Saturday, January 31, 2009


When you think about it, it’s funny how baseball players’ records are displayed on a huge electronic board and seen by thousands of people. “Batting average .342, 18 home runs, 74 runs batted in.” Imagine if the media kept track of everyone’s job that way. “Dr. Goldstein removed the correct organ 256 times out of 260 operations. Made six incorrect diagnoses.” “In 1969, Joan Baez sang 684 notes without going flat. Bob Dylan, who was in a slump that year, sang three.”

In some careers, imperfections don’t really matter. You can often be an actor if you’re not that talented. If you’re good-looking, it’s okay. That doesn’t work for a pharmacist, does it? “He can’t see the labels on the bottles, but he’s hot, so we don’t care. We love coming in for those pills.”

You can’t screw up too much if you’re a surgeon. When you’re poking around in someone’s brain with a sharp instrument, you don’t have a lot of room for error. “Oops, my hand slipped. Oh well, he doesn’t really need the left side of his brain anyway.” Doctors sometimes leave the operating room during long operations. It must be scary to be lying there while the surgeon’s poking around in your intestines and suddenly hear her say, “Well, I finished reconnecting about half her mucous membranes. I have to go pee. Dr. Taylor, you could use the practice since you’re pretty new at this. Why don’t you take over.”

Some people have jobs that must be hard to disclose on a first date. “I work in a slaughterhouse. Nice to meet you.” “I’m in sludge removal. Can I kiss you?” “I work for the Serial Killer Task Force. Want to come over?” “I train telemarketers. Why don’t you give me your phone number?”

I always thought making balloon animals would be a fun job. Except your hands would smell like a condom factory. How did it occur to someone to make balloon animals in the first place? Someone must have been really bored to be staring long enough at a balloon to start thinking, “I bet I could make that balloon look like a rabbit.”

With some jobs, it’s hard to understand why anyone would choose it. What’s the thought process that leads someone to decide to become a prison guard? “Yeah, now that I made it out of high school, I think I’ll spend 40 hours a week in a gray concrete building with 200 murderers and rapists who’d love to kill me.” Yep, that would be a fun job. Although it wouldn’t be as bad as being President, especially during the last decade or so. Now there’s a great job. Working twenty hours a day for four years straight, people with guns following you wherever you go so no one kills you, being blamed for everything - kind of like that wimpy kid in third grade who always got in trouble because he was too dumb to know what was really going on (I am, of course, referring to our previous Idiot-in-Chief). And imagine turning on CNN and hearing about the blow job you had the night before. As far as career choices go, I think I’d prefer sludge removal.

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