Saturday, June 28, 2008

When I Grow Up...I Want To Be...

At a family gathering today, someone asked my niece, "What she wanted to be when she grew up?" My niece is....four years old. I'll be 34 in October and I'm still not sure. There's no reason she needs to know at the age of 4. A good week for her is saying all of her ABC's, eating all of the food on her plate, having a good Gymboree session and not having any "accidents." I know some adults that can't get through the week accomplishing all of those things. Gymboree is tough, slave drivers.

When I was in high school we needed to make a list of potential careers for ourselves. Of course, I didn't take it seriously and I was just trying to see how far I could take it. So my list looked like this:

Potential Careers

1. Rust Repairer (I had just seen the Who's, Kids Are Alright and Keith Moon said this.)
2. Professional Survivor (another Who reference)
3. Medical Examiner/Coroner
4. Contract Killer
5. Chaos Organizer
6. Irony Consultant
7. Eccentric

I think there were a few more, I just can't remember them anymore. It was 20 years ago. 20 years is still, 7300 days.

So I passed in my list and then was called down to see the principal (housemaster, in my case). I had to explain myself or talk to our school shrink. So, I was thinking on my way down, do I just say I was kidding or do I take it, that much farther and play it straight?...that these are really what I'm considering for my profession. I chose, the latter. If I'm going to get in trouble and get sent home or suspended...I'm going to make my parents laugh about it.

So I walk in Mr. Merrill's office. Large, intimidating, bald black man (or whatever PC-term you'd like to use. I have friends of color and they get mad if I call them African-American). He was a former high school football player and I believe he played in college as a linebacker. Nice guy, with a good sense of humor, but can be a "no bullshit" guy when he has to be. We start talking about general things...classes and teachers. Then he starts in..."I received this list of potential professions." I said, "Are you looking for another job?" He smiled and thankfully knew me well enough to know that I was kidding. "Can you explain your choices on this list?" So...I went for it.

Rust Repairer, I figured was a good solid job. Most things are made of metal. Metals rusts, I'd have lots of job security.

Professional Survivor, I told him that I'd already survived all the major earthquakes and the Titanic. So if I turned professional, I could start getting paid.

Medical Examiner/Coroner, I told him was a very low stress job. A doctor's biggest worry is having someone die on them. Well, these people are already dead. Problem solved.

Contract Killer, I asked him if he ever wanted to kill someone he didn't like? He said, "Sure, who hasn't?" I said, "Now imagine getting paid for it."

Chaos Organizer/Irony Consultant, I admitted that I just wanted to see what my teacher would say. Now I'm sitting in your office, talking about my potential future.

He said what about being an Eccentric? I said well...If I do this type of stuff, most people just think I'm weird or odd, but if you call me an also means I'm rich.

He had a hard time keeping a straight face. I did was very difficult to sit there and not bust out laughing. So he opened his door and told me to head to class. The next day I was in the same class we did the list in...I think it was either English or Business...It could've been either of them. My teacher looked kinda angry...she came over to me and said, "Mr. Merrill had no problems with your list. What did you do to him?" I said, "He's looking to change careers and I helped him out with his search."