Oddly Enough Blog

News, but not the serious kind

Free advice from the Blog of Death

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Blog Guy, I avidly read your advice for college seniors considering careers,  and it has saved me from a number of bad decisions in areas like  homemade submarines, trolleybus electricity, and so on.  Any new career information? You should write a book!

Thank you. This photo helps make a point that I haven’t mentioned, which fools many people. These guys are driving in a “Well of Death,” and only a foolhardy belief in centrifugal force is holding them up. Generally, you should avoid jobs at places where the phrase “of death” shows up prominently in the name. 

Thus, the “Anthrax-laced Elevator of Death,” the “Fargo Wood Chipper of Death,” or even the “Cute Golden Retriever Puppy of Death,” are not career paths I currently recommend.

well-360.jpgStuntmen perform on their motorbikes and car on the walls of the “Well of Death” at a fair on the outskirts of Jammu November 28, 2007.  REUTERS/Amit Gupta  

“Wait! This gig offers dental, right?”

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I’m getting a stream of e-mails from college seniors, frantic over what kind of career to choose in just a few months. Okay, write this down: if there is a job opportunity in which you are expected to hold an apple in your mouth while a dude the color of a Smurf slices into it with a chainsaw, that is not a career for you, even if it pays $8.20 an hour and is sort of show business.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’m sure this young woman’s parents are very proud of her, and she is getting to see Peru. But if she had taken more home economics courses, or even watched a classic Honeymooners episode, she would know there are far easier ways to disassemble fruit.

I HATE when Sarge plays polkas!

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Dear Dad,

Well, things are going okay here at basic training. The guys are swell. We do have a mean, nasty drill sergeant who isn’t too bright. He has this piece of exercise equipment he thinks is an accordion, and he throws himself into trying to play it.

We all have to pretend to enjoy his “concerts,” or face consequences too awful to describe. This morning, Sarge almost busted a gut trying to play “Buffalo Gals,” and when he turned his back, me and my friends laughed.

Gosh, this sub really dives fast!

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Blog Guy, you’re always saying to be careful in choosing a career. I just got a brochure inviting me to check out the world of homemade submarines, and I just don’t see the downside.

See, the words homemade and submarine don’t naturally belong together. Kind of like chainsaw and dentistry, or gyrocopter and, well, whatever. I know Colombia just found a “rudimentary” sub built to smuggle tons of cocaine, but that part actually makes the deal even less attractive! Are you following any of this?

“I told you to SHARE the peanuts!”

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flight-chin-160.jpgBlog Guy, I’m a flight attendant. I hear there is a fantasy camp where those in my profession can take out our frustrations. Do you know about that?

I think you might be talking about this course. It’s supposed to be self-defense training, but I guess it might qualify as a fantasy camp for some beleaguered flight attendants, who I imagine could perform the jabs and kicks while hissing stuff like:

“Give ‘er another thump, Earl!”

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Blog Guy, I need advice. I’m enlisting in the army, but I’m not sure what my specialty should be. I know there are some bad jobs that folks should avoid. Help!

You’ve got that right! The job in his photo is called “The dude who looks down rifle barrels to see if anything seems wrong.”  The trainees take classes like:

You call THIS a pie?

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Today we have photos from the World Pie Championship. But these are called  “Scotch pies,” even though there is no Scotch in them, nor is there any pie, for that matter. A pie is a specific kind of dessert, with a filling you can describe in exactly two words, like key lime or mom’s apple or warm cherry.

By contrast, these things in the photos have meat in them, or maybe worse. Wikipedia says ”Scotch pies” have a top crust that is lower than the rim, to make room for stuff like baked beans or gravy. I am not making this up, and I can only hope vandals got in and messed with the real Wikipedia entry.

“It’s a hook! It’s a rook!”

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chess-2-140.jpgSome readers will think I’m making this up. There was just a championship competition in chess boxing, a sport with alternating rounds of boxing, chess, boxing, chess, like that.  See, I warned you.

I know what you’re thinking: chess players are smart, and boxers, um, aren’t. So  where do they get players? A good question. And how do they move those little-bitty pieces with boxing gloves? How can you say “check-mate” with those  teeth-guards?

What do you mean, “ten, nine, eight…”

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Okay, this career question came up a month ago with Holler if you see a flame, Bernie! and I’m starting to worry that it may be a trend.

I know for you young grads looking for action, a sexy job title like “Rocket guard who stands behind the tubes where the flames come out” sounds cool. But I mean, all you need is for that truck driver in Kazakhstan to hit a bad pothole, or toss his cigarette butt in the wrong place, or turn on his wipers but hit the red button…

Hit me with a shovel – seriously, go ahead!

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New college classes are starting now, and if your course load looks like this…

    Run over by a car 101 Kicked in the head 101 Gut-shot 101 Enveloped in flames 101 Algebra 101

…then you must be a freshman at the “Hollywood Stunts” academy, I guess with a minor in math. If these sound like the sort of activities you’ve been doing for free all your life, you may want to attend the academy and turn them into a glamorous, if painful, career. Have a look at our photo slideshow: