LIKE OTHER baby boomers, I had been aimlessly pondering a mid-life career change when I read the news that Renee Zellweger will be paid $112,000 for each pound she gains to reprise the movie role of British single girl Bridget Jones.
Suddenly, it hit me. This is a job I can do.
Teaching, nursing and retail hold no appeal for me. Years of being a mother and wife have soured me on any of the service industries.
But, to be paid to do something that I can't seem to stop doing? To make money for something that seems to happen in my sleep and despite my best efforts to the contrary?
Renee is under contract to regain the 30 pounds she put on to play the part of Bridget in the 2001 hit.
She said then that she felt "voluptuous and womanly" and was relieved not to be fretting about every forkful she put into her mouth, but this time she demanded to get paid for it, which should tell you how she really felt about it.
On top of her reported $15 million salary for Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, she could earn a $3.2 million weight bonus.
It appears Hollywood has reversed itself and is now paying starlets for letting themselves go. Imagine what nightclub brawls and nasty on-set tantrums must be worth these days. Not to mention rehab.
Can you imagine how much Michael Jackson would be worth if he could find a way to cash in?
Anyway. Unlike some of us, Renee has trouble packing on the weight. "I found out that one doughnut doesn't do a thing," the unfortunate girl is quoted as saying.
So this time, she has a plan, which appears to be an adaptation of the bourbon and cheeseburger diet Russell Crowe used to gain 60 pounds for The Insider.
The Renee Diet includes cheeseburger and fries, scones and gravy and a milkshake for breakfast.
For lunch, pizza, peanut butter and chips.
And for dinner: a large portion of spaghetti with meat sauce with a side of potatoes swimming in butter.
Plus 20 doughnuts between meals.
For those of you keeping track, that's about 5,000 calories a day, or roughly what Lance Armstrong needed to get through the Pyrenees.
That's twice the recommended daily calorie intake for a woman and probably 10 times the carbs and sugar a standard-issue pancreas can handle.
But it should get Renee into a size 14 in about three months.
It would get me into Ripley's Believe It or Not in 10 minutes, but I guess it is all about metabolism.
Energized by Renee's good fortune, I searched the want ads for a similar job description.
Apparently, the market for women willing to eat themselves up a half dozen dress sizes has dried up.
Perhaps the pool of potential employers was put off by Renee's salary requirements.
I admit, $112,000 a pound is pretty steep.
I'd gladly do it for anybody willing to pick up the check.