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'I was going to be...' -- Revenge of the occupation jokes

October 24, 2011 - Burton Cole (humor columnist)

I hear a lot of groaning lately, and I think I know why: Occupation jokes are making the rounds again.

Way back in my college days, Georgie Washington, Tommy Jefferson, Benny Franklin and I often were treated (if “treat” is the right word to use for such an infliction) to a whole series of these by Dan and Brian, a couple of our floor mates at Clark Hall.

As I recall, the routine went something like this:

“First, I wanted to be farmer. I milked that dream for a while, but gave it up. I wasn’t comfortable being a man outstanding in my field.

“So I decided to be a tailor. But I wasn’t suited for it. It was a so-so job.

“I looked into being an optician, but I just couldn’t see it. I don’t like to make a spectacle of myself.

“I thought podiatry would be a kick, but I couldn’t stand it. I couldn’t get my footing.

“I used to work at the orange juice factory, but I couldn’t concentrate. So they canned me.

“I tried working at the deli, but any way you sliced it, I couldn’t cut the mustard. Then I backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in my work.

“Then I became a shoe salesman but, I dunno, it just wasn’t a good fit. So they gave me the boot.

“Next, I gave being a doctor a shot. I didn’t have the patience for it.

“So I cooked up a plan to be a chef. I thought it would add a little spice to my life. But I lacked the thyme.

“I landed a job as a fisherman but I couldn’t live on my net income. Besides, being a sailor took the wind out of my sails. I had to bow out.

“I was confident that I could be a musician but found out that I wasn’t noteworthy. I had to change my tune on that score.”

OK, OK, I’m done – for now. I barely can hear myself above all that groaning. But if I don’t land a real job soon, I’ll be back with more, like my shocking experience as an electrician, or my future as a historian, or the same old grind at the coffee shop, or…


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“I landed a job as a fisherman but I couldn’t live on my net income."


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