What is the world?s greatest job? Play tester for Blizzard, maybe? Perhaps working as an editor at Tor Fantasy? How about getting paid to try out all of Sony?s various gadgets? Taste tester at a Mexican restaurant? There are a ton of possibilities, with the answers as varied as the people who answer.

    So let me spin the question a different way. What is greatest job that does not exist? Send your mind back through all the games you have ever played, all the movies you have ever watched, all the books you have ever read… and try to remember which career you saw portrayed that left you feeling your current line of work was about as great as moldy bread. Even if you love your job, there likely will be one , at least one, that makes you wish that history had worked out differently enough you could submit an application. Having trouble thinking of any? Well, consider….

    Dinosaur baby-sitter. Jurassic Park had dinosaurs, all right. Big ones, little ones, smart one, dumb ones, all kinds of dinosaurs in one nice little island. And all of them hatched from an egg. Which means somebody had to feed the cute little baby dinosaurs and help them grow up into enormous island eating beasties. Can you imagine taking home a six figure paycheck for rocking a stegosaurus to sleep? Even after you retired, this job would still make you money on the speaking circuit. No doubt there would be people willing to pay up to listen to a lecture on the importance of baby brontosaurs eating their greens.

    But if overgrown reptiles are not your cup of tea, perhaps working the bar at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe is more desirable. Think of all the amazing and wonderful people you would meet. Imagine watching the universe self-destruct on a nightly basis. Think of the investment opportunities! Deposit a dollar at the beginning of your shift, and withdrawal a few hundred thousand years worth of interest at the end of your shift. Douglas Adams not only dreamed up the single greatest eating establishment never to publish a menu, he has also created the setting for one of space-time?s greatest jobs!

    Then again, not everyone could handle working alongside main dishes that converse. Some may prefer to forsake food altogether, and hop on the back of an X-wing as a helpful R2 android. Sure, the pay scale is nothing to get excited about, and I imagine the benefits are less than stellar, but there is something to be said about never having to mess with food or sleep again. Besides, R2s are very handy little units to have around. Built in holographic projection system, fire suppressant, smoking screen device, 1337 hacking skills, yes the life of an R2 is one of cheerful service. Riding on the back of a speeding X-wing and feeling the stardust on your metal casing is an experience no one should miss.

    However, if you prefer to remain human, consider blacksmithing. Griswold (Diablo edition) had it made. He made a killing selling equipment at ridiculous prices. He had plenty of suppliers of stuff, given the number of lunatic warriors eager to actual fight Diablo and finding cool items on the way. Tristram was a nice little town. Sure, the population was a bit on the odd side, but every neighborhood is like that. It was a perfect set up… incredible income potential in a rustic, scenic location with wonderful retirement options. With biceps that size, he had his choice of post-Tristam careers… head to Vegas and become a boxer, or go play fullback for the Chicago Bears. If only Griswold had left before that not-so-intelligent adventurer drove Diablo?s soul stone into his own forehead… oh well.

    Such are the possibilities of realities that never were. Of course, my short list only scratches the surface of the mountain of dream jobs that are out there. I have not even mentioned King Arthur?s horse (Monty Python and the Holy Grail), or Charsi?s apprentice, or the guy who cleans the royal stables of Rohan. And I am certain that somewhere, someone would love to help pave the Yellow Brick Road, or brew tea for the Mad Hatter, or drive the trolley that goes to the Neighborhood of Make Believe. Perhaps there are even those who want nothing more than to live the slow and pastoral existence of an ent.

    Now that I have caused mass employee discontent and left hundreds of wonderful people disgruntled with their line of work, I think it would be helpful to mention that any sort of a paying job has its benefits. It may be merely that the money you earn allows you to escape via book or game to a world where those good-for-nothing coworkers do not exist. It may be that your hard-earned funds allows you to experience the joys of philanthropy by donating to non profit organizations and this web site. Or it may simply be that you have your sights set on one day building a Jurassic Park of your very own, and the current job is just a method of raising capital.

    If you do build Jurassic Park, drop me a line. I am pretty sure I can find a dinosaur sitter for you. And if anyone knows the human resources director for Rohan, would you ask him to return my call?

    Disclaimer: Salem?s Fire was written by Luke Blaize during 2002-2004, and hosted by Diabloii.net. The opinions expressed in these columns are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Diii.net.

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