What did people do before Craigslist, when you had to wander the dark streets looking at “for rent” signs or actually had to go and walk up and talk to that cutie you saw on the subway instead of waiting to later send a digital message in a bottle? How did people find jobs? How did people get scammed into doing jobs that require a lot of work and little pay (or “exposure”)? The answer: comic books! We found this ad in the back of a November 1979 Battlestar Galactica comic recently purchased at the Brooklyn Flea. “Remember how many times you felt left out because you were BROKE!” the ad asks/exclaims. So what did they have to offer?
All you needed to do to get money for all those “hamburgers and soft drinks” is to introduce Grit, aka “America’s Greatest Family Newspaper Since 1882,” to your friends and family. Grit was a real weekly newspaper distributed in rural areas across the country, which this journalism nerd reporter has never heard of until just this moment:
The ad pledges to help you get started in a promising business of your own by sending you the papers to presumably sell to friends and family. All for $5-$10 a week, which, in 2011 dollars, is $48,000. Intriguing claims of helping your broke self for nothing more than the promise of a possible pittance? Seriously, play some 2011 Mad Libs with this ad on CL today and see how little things have changed.
The lesson here? Just because it’s online doesn’t make it any more legit than 30-year-old comic books. That, and Battlestar is awesome. So say we all!