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Ormond Beach Observer Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012 6 years ago

Expense it: Free movies, free everything


Well, it’s official: My job is better than your job. And here’s why: I get free stuff.

But it wasn’t always like this. I published my first movie review this week, which means I got to expense the cost of my ticket, which got me thinking.

Now, you’ll have to keep this between you and me, because the plan is still in its infant stages (and if my publisher, John Walsh, were to get wind, the jig may be up). But I figure, if I can find an excuse — I mean, a newsworthy hook — to write about everything that I do after work hours, there’s really no reason I can’t have my entire social life paid for through The Observer Group.

It’s a delicate system, don’t get me wrong. So after I got back from “Skyfall” Friday night, I marched right into my office for planning, and I didn’t come out till morning. By sunrise, though, surrounded by blueprint schematics and sheets of crumpled paper, I finally had it.

If you really try, I realized, you can find a reason to expense just about anything.

A $6 bag of popcorn? Obviously, that’s a work expense.

Dinner with friends? “Please, please, this one’s on me,” I’ll say, reaching for the bill. Nobody has to know that I’m writing about them in a society page exposé next issue. And this one’s gold, because I also get the credit for buying the table dinner; then I get reward points on my credit card (it’s no coincidence we ate at the restaurant that Chase is offering double-points for this month).

It’s genius. In fact, I see big-time business plans on the horizon. You tell me merchandise you’ve wanted to buy but can’t afford and, for a fee, I’ll buy it for you then find a way to write about it in the newspaper and write off the costs. Everybody wins!

Next stop: Fortune 500. And if it doesn’t make next year’s 500 list, well, maybe I’ll just buy Fortune magazine and expense it.

“I know this seems like a big chunk-a change, Johnny,” I’ll tell my publisher. “But it’s all part of my next cover story. Gonna be huge. I call it, ‘Money for nothing and chicks for free.’”


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