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Stretching the imagination

April 27, 2005

Cajun tagged me to take part in this writing exercise, where you write about what you’d do if you could be any of several things – a pirate, a musician, a proctologist, or several others.  There are about 20 to choose from, and you pick any five.  The list is at the end of this entry.

Then you tag three other bloggers to try it. My three victims candidates will be listed at the end.

It looked like fun, but when I started hitting keys, it turned out to be a lot harder than Cajun (who is a fine writer in his off-hours from taming high-voltage dragons) makes it look.  It seems my imagination is not so flexible as I’d hoped, so I started with the most bizarre one, in hopes no one would take them seriously…

If I could be a proctologist, I’d invent more compact and sophisticated equipment to make examinations cheaper, less painful, and therefore more routine and life-saving.  Then I’d joke around with the press and earn a reputation as a buffoon, but write papers for journals on reducing patients’ anxiety. Royalties on my inventions would be donated to the American Cancer Society and people would think I was some kind of guy, but really I’d figure heck, I’m a proctologist and can only drive one Mercedes at a time. My waiting room would be full of video carolls where patients could see actual examinations with Penn & Teller-style voice-over explanations as to what it all meant.  (I bet not many other people chose this one!)

If I could be a musician, I’d haunt the streets and coffee shops with my guitar, wearing a white shirt with a black trench coat and hat, singing melancholy and sweet ballads to yuppies, street people, hookers and cab drivers, reminding them of the happiness of gentle reverie and simple pleasures. Success would come when a tear and a smile came to the faces of two people who left holding hands. My home would be a corner of the storage room in a pawn shop, where my cot and nightstand would host impromptu guitar lessons for hopeful customers intent on discovering music.  Lost in a timeless reverie, I’d need no luxuries other than time to practice; and when the end was near, I’d pass on the mantle of troubadour to someone who seemed to want it.  That person would be a disaffected aluminum-siding salesman who would pick up my guitar and feel within the sounds it made a home for which he’d been searching all his life.

If I could be a TV chat-show host, my studio would look like a corner of a coffee shop.  I’d bring in obscure but brilliant people with unexpected gifts for comedy and satire, and let them lampoon the culture of dullness that passes for civic boosterism.  My studio audience would be chosen by essay contests and demo tapes, and some repeat members would become guests in future broadcasts.  When celebrities came in, I’d pair them with experts in their fields and see if their egos could stand not being the bright spot under the lights.  When I got cancelled for being such an egotistical tyrant, I’d teach journalism at a community college, running another show with my students as technical and editorial staff, on community-access cable with a focus on local officials, educators, artists, and just generally odd characters. 

If I could be a judge, I’d offer carry permits to women instead of restraining orders.  I’d make prosecuters honor defendents’ rights so they wouldn’t develop lazy habits that could undermine really important cases.  Defense lawyers would learn that a defendent’s unhappy childhood and a buck would buy them a cup of coffee in my courtroom but not much else.  I’d ask them to explain why Twinkies and violent video games sell by the trainload but only their defendent felt it necessary to shoot up the mini-mart. I’d visit grade schools and tell stories to kids that would terrify their teachers and parents, reminding them that criminal acts always violate the victim’s constitutional rights.  The book I’d write after retiring would be denounced by politicians and given as gifts by grandparents.

If I could be a backup dancer, I’d live for the days when the primary star was sick and needed me to go onstage for him, so I could show off to the disappointed audience.  My days would be spent in disguise, dancing on wooden boardwalks by the waterfront inviting bystanders to try simple steps appropriate to their physical condition, and success would come when I could get twenty tourists to swirl around the tables of an outdoor cafe owned by my younger brother, who also wanted to be a dancer but was injured when a jar of pennies fell on his foot from a third-story window one day, and who asked me to carry on his life’s ambition (which had always really been mine too but I had been too afraid to tell him.) 

Now it’s the other guys’ turn.  I thought about passing it on to MrsDoF, who would be terrific at it but is currently in the throes of a college writing assignment (I’m sleeping with a college chick!  Heh.)  So I think I’ll try Les over at SEB, John Hoke at the Asylum, and Socialist Swine.  I don’t think they’ve done this one but if they have, they can make rude noises in my general direction.

Here’s the original list for the passing-on to others.  I have added three more occupations to the list from when I received it.  Can you guess which three? (Hint – it wasn’t any of the five I wrote about.)

“Following there is a list of different occupations. You must select at least five of them. You may add more if you like to your list before you pass it on (after you select five of the items as it was passed to you).

Of the five you selected, you are to finish each phrase with what you would do as a member of that profession. Then pass it on to three other bloggers.

Here’s the list:

  * If I could be a scientist
  * If I could be a farmer
  * If I could be a musician
  * If I could be a doctor
  * If I could be a painter
  * If I could be a bureaucrat
  * If I could be a gardener
  * If I could be a missionary
  * If I could be a chef
  * If I could be an architect
  * If I could be a linguist
  * If I could be a psychologist
  * If I could be a librarian
  * If I could be an athlete
  * If I could be a lawyer
  * If I could be a garbage collector
  * If I could be an innkeeper
  * If I could be a professor
  * If I could be a writer
  * If I could be a backup dancer
  * If I could be a llama-rider
  * If I could be a bonnie pirate
  * If I could be a circus-director
  * If I could be a midget stripper
  * If I could be a proctologist
  * If I could be a TV-Chat show host
  * If I could be an actor
  * If I could be a judge
Hey, even if you’re not one of the three, try it on your own blog too!


Categories: Blogging, Geeky
  1. April 28, 2005 at 04:44 | #1

    You are an evil … evil … evil man ;)

    I will do this Friday on my day off as it will require more thought than I have today …

    Evil I tell you!

  2. April 28, 2005 at 06:45 | #2

    Man, I just KNEW you could do this.

    And VERY well done, I migfht add.  very well done!

  3. April 28, 2005 at 15:41 | #3

    I have no idea how to use track backs or anything that fancy, so I’m just dropping you a line to let you know that I have the meme done and posted.  It is a lot harder that it initially seems like it should be….

  4. Les
    May 2, 2005 at 07:44 | #4

    I’ll see what I can come up with, but I’ve been bad about doing memes lately. The last two I got tagged with are still awaiting my attention. :-)

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