Believe it or not, in some places, you can rent people! A whole person, or even a whole group of people! And the reasons people are jumping on these services aren’t what you might think.
Takanobu Nishimoto and Ossan Rental
Takanobu Nishimoto had a novel idea four years ago: allow people to rent older men when they need someone to talk to. Now, he’s got a network of roughly 60 men between the ages of 45 and 55 all across Japan.
The idea is to change the image of men in this age range in the country. So for $10 an hour, someone can rent an Ossan, or an “old guy,” and tell him all your troubles.
It’s a service offered for people who may not want to pay a therapist and don’t feel comfortable talking to their families.
One of Nishimoto’s regular clients is a woman in her 80s who rents him to go on walks in the park and talk to him.
I almost became like her son.
Most of Ossan Rental’s clients are women (roughly 70%), but they’ve also rented men out of fishermen who were lonely while waiting for a catch, or a young college student with ambitions to get into show business but didn’t have the support of his family. When all you offer someone is the possibility of a sympathetic ear and kindness, the possibilities are endless.
Sometimes it’s not about listening or talking to someone. Maybe you’d want to rent people to make you look more popular. Even after death.
Based in the UK, Rent a Mourner will allow you to pay someone to cry at your funeral. Granted, it’s probably not going to be your own funeral unless you’re seriously planning ahead. But if you’re planning a funeral for a loved one and you’re worried about how many people might show up, rent someone to fill in those pews.
With a “significant amount” of mourners, Rent a Mourner is sure to be ready for all your mourning needs. Their website claims to be prepared to attend a funeral and/or a wake when needed. And their professional mourners will even cry on cue. They work closely with the funeral planner to make sure they’re always on the same page and can remain professional throughout the process.
That’s a relief because the last thing you want is an unprofessional fake mourner at a loved one’s funeral.
Handsome Weeping Boys
Sometimes you don’t want to talk, and you don’t want someone to cry at you. What you want is someone you can cry at. Maybe you even want someone to cry at while you’re at work. Well, there’s a service for that too!
The Tokyo-based company Ikemeso Danshi, roughly translated to Handsome Weeping Boys, will send a strapping young lad to your workplace to watch you while you cry and even wipe away your tears. If you aren’t too keen on crying when he arrives, he’ll even sit with you and watch a sad video to help get the waterworks flowing.
The experience can cost about $65.
So whether you want to rent people to listen to you talk, to cry at your loved one’s funeral, or wipe away your tears while you cry, we’ve got you covered.