#45 When you see a huge dog sitting in the driver’s seat of a parked car

What was your worst job ever?

Yes, we were chatting about bad jobs the other night and I said unclogging grease traps with my bare hands was at the top of my list. Pulling out that rusty Black Box of Death from under the triple-sink released a foul Rotting Meat Scraps From Six Months Ago stench that was seared forever in my brain.

Scott said his gig was worse: scraping out urinals at the bar he worked at in high school. Being the low man on the grill meant whenever someone created a horrible mess he was thrown a handful of paper towels and told to get to it.

We all thought Scott might have won the title but our friend Tyler said collecting shopping carts in the grocery store lot was worse. “Think about it,” he started. “There’s that constant search for lost carts, snapping them all into mate-mode, and then pushing the world’s heaviest Shopping Cart Train back inside without hitting anything. Rain, slush, snow, it doesn’t matter, you just freeze for hours and hours all by yourself.”

We sent Tyler’s argument to the Bad Job Jury for deliberation and it eventually got ruled out. Why? The jury argued that Cart-Picker-Upper Guy gets fresh air, good exercise, and the added bonus of laughing out loud whenever he sees big dogs sitting in the driver’s seat of a parked car.

Yes, he gets to imagine that dog trying to figure out how to drive in case some killer disease wipes out the entire human population while his owner grabs milk and bananas. “It’s up to dogs now,” you can hear him thinking, gamely pawing the slippery steering wheel, staring at you with sad tired eyes. “Don’t just look at me… where’s the stupid emergency brake?”

Seeing a big dog sitting in the driver’s eat of a parked car is a loving sight — ranking with sunrises over glittery oceans, old people holding hands, and kaleidoscoping blue-green lights at the edges of the horizon. That’s because big dogs in driver’s seats are the car equivalent of a Friendly Pet Welcome at the front door. Except you can actually see the welcome about to happen through the glass.

So I say whether it’s pushing carts through snow and seeing adorable big dog faces, mopping dusty school hallways and catching little kid embraces, or spilling coffee in turbulence just to land in sandy new places — what we’re saying today is that every tough job has its silver linings, quiet pleasures, and hidden little sighting of


Photos from: here, here, and here