Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Career Daze

While I attempt to write a book review or two, here is another one of my old scribblings to keep you busy.

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Career Daze

I will be sixty in a couple of weeks and I am still asking myself the question, “What do I want to be when I grow up?” I have completely pissed away a whole half-century pondering, mulling, contemplating, deliberating, ruminating, and musing, so it’s starting to look like an answer any time soon is somewhat dim.

I know a few things I won’t be, though. Fireman is out because I have trouble handling the garden hose and I’m afraid of heights. So is brain surgeon because I tend to misplace things:

“Uh, has anyone seen this guy’s brain lying around here somewhere? I could swear I had it just a minute ago, right there on that nice shiny tray. Someone go check my locker. While you’re at it, look in my lunch sack and see if I have any more cookies.”

I’m no rocket scientist. I cannot be an astronaut because my legs are too long, and in any event, I get claustrophobic when I fly. I would be the first astronaut in history to climb out of my spaceship and float my way home.

“Houston to Space Cadet Charlie: Where the hell do you think you’re going, buster?”

“Space Cadet Charlie to Houston: Home. I oughta be there in about twelve years, so cancel my subscription to Nudist Quarterly and tell Martha not to wait up for me.”

Since I cannot be any of the good stuff, that only leaves telemarketing. Yeah, right. I’d last about four minutes in a boiler room because (1) I couldn’t sell bibles to a convention of missionaries, (2) I hate fucking telephones, and (3) I have a filthy mouth.

Maybe I’ll take one of those aptitude test to find out if there’s an occupation I’m suited for—and one that I might actually like.


Question: Would you rather scrape barnacles off the side of an aircraft carrier or live in a monastery?

Answer: Are you kidding? I would love to do both of those things! How about barnacle-scraping for a day job and monking around at night?

Question: Complete the progression: ABCDE_.

Answer: 16

Question: If train A leaves Hoboken at 35 miles per hour and train B leaves Toledo at 4:15 a.m., where will they meet?

Answer: Head-on.

According to the scoring sheet, I qualify for two jobs: Telemarketer and village idiot. Great. I’d last about four minutes in a boiler room, and the line is waaaaay too long for the idiot job.

Maybe if I review some of my dislikes I can eliminate a few things I don’t want to be when I grow up.

1. I hate shrink-wrap. It takes me at least two hours to get a CD out of the package, by which time I am so flustered I throw it in the trash. Scratch music store clerk:

“Hey, mister, you got the new CD by The Ball of String and Rubber Band?”

“Does it come shrink-wrapped?”


“Then it’s out back in the trash.”

2. I hate grown women who giggle. Especially the three-hundred-pounders who think they’re still budding eighth-grade debutantes with a little “baby fat.” Scratch Walmart clerk, diet consultant, and bra fitter.

3. I hate telephones. Screw telemarketing.

You know, I’m starting to get a bit discouraged. Fifty years of this crap and I’m no further along in choosing a career than I was when I started. Maybe I should take a headache pill, lie down, and take a nap. Or maybe I should ponder, mull, contemplate, deliberate, ruminate, and muse for a couple more years. By that time, I’ll be eligible to draw Social Security.

ADDENDUM, 1/12/10: I began drawing Social Secuirty last June.


mapstew said...

Charles my friend, careers are way too over-emphasised these days! Especially at your age!

So, here's the plan.


Oh yes, and I will provide the entertainment!
You just have to get me there!


Well done me lad!


St Jude said...

Until the last few years I have been something of a career butterfly, fluttering about here and there, doing what I enjoyed until I didn't enjoy it any longer and moving on to the next thing.

The party sounds like a good plan, I can do the nibbles.

Timekeeper said...

Party is good as long as a recliner and a quiet room is no more than 30 minutes away.

You could become an expert on odd knowledge. That would make you special. But what would your title be?

savannah said...

i keep forgetting i'm supposed to know what i'm gonna do with my life, sugar! but then again, i still keep finding things to do that keep me busy! xoxoxoxo

Barbara Bruederlin said...

All I can say is thank you for laying the groundwork, because I am just a few years behind you, my friend, with absolutely no idea what I want to be when I grow up. Except my legs are shorter, so perhaps astronaut is a good option after all.

Pat said...

So you were nearly sixty then but when was that I wonder?
I'm really going to try not to giggle Charlie. No probs at present.
So what did I do? Not a lot I'm afraid. Count me in for the knees up:)

Charlie said...

MAP: The only career I can think of that's not over-emphasized is Sloth. And at 62½, I'm quite good at it.

Did you stop smoking ceegars?

ST JUDE: Yes, let's do have a party! Will you be wearing a paper bag over your head to hide your identity?

And do you use Marmite on your nibbles?

JOHN: I DO have a lot of odd knowledge, but very little even knowledge. A good title is "Odd Thinker."

Charlie said...

SAVANNAH: You know very well what you're supposed to do with your life, and you've done wonderful things with it—think MITM and the Krewe.

BARBARA: Just a "few" years behind me? Bullshit. The secret is, never grow up.

And forget astronaut—I don't think they let you cuss, even when your balls are to the wall (figuratively speaking).

PAT: I am a second-year Baby Boomer: I was born in 1947.

And you too have done tremendous things with your life—including the stories you tell us.

Kim Ayres said...

There were 3 possible things I was going to be when I grew up - an astronaut, a rock guitar god, or a Barbarian Warrior (reading too many Conan books). Although I must admit, this recent cold spell with all the snow and ice has rather put me off the idea of wandering around in just a loin cloth, no matter how fancy my sword might be...

Charlie said...

KIM: For the good of the entire United Kingdom, keep Excalibur safe, warm, and out of sight.

mapstew said...

I only ever smoked ceegars during that strange and wonderful stay in Moscow six years or so ago! Never before, never since! Moscow does that to a guy! :¬)

Kevin Musgrove said...

I hadn't intended running off to join the circus...

Robert the Skeptic said...

Well it took me 30 years but I finally became a filmmaker. Now after three years my film is done. I'm back to being a Bum. Interesting thing - I'm pretty good at it!

Stella said...

I'm up for the party. You can't rush these decisions Charlie.

Charlie said...

MAP: Moscow does wodka too, if I'm not mistaken.

KEVIN: ... but SOMEBODY has to clean up after the elephants.

ROBERT: You're pretty good at filmmaking or bumming? And how do we see your film?

STELLA: You are a wise woman—there's no reason to rush into a decision.

Susan O said...

Charles - my life has just begun. The husband is an ex, the kid is 21. I am free, free, free, free I tell you....Free! I want to be everything at once~...

Isn't age only a number?

Susan O

Charlie said...

SUSAN O: Welcome to Wormie's!

You're a lucky lady, getting to start another life, another career, another anything!

And you're right: age is only a number. We age physically, but mentally it's whatever age we want it to be. Try 21 again, when we thought we knew everyting, but this time around we have some life experience to go with it.