Tag: Self-Employment


Why NOT to Become a Taxidermist

When my eulogy comes out in the papers next week, it will say this: “Bethany Bassett was found alone in her studio, crushed to death by her part-time job. It took a team of paramedics, an industrial-sized crane, and Arnold Schwarzenegger over five hours to lift the job-induced anxiety off of Ms. Bassett, but it was already too late. When asked to comment, her husband smiled sadly and said, ‘At least she’s with Heath Ledger now.'”

Yes, I have a part-time job. This is because I am afflicted with chronic stupidity on many, many levels. It’s not just that I have my hands and my lap and my arms and my hair full of offspring who require my fulltime attention, though that does contribute to the general not-doing of my job. It’s not just that the job doesn’t pay, though about that, uh, ::bashes head into desk repeatedly::. Oh, no.

The problem is the job itself, which, for sake of an example that won’t get me dooced, we’ll call taxidermy. I had a mother who saw taxidermy as a very important ability and made sure I practiced every day of my childhood. All that time defiling squirrels and cute little birdies left me with a finely-honed set of skills; by the time I graduated college, I could have stuffed THE HECK out of someone’s grandma in 20 seconds flat. After Natalie came into our lives and we were living on Dan’s stipend of approximately $4 a year, I took the only part-time taxidermy job I could find. Nevermind that the not-getting-paid-thing negated my main reason for taking the job. It was work! That I was good at! And anyway, I would get a percentage of all donations to the Taxidermy Museum of Dead Art once my exhibit was up. Plus, after a few years, my résumé would be impressive enough for me to land ANOTHER taxidermy job! Career, here I come.

All was well until I was given my first assignment: a Great Horned Outer-Mongolian Double-Pustuled Octopus. No one whose name is not Jesus could make that thing look tolerable. I tried anyway and had various epiphanies along the way: No one whose name is not Jesus would ever pay money to see this monstrosity on display. I am volunteering for this, voluntarily. And OH, how I STRONGLY DISLIKE pustules. And octopuses. And, come to think of it, all creatures who have ever had the audacity to die. In fact, just thinking about taxidermy makes me want to bypass existence altogether, this existence which I am STRONGLY DISLIKING right now.

Two-and-a-half years later, I’m still working on the damn octopus, except that I’m not working on it because my children like to eat occasionally, and my new socks just vomited all over our living room rug, and the oven is still glued shut with the overflow from last week’s Lemon Disasterbars, and the dirty laundry is staging a coup d’état, and the plants on our balcony are screaming obscenities at my neglectful self, and I have a blogging addiction that is sure to give me cancer by 2010 but I still can’t quit. See? Chronic stupidity.

I don’t know how to wrap this up because I am exhausted x 1048, and that pretty much makes this on par with drunk blogging. I’m inclined to forget about wrapping this up altogether and start rambling about how maybe this actually is drunk blogging because maybe Dan’s been infusing me with vodka while I sleep, or maybe one can get drunk on laundry, or maybe that blood orange martini from two nights ago was stronger than I thought, and then I’ll start mixing metaphors like telling you how blood oranges are the Godiva of citrus, and at some point you’ll stop reading, and I will have successfully shirked my duty of ending this post in an intelligent manner. ::Sigh:: I have a job that I cannot manage to do adequately at this stage in my life, and I don’t enjoy it, and we’re making closer to $6 a year now so extra income is no longer essential, yet I feel a horribly guilty obligation to finish this project already. That is why I’m holed up in my studio this morning with my computer.


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