Friday, November 5, 2010

Jobs I Should Have: Picturesque Hermit

Somewhere around the 18th Century, wealthy European landowners got into a style of naturalistic decoration for their property. They would improve on the natural groves, fields and waterways by leveling them and installing their own groves, fields and waterways.

They also embraced the fashion of adding completely useless buildings called "follies." These buildings, often fake ruins or replicas of exotic buildings from elsewhere in the world. Sometimes they replicated buildings of the mythical "good-old days" when the woods were filled with fairy-tale towers and mysterious cottages.

And the man who really had it all would not only have a mysterious cottage built in the woods on his property, he'd hire a mysterious hermit to go live in it.

Personally, I think this could be a pretty good job match for me. I'd be pretty happy with a cottage out in the woods, for one thing, especially if I could pack it with books and musical instruments to pass the time (and there was usually a decent salary that came with these jobs, as well as the room and board). I can grow out my beard pretty well, and get some nice shaggy hair going, no problem, and I'm pretty comfortable walking around barefoot three seasons out of four. If my employer would agree to appropriate educational arrangements, I could bring my daughter with me too (she'd have to grow out the haircut to something a bit more Rapunzel-ish, of course) and I could enlist her in talking to birds and having cryptic conversations with wayfaring strangers, or whatever it is that Mysterious Hermits' Daughters (tm) are supposed to do.

All in all, I think it's a pretty good career choice. I could certainly use the fresh air and wood-chopping exercise, and really a couple years of heavy reading and music practice (maybe building my own instrument with hand tools, woodcarving seems a respectably hermit-esque occupation) could only do me good.

So if anyone has a large plot of land with a cottage that needs a hermit, please let me know. Kind-Hearted Salt of the Earth is the default offering, but prices for Sage Adviser, Generically Spiritual Visionary, Forlorn Misanthrope and Crazy Old Coot are negotiable. I will, however, require a significant bonus if you want Devout Ascetic, the chair is a bit uncomfortable.

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