In the Cracked columns we often refer to ourselves as dick joke specialists, which can sound self-deprecating, but only if you’ve never had a real job. Jobs are work! Sitting around giggling about funrods is about as far from real work as you can get while still getting paid. It even counts as research and development, advancing the frontiers of human knowledge. I spend a lot of time thinking of ways to widen the field with clitoris gags and other hot-button issues.
But how does it feel to do that for a living? Like those long pig sausages and tongue-testing stations, it feels pretty good. And the world can’t tell me I don’t have a proper job when it pays people to phone strangers and annoy them with insurance adverts.
A friend of mine is a writer, but her housemate is a stockbroker, so when she complained about staying up till two in the morning to finish an article she gets less sympathy than you’d find on a human-hunting expedition. “I was up until three closing a six million dollar deal!” he crowed. Which sounds important as all hell, until you realize those weren’t the stockbroker’s millions of dollars. If they were, he wouldn’t have been up until three. And he wouldn’t have been discussing them with his flatmate. Those dollars belong to someone else. Someone who used them to hire an employee to broke their stocks, in the same way they’d hire an employee to unclog their toilets.
I don’t work with millions dollars, and when I talked to mortgage broker they found “freelance comedy writer” slightly less attractive than “unpaid arsonist”, but as you work your way through to the arse-end of the day you have to digest what your job is really doing to the world. I get to make some people laugh. And I’m extremely happy with that.