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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.
CHARLIE TAKES AN APTITUDE TEST
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_.
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?
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.