In high school, I was offered a summer on an Alaskan fishing boat. A buddy of mine had an uncle who knew this guy, and you know how that goes. We were going to be big shot fishermen. I considered the opportunity, but turned it down. It didn't seem very safe, and I preferred my traditional summer job of "doing nothing." I had mastered that one. I figured working on a boat in Alaskan waters was way too dangerous. I could just see myself hanging around in the after-life, watching my mother opening can after can of tuna fish, looking for her eldest son who had washed overboard near Juneau.
Later, in college, I had another wild job offer. My friends and I knew this local "new wave" band. They were ready to tour, and the offer came to me: "You wanna a job as a roadie for the New York gigs?" Now, the band didn't make the offer directly - it came through a friend. "Let's do it, man! We can roadie together!" I had such adventurous and generous friends back then. So, I considered the idea of lugging amplifiers, eating stale pizza, staying up until 5 am, and living out of a van. Yeah, I know what you're thinking, but the job had some bad points too, like surviving New York winters. "No, I'll pass." I still wonder what stale New York pizza tastes like in December... in a van.
The last wild college-era job opportunity I had was an offer to be a "bar-back." A bar-back, as my friend said, keeps the barkeeps supplied with beer, wine and liquor. I quickly dropped that idea. I figured my mother could eventually get over my being eaten by a big fish, but working in a bar was another thing entirely. Had I taken that scandalous booze-hauling job, I would have been a dead man. Angry moms are a whole lot more dangerous than Alaskan tuna, New York winters, and stale pizza combined.
David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Conyers, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.