Work For Your Supper

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hat I hate most about Friday night dinner parties is the dreaded question, “What do you do?” It’s a question I’ve never known exactly how to answer, because I’ve had too many jobs. So many, in fact, I was recently diagnosed with occupational-schizophrenia by a homeopathic doctor.

The doc wrote me a prescription for a seventy-dollar jar of mud.

And told me to eat it.

Which job is the real me? I’ve been a landscaper, a tile-layer, a cabinet-builder, a deliveryman, a paperboy, a power-washer, a house framer, an electrician’s assistant, a sailboat deckhand, a hay baler, a brick mason, a refrigerator mover, a retail specialist, a trim carpenter, a cook, a fry-cook, a dishwasher, a sheetrocker, a lifeguard, an oyster-shucker, a tomato-picker, and a condo cleaner. I was even an ordained minister for nineteen days – before they took me to small claims court.

People love to ask each other what they do for a living. It’s a standard question. Along with, “How many kids do you have?” or my personal favorite, “How much do you earn annually – after taxes?”

But, if you suffer from multiple-profession-personality disorder, such questions are uncomfortable.

Long ago, I decided to respond with creative answers. I’ve come up with some zingers too. I’ve told people I’m everything from a proctologist to a production supervisor for The Bachelor. Once, I even claimed to be the dean of Harvard – that was a wedding toast I had no business making. But my favorite answer is one I learned from a sixteen-year-old with dreadlocks and body odor.

Here’s how it goes:

“So,” someone asked him. “What do you do?”

“Do?” he answered. “About what?”



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