July 2, 2004
It’s not that I don’t like my job. I do – I really do. And the way things are today I’m happy to have such a good job. But I can’t help saying to myself, "The grass is always greener on the other side, the best laid plans of mice and men aft gang agley, that’s the way the ball bounces, all that glitters isn’t gold, the best things in life are free, beggars can’t be choosers, beauty is only skin deep, the white zone is for loading and unloading only, quien es mas macho?" I went through a broad variety of career options as a child, but one that still sticks with me is theme-park character. I have no idea what the technical term is, but I mean the people who dress up as various characters and wander around theme-parks. I wouldn’t even necessarily limit myself to theme-parks. I’d be happy to dress up as Larry the Lamprey, one of the many colorful characters of the Zippy’s Pizza chain, and dance around while delivering baskets of garlic bread. I could care less about sports, but I’d jump at the chance – not to mention cavort, wiggle, or shimmy – to be a mascot. Heck, I’d even be tempted to take the job of standing in front of a car dealership dressed as a platypus and waving at passing drivers.What do platypuses and cars have in common? Absolutely nothing, but if you’ve ever seen one of these guys you know the sole reason they’re there is because some advertising quack has said, "A man in a fur suit will make people slow down, and maybe they’ll stop and buy a car!"
But I digress. Sure, the theme-park character is there to say, "Pay no attention to the fact that eight people have died on our roller-coasters this year," and they’re all just pushing a product, but they do make people happy. Is that so bad? I can’t think of a better job than making people happy just by putting on an animal suit with an oversized bow tie. But I also think it’s just human nature that, no matter how good you’ve got it, you wonder if there’s not something better. Maybe all those people in costumes hate their jobs. Maybe they’re frustrated actors, and there’s nothing a good actor hates more than being typecast. Personally I wouldn’t mind being typecast, but that’s because my one appearance in an independent film proves I’m not a good actor. If I got typecast I might be able to perfect my portrayal of a drunk, foul-mouthed clown.
But I digress. Maybe if I talked to them I’d find out that Larry the Lamprey is paying his way through medical school, the guy in front of the car dealership would prefer to be inside wearing a suit and making people on fixed incomes feel guilty for not owning Hummers, and the theme-park character would say, "I like performing, but what I really want to do is direct." Heck, even Mick Jagger sings, "You can’t always get what you want." What would the front-man for one of the most successful rock groups – and owner of, arguably, the most famous pair of lips ever – know about disappointment or frustration? I don’t know. Maybe deep down Mick has an unfulfilled longing to work at Zippy’s Pizza.
Enjoy this week’s offerings.
Correctly Spelling ‘Potato’
If GH can stand for P as in Hiccough
If OUGH can stand for O as in Dough
If PHTH can stand for T as in Phthisis
If EIGH can stand for A as in Neighbor
If TTE can stand for T as in Gazette
If EAU can stand for O as in Plateau
Then the right way to spell POTATO should be: