Gig Economics

March 19, 2024

Lately I’ve been hearing more and more about the “gig economy.” At first I thought the term referred to bargain bands (“Tonight’s economy performance by The Tightwads will consist of one song. There is a two-drink minimum. Enjoy!”) But I soon learned that the gigs (also known as side hustles) refer to the extra jobs folks are taking to help make ends meet nowadays. We have orthopedic surgeons moonlighting as Lyft drivers! Tech CEOs picking up bonus cash as Instacart shoppers! Kardashians delivering pizzas! 

Oh wait. I guess those folks are doing just fine without second jobs, aren’t they?

But for the rest of us, it’s very tempting to work side gigs to pay those pesky bills. Mind you, this is actually just a re-brand of something that’s been going on forever—actors waiting tables, waiters picking up acting jobs, etc. You’d think after all this time that there’d be a few more options, though…I mean, not everyone can (or should) Door Dash.

Never fear! I spent the past 20 minutes deep in thought, and have come up with an exhaustive and exhausting list of part-time pursuits that aren’t yet, but should be, real things. I figure, if enough of us are interested, somebody (not me) might create these wonderful opportunities for getting ahead/or at least not falling farther behind! Here we go:

DRIVING TEST TAKER: I’m a FINE driver, but I struggled some to pass the test back in the day. That grumpy DMV employee made me so nervous that I almost hit an orange cone (or three) before we left the parking lot. I would have paid $$$ if someone could have taken the test in my stead, passed with flying colors, and then just handed me the license! Win/win!

HIGH SCHOOL REUNION STAND-IN: MY 50th is coming up in the fall, and I am doing my darnedest to look like only it’s my 10th. But alas, all the diet and exercise on earth won’t turn back the clock quite that far. Solution? Hire a 28-year-old who looks just enough like me to fool my more gullible classmates! I’d be happy to spend time prepping her about the classic Terry Jacks song “Seasons in the Sun,” and Watergate.

PATIENT PLAYMATE FOR YOUNG CHILDREN: When my brood was small, while I loved them dearly, I dreaded playing Legos with them—not to mention the endless loop of knock-knock jokes and games of “Uncle Wiggly.” I didn’t need a babysitter (I wasn’t GOING anywhere), I just needed someone who really enjoyed (or pretended convincingly to enjoy) kiddie playtime now and then.

There are so many other possibilities…


PERFECT EXCUSER FOR MISSING WORK (“Hello, Boss? I’m Elise’s dead grandpa and she needs to be at the cemetery today!”)

SMALL TALKER AT PARTIES (gigger who would connect via earbud and then whisper clever conversational topics and bons mots).

C’mon gang! Let’s put on our thinking caps and make those side hustles FUN!


    I am an author (of five books, numerous plays, poetry and freelance articles,) a retired director (of Spiritual Formation at a Lutheran church,) and a producer (of five kids).

    I write about my hectic, funny, perfectly imperfect life.

    Please visit my website: or email me at



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