Ten: Network Family Sitcom Anything
I know this is a little general and at first glance unremarkable, but run a few sitcom families through your mind then ask yourself: Where do these people live? The answer in almost every case is a home that neither you nor they could afford in a million years if they weren’t on a network sitcom. Consider Drake and Josh. Mom has some sort of job but spends most of her time at home. Dad is a TV Weatherman. That huge house (judging from the downstairs it’s a good four bedroom, but for some reason D&J still have to share the attic?) in San Diego–$480-520K easily. How I Met Your Mother? More like How’d I Skate Eviction? Upper West Side, Ted’s spacious two-bedroom apartment is a good three grand—especially since there is nothing in the action leading up to “the gang’s” arrival in New York that portends rent control. But not to worry. He can no doubt handle that nut on the money he makes having earned his mythical professorship with that three years experience and Bachelor’s degree.
Nine: TV Sitcom High School Teacher
Put me in an average American high school, and I would be booted before the last Vicodin-addicted sophomore calls the nurse and claims to be his own mother. These people have to have lesson plans. They have rules of conduct and lunch duty. State Boards are watching their every move, because at any given moment, a hoard of morning show media bloviators are following up “Hooters’ Hot Wing Day” with a special report on “our failing schools.” The faculty of OFS are outnumbered ten-to-one by a herd of functionally illiterate, Adderall-laced walking undead! Ah . . . but TV high schools are so much better. A TV high school teacher’s whole life consists of getting’ down with the kids in what is apparently the only class he or she teaches that day. They give group projects that teach “valuable life lessons” instead of actual facts, figures or skills, that they grade by simply tossing out a letter at the end of the hilarious 90 seconds it takes to deliver the finished product. This is made all the better because while there appear to be hundreds of students in the halls, there are only five or six kids in the entire school who matter. They have all of their classes together, run all of the clubs and play all of the sports. And they are HOT! Not only are they hot, they are guilt-free hot. A 30 year-old male teacher can spend all of the time he wants—in class, at restaurants, even at home—with a beautiful 16 year-old girl and the townspeople will be touched by his commitment! Catch that predator! And give him Teacher of the Year!
Eight: TV Detective
You just catch bad guys by looking around and seeing stuff other people don’t see—which is easy, because the other people you will be around can’t see squat. You get to be seriously irresponsible and anti-social and probably have a really attractive assistant. Plus—big plus!—you don’t need evidence; you can just trick people into confessing. It doesn’t pay all that well, but you get the daily satisfaction of making tons of people who are doing the best they can to make a living in their dead end jobs look like incompetent jerks.
Seven: Savant Janitor
Speaking of making people who are doing the best they can to make a living in their dead end jobs look like incompetent jerks. What would be even sweeter would be doing that to really smart and successful people with high self-esteem. Who can do that better than your friendly neighborhood janitorial math genius? Oh the joy of spending your days walking the halls of America’s elite universities sloshing Franklin Seventy-7 on stuck up Nobel Prize winners. “Oh! Nice problem you spent all day thinking up and all night putting on the board! That would be . . . let’s see . . . 6! Now me, personally, not that into hitting cops, but I can get behind sitting in bars all night drinking with my stupid friends and jacking up the occasional obnoxious grad student. And I could definitely see hooking up with a Harvard cutie. But if I’m smart enough to entice her I ought to be smart enough to guess her age within a decade. Just sayin’.
You can get into any computer anywhere in a matter of seconds. Once in, you can take a bunch of money, get free plane tickets, and seriously mess with your enemies. You can also get away without any trace and without any of that stuff you took ever showing up missing. Heck as far as you know, the guy carrying the cooler with the transplant heart who you unknowingly bumped so you could take the cool girl at school to Des Moines got it to the hospital 800 miles away just in time anyway. The only things to watch out for are if your leather-clad girlfriend tries to make you take a pill and live in the sewer or you hear the words “Global Thermonuclear War.”
Five: Weak, Ineffectual Mafia Middle-Brother
Just listen to this job description: “Bang cocktail waitresses two at a time.” No aging mafia boss having to put up with a bunch of whiny people always asking for favors and brats spraying you with insecticides. No oldest brother having to fly dangerously off the handle with the predictability of a cesium clock, or younger brother having to kiss off this nice protestant girlfriend and spend a year married to a barely literate Italian chick who blows up in a car that you thought was fitted with a bomb but was really just wired by the guys who made the 2003 Olds Alero. Just moving from crappy job to crappy job with all of the advantages of power and none of the responsibilities. The only thing you have to watch out for is, if you ever go to a bar where hookers are having sex with mules keep it to yourself.
All right, technically this isn’t a job, but you don’t have to eat or power-up or any of that stuff, so you really don’t need an income. You can pretty much just ride around on any old motorcycle you knock somebody off of and do whatever you want. If you can, be one of those liquid metal terminators. Then once you come into contact with Kristianna Loken and/or Summer Glau you can just go home and use your imagination. Piece of advice: stay out of steel mills and industrial presses, and you’ll be good to go.
Three: Independently Wealthy Raconteur
I know! I had to look it up myself! I thought they were cooks. All you have to do is tell stories while other dudes buy you drinks, and beautiful women throw themselves at you. And the best part is—based on history—these guys can be sort of fat and ugly and still get laid by lit majors. I know!
Two: International Man of Mystery
Nice cars, “fabulous” company, an apparent immunity to all known social diseases. Okay, there’s the occasional life-threatening trap, but the bad guy always gives you all of the privacy and time you need to escape.
One: Time Lord
Time machine. Screwdriver with more apps that the entire Planet iPhone. Awesome intellect. You can wear really dorky clothes and still look awesome. You are nine hundred years old, but you don’t look like it, so you can recruit hot female co-pilots with British accents who can be rotated out at will with no hard feelings and not look anywhere near as embarrassingly pathetic as Hef who is only like 1/10th your age! And if you die, you come right back as somebody else but everyone still knows you. Did I mention that there’s a time machine?