and advancing.**
5. Dip your containers in it until they are all full
6. Paddle back and put them in your garage
7. Repeat steps 1-6 until your garage is full, or the oil slick is gone
8. Sell oil to someone who knows how to refine it.
In all seriousness, somebody is going to make at least 10 billion dollars cleaning this thing up and disposing of all the waste. If you have any ideas about how to do it, it would be worth your while to get down there and try. I think my bucket idea could actually work if done on a large scale, with big buckets and large boats, but I'm sure there are other ideas.
*How did Mexico get the naming rights to this body of water? The Mexican economy is in pretty bad shape right now. They should sell all naming rights to the highest bidder. I think "Gulf of Wal-Mart" has a nice ring to it, and I would also support "Gulf of Google" because of the alliteration factor. A good corporate bidding war could be just what Mexico needs right now.
** no kidding. 10,000 square miles of oil sitting around for free (and growing). Thats the current estimate.