I lost 14 friends in

Thanks for googling my bumper sticker

I can see from my car's rear vision mirror that you're wondering what the hell it all means. I think the sticker makes it perfectly clear that you should simply ask me, but you'd rather just look it up on the internet. Fair enough.

I lost 14 friends in 6 weeks... Ask Me How!!!

Of course, there is only one proper answer to the question of "How?" and that is:
I cant tell you until you come to the meeting.

But if that answer doesn't satisfy–– and from experience, it never does–– then read on for the point of the sticker.

REASON ONE

Yes, I'm having fun at the expense of people engaged in multi-level marketing; which is the pyramid scheme at the core of companies such as Amway, Avon, Herbalife, Neways, Isagenix, et al.

As an MLM sucker distributor, you are told to recruit directly from the ranks of your family, friends and colleagues. These rookies then become distributors in your network, and in turn are supposed to enlist their associates, and so on and so on.

The scam model is based on the hope that people lower down the pyramid do all the work and provide you with multiple revenue streams. Allow me to summarise everything that is wrong with this idea by saying that actually achieving this business model is fantastically, impossibly and cruelly harder than it is made out to be.

So, anyone who has ever had an associate try to entice them with a mysterious business proposition typically understands the I lost 14 friends joke immediately.

Lucky you, if you don't get the gag; because not participating in your friend's get rich scheme has the very real potential to permanently damage the relationship.

Not content with recruiting from associates, Herbalife want to have an each way bet, as their cult members are encouraged to wear badges and/or t-shirts reading Lose Weight Now: Ask Me How in the hope of enticing strangers into the racket business.

The original [mid '80s] version of Herbalife's tagline was
I lost x amount of weight in y amount of weeks... Ask Me How!!!;
and so, I Lost 14 Friends in 6 Weeks... Ask Me How!!! is a variant of that.

REASON TWO

These days, it seems, we're more and more required to participate in ever dubious schemes which carry the potential to ruin friendships and weaken family bonds.

This runs the gamut from:

• Facebook and LinkedIn et al, which monetize (for others) your real relationships at the expense (for you) of virtualising them;

right through to:

• the staggering debt burdens of housing which neutralises social mobility and ever increasingly limits familial cohesion.

There are dozens more, which I wont list. Suffice to say, anything that limits the quality of actual relationships with the real people in your life qualifies.

Shunning these schemes does come at the cost of "friendship". In reality I lost over 300 "friends" in just a few seconds when I disconnected from Facebook; but I don't miss any of them, as real friends can find me very easily... right here on my own website.

I even accept invitations from complete strangers.