My Four Preferred Reincarnation Jobs
Just in case Ian Fleming was right when he said “You only live twice”
By Ed Goldman
If reincarnation works, it’ll give me the chance to pay off my Visa bill, pay down my reverse mortgage and rewrite my will. Leaving my art collection to Midas Muffler may have been a tad whimsical, I’ll grant you.
Most believers in reincarnation think that what you come back as will be an improvement over what you were. So, what I’m really hoping is that it will give me the chance to pursue new career-and-lifestyle options. A few examples:
1. SERVICE ANIMAL. This is not to suggest I want to come back as a Corgi—even though that would be an improvement over my current status. But what I’m talking about is returning as a part-time human, maybe with a trimmer waistline and fuller hairline, and part-time dog. I’d offer my assistance to service-animal scammers—you know, the ones you get seated next to on Southwest flights who’ve somehow managed to tuck a mongoose into their carry-on luggage and call it their carnivorous service mammal. I can be that! I’m a mammal and carnivorous (though I now try to use meat as a garnish instead of as an entire food group). I also fold up nicely, as anyone who’s ever seen me get humiliated on a talk show or be ordered by a judge to run a correction in this column will attest.
I’ve always thought that being a service animal would be a cool gig. Everyone treats you with such respect and even affection, as though you’re Doing The Lord’s Work when what you’re really trying to do is scratch behind your ear (or considerably lower). I also think that since I’ve never been in the military, this would be my only chance to have a total stranger approach me and say, “Thank you for your service.” Follow that with “Who’s a good boy?” and I’ll feel immortal.
2. CENTRAL PARK CARRIAGE HORSE. This takes me back to a column I wrote for the Sacramento Business Journal more than seven years ago when it was reported that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (currently on point to become a historic footnote) announced plans to eliminate these lovely beasts from the city’s work force. These horses were treated extremely well: they worked a maximum six-hour day and never when the weather was too cold or too hot. They even received a five-week vacation in the country each year though they weren’t tenured professors.
When the story came out, I wrote a column in the form of a letter in which I applied for a job as one of the horses. I suppose the HR people in Gotham either didn’t take me seriously—or, more likely, didn’t want to come up with moving expenses—and I never received a reply. Therefore, I’ve decided that my better option might be to just get reborn with four legs.
It’ll take some doing, I’m sure, but I’m willing to help. I’ll even keep my current name: Mister Ed.
“Who’s Siri Now?”
But it’s more about the fact that your average smartphone has a few hundred more functions than I do, even though I like to think of myself as a hyphenate—you know, a writer-artist-composer-doorstop. But the sad truth is that I don’t, as a person rather than a smartphone, have Internet connectivity, a mobile browser or an ability to sync more than one email account to my underwear, much less my body. I lack embedded memory and a wireless synchronization with other devices (such as laptop or desktop computers).
4. MIDAS MUFFLER. This might be the best of both worlds: to come back as one of the recipients of my own art collection. Who says you can’t fake it with you?