Poverty's gone Megazord, and cash is hard to come by. Whatever job you had last summer has now been taken by someone older and sadder. What's worse, your friends all spike their hair and wear those cool MMA shirts, and thus have no reason to hang out with you, because you wear Sketchers and still can't really say your Rs right. And if things weren't bad enough, you live in the Midwest, which means there is corn instead of fun things to do. Luckily there exists a guide to having a decent summer for broke people without many friends. This is it.

Take Up Blindness

Just throwing it out there, but maybe people pity the blind too much. True, not being able to look at stuff sucks a lot of the time — you can never go skateboarding, and you might marry a transvestite on accident. But in all actuality, America loves blind people. Think of all the famous ones: Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, most blues singers, American Idol guy, Abigail Breslin with her eyes poked out, Mr. Magoo, and more. If you're blind, people will go out of their way to keep you happy. They'll take you places, have phone conversations with you for no money, and they'll do what it takes to keep your spirits high. Heck, with labor laws in your corner, you might even be able to find a job. And though you might be ethically bankrupt, at least you'll have some extra cash to buy Slurpees.

Leave Ominous Notes
After September eleventh happened, practical joking was shooed into the private sphere. By simply wearing a silly hat or opening one of those trick cans of peanuts/snakes in public, police wouldn't hesitate to shoot you dead. But eight years have gone by, and Freedom says it's okay to leave your seventeen-year-old waitress a note that says "Don't walk to your car alone" in red ink. It's time to remember that fun is ten times more rewarding at the expense of someone else's anxiety. Here are some sample notes you can leave to scare the crap out of people in your community:
- At a daycare: Have you checked all the toys for rattlesnakes?
- On the back of an ice cream truck: This truck is sponsored by the work release program of the National Sex Offender Registry.
- At a hospital: Took the wrong baby but liked it more. Switched around some ID bracelets to cover tracks. Good luck.

Catch an Animal and Keep It in a Cooler

There's not much difference between a pet store owner and a bottled water manufacturer, since they both sell what's already free for the taking. Therefore, don't be duped; catch your own pet. Squirrels, chipmunks, trash fish, possums, geese, rabbits, and raccoons can all be caught with relative ease. And by keeping them in a cooler, you can avoid the high cost of a retail cage. Since these animals are scavengers by nature, there's nothing wrong with feeding them coffee grinds or whatever scraps you have lying around. And once they die, the sadness will be limited, since true human sorrow is directly correlated with monetary investment. As intended by the food chain, the relationship will be disposable.

Join the Army
With Captain Barack ?N' Roll steering this starship, a trip to the recruiting office isn't as daunting as it used to be. For just a short two-year commitment, you can train with the guns you see in video games, get free haircuts, and learn to do pushups the non-girl way. Plus, when you're home on leave or whatever, you can wear your cool army-guy clothes to bars and stuff, and old men will salute you. You might even get a discount at the movie theatre. Gotta check on that one. Just keep in mind that famous quote from that one president or astronaut or movie: Ask not what you can do for your country, but what your country can do for you.

Watch Tennis

I know, it's gay, whatever. Dudes in white outfits waving around fairy sticks — definitely homo. But maybe, um, it's worth watching. I don't know what it is but…just trust me, okay. It's kind of awesome. Sometimes. I guess.

Make a Rube Goldberg Machine from Childhood Toys

Stretch Armstrong gradual descends via boneless limb from the top of a high shelf and is positioned so he activates the remote controlled TMNT van, which takes a direct vector to the He-Man light-up sword, which, when it lights up, scares your cat. The cat, attached to a triangular Bart Simpson skateboard, somehow triggers the pre-fabricated Rube Goldberg of the board game Mouse Trap, but you've assembled the game poorly so the little plastic guy gets way too much momentum off the diving board and lands on the Sega's power button. Then Game Genie comes to life and flies to the kitchen and activates the toaster. Two minutes later you have delicious toast. And fun. Wholesome, plausible, summer fun.