Welcome to the second last column for the year. I hope you enjoy it. You’d better read it quickly, the world might just be about to end.
A MILLION MILES FROM NORMAL – By Paige Nick
The Mayans predicted that this is the year we’re all going to die. Oh my goodness and it’s already December, there’s still so much I have to do before the end of the world.
I’m not talking about things like taxes, filing and paying outstanding traffic fines, I’m definitely not going to waste what little time we have left doing that, I’m talking about all those other things that elude us in life, like finding the perfect colour lipstick, managing a decent relationship and finally figuring out how to fold a map back into its original shape.
There are a few things I’m not so sad to be missing out on. Aw we’re out of time, what a shame I never got to fling myself off the side of a bridge with only a rubber band attached to my ankle, oh well, maybe next time. And if the end of the world really is coming, I’m kind of glad I won’t get to see or have to pay for Zuma’s next wedding.
But something I am sad about is never having had that many other jobs. It’s not that I don’t absolutely love what I do, but you see it’s all I’ve ever really done, besides a handful of menial jobs I did between the ages of sixteen and nineteen. Eighteen years ago I accepted my first job as a writer, and here I sit today, still doing it. Granted, I’m in advertising, so one day I’m writing about cars and the next I’m writing about life-insurance, which is a bit like being in the car industry, or the insurance industry, kind of, sort of, but not really.
Some of my friends have had dozens of jobs on their way to being grownups and I envy them the experimentation. I think it’s all the jobs we’re forced to do on the way to doing what we really want to do, that teach us about our aspirations, our pain thresholds, our work ethic and our tolerance for dodgy customers and even dodgier bosses.
One writer friend claims she’s had at least thirty different jobs in her life. She’s done everything from being a stable-hand, to cleaning toilets in the South of France. The closest I’ve ever come to anything like that is dirtying toilets in the South of France, but nobody was paying me to do it, so I don’t think it’s quite the same thing.
Another mate spent three years in the UK and did some strange things to pay the rent. He was the guy who beat about the bushes to get birds to fly out so aristocrats could shoot them, he cleaned the streets with a high powered water hose, worked on a demolition crew and did a stint in the Territorial Army in the mortar platoon. I fear this doesn’t quite compare to my experience waiting tables at The Spur, or checking people in and out of a block of holiday flats. Although I did see some things.
Besides being my Grampa, my late Grampa Sid was a silversmith, a hairdresser, and a violinist, he also farmed mushrooms, tomatoes and cucumbers in a glasshouse nursery and he was a builder, before he eventually settled on a career as a land developer.
There are so many wild jobs out there, I can’t help wondering what I’d still like to do if it wasn’t almost time to pack a good book and prepare for the end. I would love to work in a book shop, be paid to read, or paid to buy shoes, or marry rich and lunch for a living.
I’ve written here before about the lady who cuddles with people for money. I’m not sure I’d want to do that. And I recently came across a company looking to hire people to be sex toy testers. I don’t know that I’d like to do that either, although I’m told it provides an awful lot of job satisfaction.
Every month they send you a box full of the latest sex toy technology, and all you have to do is try them out, rate them, and write reviews. The hours (and some of the toys) sound flexible, you get to work from home, and you can make in the region of $40 000 a year
I wonder what qualifications you need in order to apply? A Masters in fornication, or a BBS (Bachelor of Bedroom Sciences) perhaps?
I don’t want to make you panic, but there’s still so much to do. I’d like to see the Aurora Borealis, find out who moved my cheese, wear white pants for a whole day without messing on them, complete a Rubik’s Cube from start to finish without picking off all the stickers and then replacing them, and figure out what a flan is.
And if I don’t get to do all of that before the end of December, oh we’ll, it’s really not the end of the world.