Childhood Dream Jobs Shattered (7.5% of Astronauts Die)
Childhood dream jobs. Hopes of adventure and the unbridled aspirations of youth. Fantasies ingrained into the minds of young generations by sickly American kids movies (excluding the ‘The Mighty Ducks’ which I can only assume was a feature length documentary) before the throbbing inevitability of a life spent endlessly chasing up an office stationary order you put in for printer toner two weeks before. All this disappointment unless of course you have achieved your personal childhood dream job, in which case go away and close the door on the way out. For those underachievers, i.e. you, is it such a bad thing you missed out on space cadets?
My personal childhood dream job was to be Hulk Hogan! Because when you are a child, being a person, or an animal, feeling, weather or anything else are categorised as ‘jobs’. But wrestling was for me; tiny shorts, excessive grimacing, feigned physical pain – now there’s a dream you can invest in. However it does seem that most other kids dreams were at least sort of achievable...
According to an online study the most popular dream jobs for kids were…
Professional and/or Olympic athlete (8.2%)
As many marketing campaigns would let you believe, this is easily achievable task. You just need to film a montage running round an urban area in a beanie with some chunky headphones and a bit of practice. That’s it. Practice and a whole bunch of isotonic sports drinks that turn your pee a funny colour. It’s almost fun! Fun until you hit 18 and taste your first beer. It gives you that clarity of thought...
People say it takes ten thousand hours to achieve a professional level of sport. Even if you work 12 hour days that’s 833 days. Over 2 years of nothing but practicing the same thing. And when in that time do you get to drink beer?...
Aeroplane or Helicopter Pilot (6.8%)
Well I am not sure this 6.8% ever played the 1995 gaming classic Flight Simulator for Windows 95. The realisation that this game was shockingly accurate pretty much dispelled most dreams of becoming a pilot. Even aviation themed blockbusters such as Con Air and Snakes on a Plane aren't going to change how mind numbing a 12 hour cross Atlantic journey on an airbus A380 is.
Waking up in a sleazy Motel in Delaware with a Twinkie stuck to your cheek… Or the UK equivalent: waking up in a Luton Premier Inn with and tripping over a Corby trouser press. Probably experiencing some sub-standard customer service when checking out. Probably still saying thank you.
Who’s surprised?! Explosions and ground breaking discoveries, laboratories filled with monkeys learning to shoot guns and plasma screen TV’s with stands of DNA winding away like a… very important screensaver? Then slowly they introduce the paperwork. Reams and reams of hypothesis and statistics. Can we burn things now....hmm the hypothesis says no, you can put the Bunsen burner away now, we won’t need that again. Ever. Budget cuts and all.
Maybe I went to an under privileged school but I literally didn't know anyone who wanted to be a lawyer. The list was shaping up nicely, but lawyer?! Why on earth would a child have the foresight to decide that he or she wanted to spend tens of hours poring over case studies in the hope of getting Hugh Grant off of another speeding ticket?
I think I know why lawyer has made the list. Again, American movies. Lawyers in films are normally the physical embodiment of bad parenting. Missing little Jimmy’s big ball game because they were working so hard on a case for their career. Sound familiar? Well, the films all end with the Lawyer throwing in the towel to spend more time with the family. Eurgh. Ergo, kids want to be good parents. Sickening. Someone get this poor kid a copy of Flight Simulator.
Even as an adult I don’t know how to become an astronaut. Besides on average only 23 people a year manage to go to space. You have statistically a better chance of winning the Gadget show competition! Ok so I made that up...but it sounds about right. Astronauts also have the uncanny habit of dying in a ball of flames. In fact according to much disputed stats the death rate is 7.5%. Let’s all encourage our kids to aspire to choose a profession in which they may perish! Yaaaay!
That was awfully macabre. But as is the harsh reality of the current job market, and that’s the real message here kids. Shoot for the moon, not literally – Space is not a safe working environment for children as we have already established.
Any word on that printer toner?