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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

So What Do You Do For A Living?

We'd got past hello, what's your name and fancy a drink?

"So what do you fellas do for a living?"

The moment of choice was upon us - divulge we were squaddies and take the chance of revulsion or admiration - or make something up and hope for the best. None of us sounded like we were from Northern Ireland.

"Errm - we're lighthouse painters. It's quite specialist really - that's why we are over from the UK. You've got some lovely lighthouses over here."

"F**k off d**khead - heard that one last week - do you think we're stupid or something." And they left clutching the drinks we'd just paid a fortune for.

One of the major pains in the arse when I was in Northern Ireland (and it's very different now) was getting into pubs and clubs. A bunch of lads out by themselves with English accents stood no chance of getting past the bouncers. The option was to sneak in one and by one - and risk the chance of some of your mates not getting in - or alternatively to try to chat up some girls in a pub you could get into and then persuade them to get you in where you really wanted to go. An English bloke walking in with a Northern Irish lass was usually ok with the bouncers.

So admit to being a squaddie or lie and try to persuade the lady you were something else? A tricky question. What follows are some of the more imaginative occupations that either I or someone I know has tried to blag:

  • Dolphin trainer - works well with the more sensitive lady although it helps if you know just one or two basic facts about dolphins - like they live in salt water (not everyone I work with is very smart).
  • Lighthouse painter - ok it didn't work for us but it has for other people.
  • Driving for the Moscow State Circus - worked a treat for a fabulous month that the circus was in town.
  • Airline pilot - the only person I know who tried this was met with "You're an airline pilot - what the f**k are you doing in this s**thole?"
My all time favourite is the "Free Fall Welder" - I never saw this happen although I've been promised it is true. Bear in mind that this guy had been a welder in a previous job and was a keen sport parachutist:

"Well love it's like this - sometimes these big Jumbo jets get little cracks in their wings when they are flying from here to America. So what we do is fly out in a fast aeroplane until we are above them and then we jump out with our welding gear - we freefall down and then land on the wings - we use big suckers so we don't fall off. We do whatever welding we have to and then when they get over land we let go of the suckers, open our parachutes and come down nice and gently."

I don't know why but everytime I think of this image the bloke is talking to someone like Britney Spears.


Anonymous Z said...

Did you never think to try something like painter and decorator, plumber, something ordinary?
I mean, come on, it was like you were taking the piss...

8:15 pm  
Blogger Universal Soldier said...

Well yes but that wouldn't have made for a good story now would it ;)

6:49 am  
Blogger NYgirl said...

What a life you've led. I didn't even know there were jobs like that :-) The dolphin trainer one sounds like fun though.

11:29 pm  
Blogger Trée said...

Love creativity. Amazing what some folks will believe and you're right, wouldn't be a good story without the wild occupations ;)

5:34 am  
Anonymous Z said...

Excuse me. Hope this isn't cheeky.
But I so would like to comment on some of Mrs Soldiers posts, so this is a message for you. I couldn't find an e-mail address.

Any chance that you might allow those without a Blogger account to comment?

2:03 pm  
Anonymous Laura said...

My line about my real works always works (well, if I want to anyway) 'I try to get more sperm {long silence}............. donations in the UK'

6:19 pm  
Blogger willamstarker said...

I was in Northern Ireland was getting into pubs and clubs. A bunch of lads out by themselves with English accents stood no chance of getting past the bouncers.

6:05 am  
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