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So you wanna be a.....

Statia writes about a guy who makes his living diving for golf balls (she saw it on this show). He sells them after giving a percentage back to the golf course, and Statia seems to think that this guy makes about 200k a year doing this; he does retrieve over a million balls a year.

Obviously, this guy didn't have to pass an interview to get this job. He didn't need a high school/college/trade school diploma. He doesn't have to join a union, attend meetings and rallies, undergo a performance evaluation or clock in and out. He just throws on his flippers and goes ball-diving.

Imagine if you could have any job if you want. If you could just get out of bed one day and be greeted by the career fairy who will grant you one job-related wish. She waves her wand, utters a few incantations and poof! You now have your dream job.

I always wanted to be one of those people who comes up with new ice cream flavors for Baskin Robbins or Ben and Jerry's. I want to sit around a table that's loaded down with toppings and confections and fruit and shout Eureka! Chocolate Bubble Gum Cashew is our next big hit! We'll call it.....BrownBubbleNuts!

zamboni.jpgI wanted to be a million outrageous things. A Zamboni driver. A professional video game tester. The person who sits down in a celebrity's seat at the Oscars when someone like Tom Cruise has to take a leak.

One time I had this idea that I would make fake travel albums for people who hate to travel, like me. Say you have a fear of planes, trains or automobiles, or you just hate leaving your house. You just tell me where you would go if you weren't so agraphobic and I would make a scrapbook as if you had been there, with all the relevant brochure material that one would acquire upon such a trip. It seemed like a good idea at the time (I was twelve) but my mother decided I would be better off spending my time doing fractions and decimals and get your head out of your ass, Michele, and into reality.

For a time I thought I could be the GM of a hockey team (after all, I wouldn't have made those stupid trades) or the manager of the Yankees (I would know better than to leave a pitcher in that long) or even the person who sits in that little booth at the end of the ice and turns on the red light and the sirens and whistles when a team scores.

It would be very cool to be a magician, I suppose, but I lack the magic skills to pull that off and I don't look very good in a cape. It would be even twice as cool to be a Fun and Games Director for a cruise line, but that fear of water I have could be a detriment. It would be even three times as cool to be syndicated columnist, where I could write whatever I want, make it as long or short as I want, on any topic I feel like taking on. But, alas, I do that for free every day.

Of course, the one dream job I always wanted was the one you probably wanted as well. Rock Star.

Is there anything so glamorous, so thrilling and so self-indulgent as being an icon adored by people the world over? Groupies knocking at your hotel room door, flowers thrown at your feet, underwear strewn about the stage, the pulsing rythmn of your band ringing in your ears, the scream from the crowd as they chant your name over and over, the kids rushing the stage, holding out the latest Spin magazine with you on the cover and reporters asking if you are really dating that superstar and....

Oh, sorry. Got a bit carried away there.

Anyhow, I'll stick to my day job, which really isn't such a bad one, but I'll go on trying to invent new ice cream flavors just for the hell of it.

Vodka Tonic Sherbert, anyone?


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I always wanted to be one of those people who comes up with new ice cream flavors for Baskin Robbins or Ben and Jerry\'s. I...
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Dude, if that guy was telling the truth, and actually does make over 100k, I'll quit my day job.

Though, a zamboni driver would be pretty cool.

When I was about four, I announced to my family that I wanted to be a firetruck when I grew up. I really hope that I meant fireman.

I am neither, by the way.

I didn't want to be a firetruck when I grew up -- but for a while there I was almost as big as one...

I'd like a job like the one my dad had for a couple of summers (he was a teacher and teachers didn't used to get paid over the summer unless they taught summer school). He was a hotel inspector, so he got to travel up and down Florida going to all the hotels, taking us with him. As far as I can tell, this job mainly entailed inspecting the hotel bar, and then later the hotel swimming pool, especially the lounge chairs. These had to be tested for durability, and the poolside tables for their beer-can-holding capacity.

Believe it or not, our favorite hotel was one in Jupiter Beach which had a salt-water swimming pool right next to the beach.

The guy who harvests golf balls for a living does face risks. A large amount of chemicals are sprayed on golf courses. Those chemicals are toxic and guess where the runoff goes. I would guess a sewer diver might be a poorer risk but not by much.

Having worked for a cruise line, I can assure you, it's not that fun. It's long, long, long hours, and you are bombarded by 2000+ guests which about half of them can't appreciate the fact they are even on a cruise.

Oh, and your cabin? Take the size of your bathroom and squish 3 people in there. Whee!

There are good sides to the job of course but it's really not that fun.

He finds a million balls a year? I seriously doubt it. It's like this:

1M per year = 20k per week.

Assuming 60/hrs of work per week that's 333 balls per hour, or one every 11 seconds.

Again, this is assuming he works 60 hours per week, year round, and I have not figured in any travel time between golf courses, or for that matter travel time between ponds in the same golf course. And no vacations.

Either he's lying, or he has a staff working for him, which if true would make a serious dent in his $200k income.

Movie critic. Just not with that Ebert guy.

I will not make jokes about ball diving.
I will not make jokes about ball diving.
I will not make jokes about ball diving.
I will not make jokes about ball diving.


PS> I almost got to be a rock star:
I'm the singer of course. It was, in fact, all that.

When I was a kid, we used to sneak onto the golf course at night and dive for golfballs. We would collect about 200 a night -- which was all we could carry. Then we would take them home, soak them in bleach, scrub them with those green kitchen sponge-scrubbie things, then sell them to golfers as practice balls. The newer ones we could sell for as much as $5 a dozen, with the older ones were a crap shoot. It was all about the haggling.
We made some money, but it was like having a yard sale, lots of browsing and you make a few bucks here and there. Our earnings were more candy money than career money.

I'm sure there are still about 500 golf balls in my uncle's basement, which was our base of operations.

I find it difficult to believe this guy's making that much money from this endeavor.

I prefer either tequila or Galliano in my tonic, and I understand that it will be difficult to get sherbet to freeze with any meaningful amount of alcohol in it.

Tequila Sunrise Jello in a parfait glass makes an excellent party dessert.

NHL video replay official. i mean come on... you get to watch hockey, and the few times you have to actually work -- you get to slow it down. frame by frame. and in the end you can let it go as called and let the stripes take the heat.