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Pecan Pie for the Mind: Fending off big fish, New York winters, motherly love
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It's fun to write about the jobs I held when I was young and naive. I've written about my glorious dishwashing days and about the joys of molding impressionable college students into something society found slightly more useful. Fun times! But there were also some interesting jobs I didn't take. Looking back, I'm glad I said "no" to a few ill-conceived opportunities.

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