No Work and All Play

OK, maybe a little work, but when you're having this much fun, it's hard to tell the difference. No matter where you are or where you've been, you can still tack in a new direction and do something you love—and make a living. Just ask these folks.

    Photo: Meredith Jenks

JACK HANDEY,
PROFESSIONAL CORRECTOR

My dream job would be professional corrector. I would go around correcting people and things. For instance, if I saw you skiing down a mountain and I didn't think you were skiing very well, I would yell out a correction, like "Hey, man, ski better!" Or, if you were fishing, I might call out, "Hey, don't just stand there. Catch a fish!"

For yelling out a correction to someone, I would get $500. For just shaking my head derisively and smirking, that's only a hundred. (So, whoever's paying me for this, you're getting a bargain right there.) I would also offer more detailed corrections, although I wouldn't actually do those myself. I would farm them out to a subcorrector. I would only be a general corrector.

But I wouldn't be in it for the money. In fact, I would do this job for free.* My main joy would be in helping people. Let's say you're at the beach and you call out to a surfer, "Next time, try standing up the whole way, instead of falling over, like you just did." Imagine the satisfaction of seeing the guy do just that. Or imagine the pride you would feel when the winner of the Tour de France publicly thanked you for his victory, because you told him to "pedal faster!"

I know I said earlier that I would not only correct people but also "things." But I'm not sure how you could do that. How could you move a mountain a little more to the left or make flowers redder or frogs hoppier? Talk to God? Good luck with that. In my experience, that guy is always trying to correct you.

*This is not true.

Unless he corrects us, JACK HANDEY's Web site is JackHandey.com.

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