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Scoping out some new careers

"A lawyer who specializes in gay divorce who can moonlight as a tattoo removal technician."

That was one of the winners of the humor contest I run in the magazine The Week. The contest question? With everyone getting laid off -- often from jobs that have simply evaporated -- what's one career that really shows some growth potential for the next couple of years?

The answers were as cute as they were nauseatingly on target. "Text Addiction Therapist" was one -- though if I knew a person who really did that for a living, I'd call for an appointment. (And then I'd get stuck on her waiting list.) My younger son texts so much I have to pry the phone out of his hands as he's laying his head on the pillow. In fact, I just did! And I know he'll be texting again before he eats his Eggos. And possibly in between bites.

Another new job someone sent to the contest: "Privacy Reclamation Consultant." If you ever have posted a photo of yourself on Facebook doing anything other than hugging your grandkid or graduating from college, you can understand this one. It's so easy and fun to throw up (so to speak) photos from that party last weekend -- a party that will stay fresh forever, thanks to the sticky nature of cyberdata. Old follies never die; they just Well, that's it. They never die. They're always a click away, even for your future employer. Or spouse. Or gay divorce lawyer.

"Home Scrap Lumber Salesperson" -- that one's self-explanatory. "Incumbent Employment Counselor" -- ditto. " 'Lost' Explainer." That's another professional I'd hire right away, as my ELDER son -- the one not constantly texting -- seems to have been constantly watching "Lost" instead. Now that it's finally over, he's reminiscing about all the characters and plot twists, and sometimes, despite his vow of adolescent non-communication, he can't help himself and actually talks to ME about the show. "What an ending, when the dog lay down next to the guy who'd been a smoke ghost on the ship in the past in the future " or whatever. Impossible to understand. Calling the "Lost" Explainer!

Heck. TEXTING the "Lost" Explainer!

Other growth fields? "Cannabisseur," which could truly come to be if medical marijuana paves the way and pot goes the way of gourmet coffee.

"BP Defense Lawyer." That'll pay well AND ride you through to retirement. (Might not serve you so well in the afterlife, though.)

"President of the United States of Google." "Black Market Primary Care Physician." "Oily Seafood Chef" -- that one goes well with another suggestion, "Gulf Coast Fish Psychotherapist."

A fake job I'd actually LIKE is "Jobsolete Archivist," chronicling all those great careers that have bitten the dust, from blacksmith to telephone operator to Blockbuster employee. (Sorry, actual Blockbuster employees! You DID know it's coming. Right?)

Heck, even my own chosen field was represented by this harsh entry: "Editor in chief, Daily Newspaper. Part-time; flexible hours; work from home; no experience necessary." Ha-ha. I'd chuckle more, but I have to hurry up and blog for free and open a tin of cat food. (Nope, I don't own a cat.)

In case you still want to eat the good stuff (tuna), other possibly booming fields include "Geriatric Obstetrician," "Veterinary Plastic Surgeon," "Tweeter Tutor" and "Bread Line Attendant." Or how about "Carbon Footprint Investigator" or "Social Network Surrogate"? And for those of you who don't want to waste your Ph.D.s, there's even a glamorous job opening up in academia: "Professor of Economics, University of Athens."

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