(Potentially) Sellin' Out

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It is true that there are a lot of benefits to the writing life.
There are the hours, of course, that come with a flexible schedule,
not to mention the clothing choices. For example, right now it is
10:30 AM, and I am wearing sweatpants and a long sleeve t-shirt, and
I feel slightly overdressed. There is the allure of feeling like
you're totally in charge of the work that you are creating (although
that might just be a fiction, what with editors, and publishing
houses, and agents trafficking in and molding your word play) and the
rather selfish thought that you might have something tangible
existing in this world long after you've exited. And, of course,
there is the faint glimmer of hope that you might be "The Writer",
the next someone, and famous and rich and able to afford a sick
summer cottage on Lake George with a tire swing and one of those
expensive looking gas grills. But, friends, as you all know, you
can't have pro's without...um...non-pro's. And there are several non-
pro's in the writing life.

For one, money. I don't so much make any, as I do not make any, and
I'm actually kind of successful. For two, loneliness. I spend much of
my day staring, either at my computer, or out the window, or at the
hippies who are sitting next to me at the coffee shop hand rolling
clove cigarettes. Spending day after day in the company of your own
thoughts is (probably) the quickest way to insanity, especially for
someone whose third grade teacher described as "irritatingly social".
With that said, every once in awhile, I start to dream about selling
out. It happens a lot when I'm watching "The Office", and I think about
how much I want to complain about my job, and be forced to make lunch
choices from a vending machine or sue someone for wrongful
termination. Anyway, if I ever do decide to stop "stickin' it to the
Man" and start joining the Man's Wednesday night cribbage league,
here are three jobs that I think a writer--like myself-- could
successfully sell out for.

1. Company spokesperson. Companies have spokespeople, people who
usually read and write press releases and try and put a good spin on
terrible, terrible events, or disastrous stock plunges, or the rumor
that Rosie and Lizzie Hasselbeck aren't "great friends". Modestly
speaking, I think I would be great at this. I always liked debate,
even if it meant taking a side of an issue I was opposed to, and I'm
sure I could find a way to fire myself up about looking on the bright
side of a tire recall or the seventh straight quarter of plummeting
Skip-It sales. In fact, I'm ready to do this job right now. Someone
hire me. I'll be your communications Rumpelstiltskin, spinning straw
into gold, and--depending on my compensation package-- you won't even
have to give me your first-born child. Think on it.

2. Corporate Communications Consultant. I kind of made this position
up, but I'm almost positive it exists. I'd be like the guy who comes
in when the company sets aside a day for special events, and--instead
of soliciting trust falls-- makes some neat PowerPoint presentation
about the endless possibilities of communicating effectively in the
workplace. I would use a lot of buzzwords, like "synergy" and
"proactive" and "boo yah" and snap and point a lot, when someone else
said something I liked. I'd also be frustratingly cheerful, especially
because I was getting 10 g's a class, and end the day with some sort
of New Age breathing exercise. Wow, it's kind of scary how well
thought out that was.

3. Totally Famous Actor. You know when someone says "you should be an
actor" and you dismiss it by bashfully saying you could never do
that, but in reality you think you would be really good at it, if
only--while you were in high school-- your mother didn't crush your
dreams of being on television by saying that your earlobes were "a
little big for the camera", which forced you to spend a lot of time
staring in the mirror at your earlobes, which caused you to stop
wearing baseball caps, which forced you to shave your head, which
effectively prevents you from using that cool hair stuff that
celebrities these days use, which is probably the only reason you
aren't in Vancouver right now, remaking "House Party 2" with Nick
Canon? Yeah, me neither.

Feel free to drop your own sell out jobs in the comments. And I know
it's very annoying to be a Boston sports fan right now with their
Dutch-Navy-in-the-1600s-like dominance, but if you'll allow me one
indulgence: Happy Soxtober, baby.

Ain't Nobody Humpin' Around,



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