New potential jobs

Micah Osler, copy editor

Ever since a young and naïve nine-year-old Micah Osler signed up for its email service, Yahoo has been my homepage. Frankly, I’m not entirely sure why it still remains as such. I long ago migrated to Gmail and don’t use any Yahoo services, and while my Ludditian tendencies are well-documented, I’m at least capable of changing my homepage. Yet, for some reason, I just don’t.

Probably, I stay on Yahoo for the same reason someone would watch “Plan 9 From Outer Space” or read “Twilight” – there’s something so appealingly bizarre about its total ineptitude. For one thing, it’s a strange orphaned remnant of another era – by this point, its only purpose as a search engine is being a third thing for people to list after Google and Bing in well-constructed sentences about search engines. Its front page is a nonsensical amalgamation of horoscopes, irritating advertisements, and Russell Brand. In its top right-hand corner is a box entitled “Trending Now” that features ten near-Dadaist phrases about the news ranked by… some guy, I guess? You can click on the phrases to search for them, but usually that’s not any help in understanding why they’re “trending” or what they even mean. And boy, are there some great non sequiturs – right now, “beef recall” is sitting at a comfortable No. 4, while “Twins rubberbands [sic]” is languishing in 10th place. Yahoo’s News section is no less weird. The headlines all cut off at weird and occasionally funny places (ex. “Men’s Wearhouse Cans”, “Stunning Underwater”), and the stories are mostly rankings of household items and poorly taken photos of celebrities.

Given all this, would you expect me to be distraught at a recent Yahoo story declaring English majors (my expected major) unemployable?

Bet you’d say yes, right? Because why else would I ask? Clearly, I’m trying to get into a further point with a leading rhetorical question, you say.

Silly reader! I’m not distraught! Thought you knew your way around a rhetorical device, did you?

I sure showed you!


Anyhow, Yahoo’s wrong. While my job prospects aren’t quite those of, say, an engineer or a professional arsonist, over the years I’ve developed quite the list of vocations I can fall back on if my English degree fails to secure me my dream job:

Owner, Failing Salad Dresing Company: This job is perfectly suited to my skills and personality. I like salad dressing enough to be goaded into starting a business based around it by my idiotic friends. However, I don’t care about it enough to try and actually sell the dressing to anyone, which will bring about the “failing” part.

Fife-Player, Civil War Recreation Society: Hopefully, my saxophone skills will transfer. I can also double as Gravely Wounded Union Soldier Who Ran Away From Home at Age Sixteen to Join The Army But Is Now Reconsidering Out Loud (In Song) Whether This Was Actually Worth It, if need be.

Annoying Guy at Parties: I guess this isn’t a “profession”, per se, but I’m already really good at it. There’d be no monotony to my daily routine: every party-going jerk is different, so I’d develop a number of personas – Annoying Hipster Guy, Annoying Scholar Guy, Annoying Adam-Sandleresque Man-Child, Annoying Guy Who’s Faking a British Accent, and so forth. If I needed cash, I could just sneak food out of the parties in my overcoat and then sell it at farmer’s markets the next morning under the previous night’s guise of Annoying Foodie Who Says “Locally Sourced”, Like, Once Every Sentence.

Supposed Creator, Director, and Writer of an HBO Original Series That Critics Hail as “Groundbreaking,” “Visceral,” and “Almost Too Real” For Five Weeks Until People Finally Realize that I’ve Just Been Putting My Name On Reruns of “Freaks and Geeks”: On the upside, maybe I could get Seth Rogen’s autograph on the defendant copy of the copyright-infringement lawsuit!

Unauthorized Woodsy the Owl Impersonator in New York City: Tour groups and locals alike line up for pictures with unlicensed Cookie Monsters and Big Birds throughout the city; just think how many people would want a picture with the EPA’s second-most-popular anthropomorphic nag!

Frontman, Highly Unpopular Rap Collective: My complete inability to rap, total obliviousness to rap/hip-hop culture, and the fact that I can’t swear convincingly might inhibit this one. Still, maybe that’s why it’s highly unpopular!

Pianist, Some Bar Where People Talk Really Loudly and Nobody Listens to You: While you and your friends are yelling stuff at each other, I’ll just be playing scales or some other white noise, and it won’t matter because nobody’ll be able to hear me anyway. I’ll still get paid, though. USA! USA! USA!

Physician, Colonial Williamsburg: Despite our modern cultural love affair with “medical school” and “licensed doctors”, less than 30% of currently-practicing M.D.’s can name all four bodily humours. As a scholar of colonial-era medicine, I could give valuable pieces of medical advice (although, for legal reasons, they would technically be “helpful hints”) to patrons of Colonial Williamsburg regarding the proper treatment of consumption, smallpox, and the quivers. As a special treat for those on the CW Gold membership plan, I could even do the bloodletting and leeching in-house.

Death Faker: We claim to be a progressive nation, free of prejudice against those who choose different paths in life than our own – but why, then, the persecution of those honorable men and women who pretend to die for fun and profit? Thankfully, I’ve got thick skin, and if circumstances necessitate, I will have no qualms about joining the noble legions who have faked their own deaths.