How to Tell if Your Life is a Pyramid Scheme

By Laura Miller

We’ve all participated in a Ponzi Scheme here or there, some with more success than others; just ask the country of Albania. The worst thing to do is to accidentally get into a pyramid scheme you don’t want to get into. Pyramid schemes can be very well disguised. Sometimes they’re selling a fake product. Sometimes they want you to pay $5,000, hard cash, and promise you great returns. Sometimes you might be setting up a pyramid scheme without even knowing it. So here are some tips to make sure your life is only full of the pyramid schemes you want it to be full of.

Romantic Relationships

Romantic relationships are one of the most classic pyramid schemes out there. It’s so easy to fall for because it needs just two people minimum to get it going. Romantic relationships are so easily built on falsified emotional investments, as if your life is some pathetic romantic comedy bullshit trope. Oh, you read the same book as me? Green is your favorite color too? You also want to go to the only Indian restaurant in town which we’ve both deemed to be the best Indian restaurant in town? You may think these coincidences mean you’re meant to be. You may even date for like, 8 whole months. Don’t buy it. Emotion is really easy to fake, especially if you don’t talk about it too much and can successfully convince your soon-to-be erstwhile partner that snogging is a valid expression of vulnerability, aka bullshit with a dick. But as soon as the other person pulls out, you’re screwed. (I know, it works the other way around too.) There’s a reason that the US government banned romantic pyramid schemes in the 1990s. Painful as hell.


College is a money-making pyramid scheme, if I’ve ever seen one. Students put in hundreds of dollars and their parents thousands. This money buys credits, a unit that measures intelligence and in rare cases, actual effort. In the end, students supposedly receive a “degree” in return, but let’s be real, college reeks of bullshit. Students are graduating with degrees in things like “history” and “art” and “women’s studies.” These cannot be used in any imaginable way upon earning them, so it seems like a rather shifty, fake product. You may say, “Colleges are long-standing, respectable institutions, they can’t be a pyramid scheme.” And I say, “‘Knowledge gaining’ is one of the most successful pyramid schemes of all time. The Amish would agree.” Speaking of the Amish: Righteous Bullshit.

Writing for the Blowhard

If Dylan recruits you to write for this blog, then you are in a pyramid scheme wholly constructed of Bullshit. It might sound totally normal, at first. You may even think that it could be a good time. He makes cute jokes about virgin olive oil. Don’t be fooled. First, he’ll ask, “Are you in, or are you out?” in a really musky, New Jersey accent. Then, once you say yes, he makes you pay a $20 fee to take a webinar on “How to be as Cool as Me, Dylan ‘Kanye’ Shearer.” Let me tell you, that was some of the vilest, high octane Bullshit to ever foul our atmosphere. After that, you have to recruit 5 more writers per month. Dylan says that from now on, me and the other writers can only post about The Blowhard on Facebook and Twitter, nothing else. The Blowhard is not just our job--it’s our lifestyle, faith, support network, cult of choice. Only when we truly believe in The Blowhard will we really know success and/or coolness. Plus, if I get 200 views or more, I get to move up to “Platinum Dumbass” and be Zach’s boss, which means I make commissions off of his fetid loads of bullshit too, so please share and like this as much as possible.

Your Neighbor Asks You If You Want to Co-Pilot Her Airplane Game

If your neighbor asks you if you want to co-pilot her airplane game, then you’re definitely participating in a pyramid scheme. This means that you gotta find two people to join to be crew members, who then find two more each to make up 8 passengers. These 8 passengers just have to pay $10,000 each. Then, the captain gets the $80,000 from the passengers and you move up! You were co-pilot, and now you’re Captain. The group has split in two and everyone’s moved up a level. Now you just have to find 8 new passengers to pay $10,000 each, take the money and get out real quick, and Bam! You’re set for life. Easy peasy. This is a pyramid scheme you want to stay in because money is tangible whereas 99% of bullshit in this world, is not.

Your life is probably more pyramid scheme than not: embrace it. Just don’t be shocked when it all comes crashing down.