With the sweet scent of autumn in the air and the crisp crunch of leaves beneath our feet, our heads spill over with visions of pumpkins, apple harvests and country fairs. Ah, ’tis that time of year again, when the plump, corn-fed farmers waddle toward market, arms full of prize-winning apple pies and the beloved blue-ribbon sow, Ol’ Mae, in tow. She’ll fetch a fine price, that speckled porcine creature. Look around, children, for this is fall. Savor it, for thanks to global warming and marketing, it shall soon be gone to be replaced by snowmen and holiday cheer.

That’s right, the holidays are approaching with the insane speed of a school bus full of blind orphans and nuns holding kittens careening out of control. None will be spared. All shall perish in one, final fiery blaze of economic circle jerking and discount gift giving! Brace for impact! Bend over! Put your heads between your knees and, for God’s sake, cover your eyes! No one likes it in the eyes!

I suppose part of the reason I hate Christmas — or whatever Wiccan holiday you and your feminist womyn celebrate — is because they all require disposable income (or at least a good eye for crafts, if you’re making effigies of the loving Earth Mother Goddess). What is an undergrad to do? Well, you can do one of two things.

The first is paring down your gift-giving creatively through the use of “Secret Santa” games.

The second option is, obviously, to sell your body. Pimp yourself out. Turn tricks. Hit the streets, Julia. No matter how you put it, being a whore translates into a Merry Christmas — and even if you do get whipped with a coat hanger and left for dead in a sleazy motel room, your little sister will get that Barbie Dream House she’s been begging for.

Think about it. Whoring is the world’s oldest profession, and unlike some other old professions such as bloodletter, eunuch or merkin maker, it’s still goin’ strong! No horrific plague, Jacobite uprising or Holy Crusade has stopped it yet. Now that’s job security!

Just look around. The opportunities are endless. Take the Gay Pattaya beach resort in Thailand (www.pattayagay.com) for example. For what is probably the monetary equivalent of a bucket of Popeye’s chicken, you can go to a disco and leave with the disturbingly young and delightfully impoverished (but oh-so-hot) Thai boy of your dreams, and you get some tasty satay and mango, too. From my calculations, to afford a decent Christmas present (I haven’t taken into account airfare, because, well, that’s what those Yale travel grants are for) you’d need to sleep with about 80 fat, married American businessmen –twice over.

Don’t get me wrong, some of you might earn far more selling your bodies. For most of you, though, a grunt of acknowledgment and a few coins jingling down on rumpled sheets is the most you can expect for your services. We’re screwing in a really, really tight (ooh! wait for it!) job market (damn.), and it’s getting harder and harder — I am loving this sentence — by the fact that most of you are getting easier and easier. You don’t know the meaning of the phrase “hard sell” until you’re competing with a freshman girl who’s giving it up for free behind the Beta house.

That said, you might have to get a little creative if you want to corner the sex market. The first place I would check is an Internet personals site: always dirty, always unsettling, always misspelled. While surfing the grandfather of all filthy Internet personals, the “casual encounters” section of Craigslist (www.craigslist.org), I stumbled onto an ad promising some enterprising individual $200 a session for delivering a merciless spanking and being able to urinate on command. The latter may take some training, but the customer promises cash up front and reimbursement for any clothes and/or props you may need. I don’t know about you but I always like to forcefully express my bodily fluids while wearing a Prada suit! I just hope this golden shower enthusiast is willing to pay for dry cleaning. I ain’t no silly ho (R.I.P. Left Eye).

You could also look in the back pages of the New Haven Advocate for their “Extreme” personals. If you’re lucky, you can snag one of the many area perverts willing to pay “athletic, young boys” who are in need of “oral release.” For those of you who don’t understand, I’ll translate into breeder: some old, fat, pock-marked troll is actually going to pay you to pleasure you.

I know it seems disgusting, but just close your eyes and try to think of your mother’s proud smile on Christmas morning, not the saggy-faced pedophile gumming at your penis.

If the prospect of selling only part of your body seems a little more appetizing, then I’d recommend calling Yale-New Haven Hospital’s fertility clinic. Listen up, gentlemen! Apparently, some doctors are willing to give you $4,500 for masturbating into a cup 45 times. That’s one hundred dollars a shot! For something you were going to do anyway! And to think, all this time, I’d just been throwing it out! I talked to one of my friends who’s done it. According to him, you show up and one of the old ladies working there hands you a cup, then you go back to a room where you get to peruse a huge selection of nasty, vintage porn! This porn is supposedly better than the hundred dollars. I asked my friend to steal the most depraved magazine he could find, and he came back with “Butt Lust: Swank’s Magazine for Fanny Fanatics.” My favorite (printable) headlines from the cover were “Jeanie suggests you squirt her seat!” and “Lil’ Fox shows off her foxhole!”

Once you finish up, you wait for the dollars to start rolling in. Until the check arrives, just imagine the legions of bastard children across the globe, created thanks to your fertile man-juice!

Fret not, ladies, there’s hope for you, too. Unfortunately, you don’t get any used pornography. You do, however, get massive amounts of hormones and extremely invasive surgery. I’m talkin’ ’bout eggs. Childless couples are willing to pay female Yalies upwards of $35,000 (at least twice that if you have blonde hair and blue eyes) for their oocytes. My friend was actually approached at her place of work and offered 50 G’s for the bounty of her ovaries, but she didn’t accept. I couldn’t understand why at first, so I decided to interview her about it. It was pretty gross. A segment of the interview:

“Uh, Bradley, you have to take a bunch of pills.”

“Wow. That’d be one bastard of a period, huh? There’s not enough chocolate in the world for—“

“I could also get cancer!”

“Like, in real life?”

Aside from the cancer, though, a single egg harvesting could help you get through the next couple Christmases, and maybe even some of the other holidays, too, like Easter, though I have a feeling seeing all those little children shoving chocolate eggs into their mouths wouldn’t be terribly appetizing.

I’d be lying if I said that the holiday season wasn’t any fun. I mean, you get presents, and no one really cares if you gain a little weight. All in all, that’s a pretty sweet deal, and so what if you contracted three STDs so you could get your mom pearls? That’s love!

On second thought, let’s just enjoy fall while it’s here and make money legitimately. It’s a lot easier to sleep at night when you get paid to rake leaves, instead of getting paid to have sex in them, and not just from a moral standpoint either — you’d be up all night scratching your unmentionables!

Bradley Bailey is up for swallowing his dose of “holiday cheer.”