My Dream Job

My Dream Job (Professional Corrector)

From the book What I’d Say To The Martians And Other Veiled Threats
Originally published in Outside Magazine

My dream job would be professional corrector. I would go around correcting people and things. For instance, if I saw you skiing down a mountain and I didn’t think you were skiing very well, I would yell out a correction, like, “Hey, man, ski better!” Or, if you were fishing, I might call out, “Hey, don’t just stand there, catch a fish!”
For yelling out a correction to someone, I would get five hundred dollars. For just shaking my head derisively and smirking, that’s only a hundred dollars. (So whoever’s paying me for this dream job, you’re getting a bargain right there.) I would also offer more detailed corrections, although I wouldn’t actually do those myself. I would farm them out to a sub-corrector. I would only be a general corrector.
But I wouldn’t be in it for the money. In fact, I would do this job for free.* My main joy would be in helping people. Let’s say you’re at the beach and you call out to a surfer: “Next time, try standing up the whole way, instead of falling over, like you just did.” Imagine the satisfaction of seeing the guy do just that. Or imagine the pride you would feel when the winner of the Tour de France publicly thanked you for his victory, because you told him to “Pedal faster!”
I know I said earlier that I would not only correct people, but also “things.” But I’m not sure how you could do that. How could you move a mountain a little more to the left, or make flowers redder, or frogs hoppier? Talk to God? Good luck with that. In my experience, that guy is always trying to correct you.
*This is not true.