Friday, February 18, 2005


Or, what did you say again?

By Theolonius McTavish, an odd sort of person who adores collecting information regarding strange jobs no one has ever heard about unless one’s an insider or something

The other day I opened my local newspaper to my favorite section, the classifieds.

All right I admit perhaps I did glance over the “personal ads”, (the usual ones like “fit and fun SWM wishing to meet attractive, passionate SWF 35-45 for relaxed times”). But, nothing really caught my eye, tickled my fancy, or made me want to run out and spend $1.99/minute on a blutterbunged buddy or beautiful blatherskite for that matter.

Where was I? Oh yes, well to make a long story short, I made a beeline for the “Help Wanted” section, (or as I prefer to call it, the unusual labor and gene pool).

Today’s listings include four gems: Debottlenecker, Feller Buncher (operator), Dangle Processor (operator) and Swamper. Now I don’t know about you, but these definitely invite further exploration.

Without a job description to figure out who might be qualified for these pithy posts, the best one can do is hop on the Internet. According to the Google search folks, there are 112,000 web pages on the subject of "Swamper", 9,430 web pages devoted to “Feller Buncher”, 7 web pages on “Dangle Processor”, and a scanty three for “Debottlenecker”.

To learn more about these jobs, it’s a wise idea to don a ‘dunce cap,’ (or a fool’s cap if the proverbial “sky is falling” on your side of the world). Then place your tongue in your cheek and cross your eyes. Terrific, now you look like a fop and folks won’t have high expectations of you today.

Even better, make a sandwich board with the words – “JOB WANTED – Feller Buncher, Dangle Processor, Debottlenecker & Swamper”. Then stand on a street corner. Besides being a great conversation piece, it’s an excellent way to get fantastic feedback from everyone about what it takes to be a world-class whatever, whatnot or so-and-so.

“Feller Buncher” (is that the one who recruits a bunch of college footballers who want to squish themselves into a telephone booth and see if they can get into the “Guinness Book of World Records”?)

“Dangle Processor” (is that the Professor of Perilous Prose & Punctuation Pitfalls who moonlights as a correspondence commissionaire warning us of imminent threat from dangling modifiers not to mention the dangers of dead-end sentences?)

“Debottlenecker” (is that the weed-whacker who removes kinks in garden hoses, the whoop-de-doer that makes tomato catsup run smoothly, or the whizbang whee-er who flattens all mountains, molehills and whoopee cushions with a single, well-timed whop?)

"Swamper" (is that the poor sod in the bog who hasn't got a hope in heck of extricating himself/herself without assistance from the Guru of Glitch?)

Just remember, the next time you’re looking at the “Help Wanted” section, cross your fingers and toes that you don’t come across a job you’ve never heard of, but feel eminently qualified to submit an application anyway.

Toss your second thoughts away! Go ahead and boogie!! Apply for that job as "Chief Nose-Counter", "Executive De-Clutterbugger", or "Heffalump Hunter Extraordinaire". After all, you only live once (unless you really want to come back as a toad, an eel, or a snake for pity's sake)!

Life Lesson #47: Happiness comes in little packages marked “Do Not Open Under Any Circumstances”, (unless of course you’re a curious quack like me who doesn't trust angels).


For more information on "Odd Jobs of the Rich & Famous", please consult

Or, for more portraits of unusual occupations, why not pick up this tiny tome of treasures entitled, "Odd Jobs" by Nancy Rica Schiff