If you’ve ever had a weird job, you will never forget it. Judging from this month’s contest entries, many of you know what we’re talking about. From playing alter egos to running errands for witch doctors, it’s obvious: the weirder the job, well, the weirder the story.
Here are a few of the best entries.
We aren’t sure what to make of this story, but it did fascinate us. How could we not pick a story about a witch doctor’s delivery boy? Draw your own conclusions. Jesus A. wrote:
"Back when I was in elementary school, we lived in a small farming community in South Texas. Most of the roads were dirt. I was the only kid on the street who owned a bicycle. It had a large metal bicycle basket for the front, and I used to go to the local stores to get items for my Mom.
"One day, a man came to our house to speak to my Mom. He and his wife had moved to a small wood-frame house with no paint, no air conditioning, and no electricity. He introduced himself and said he was a Curandero -- a Mexican folk healer (shaman or witch doctor). He asked if I could run errands for him, since he did not own a vehicle. He said he would pay me.
"How could my Mom refuse a Curandero’s request?
"The Curandero had no telephone, but somehow I always knew when he needed me to run his errands. I would tell my Mom that I was going to see if the Curandero needed anything. When I arrived at his house, he would say, ‘Yes. I was expecting you.’
"Most of the time I went to the grocery store to pick up the usual staples: beans, flour, rice, vegetables, lard, eggs, and kerosene for the lamps. The errands to the drug store were different. I did not know what the items were, but I do know they came in glass bottles and paper cardboard cartons. He also had a fondness for barbacoa de cabeza (cow’s head meat cooked slowly in a hole in the ground), and I would go to the local cantina to purchase it.
"On weekends, his house was packed with people needing his services. Cars and trucks would line up and down the street, the people waiting their turn to see him. Inside the house, the Curandero treated his patients with ointments, cleansing them with eggs and plants, burning dried plants. It was bizarre and very hot inside.
"I’m not sure if he did cure what ailed them, since the Curandero was no medical doctor, but I hope I contributed to their well-being."
It’s tough to follow such a story, but people sent us other great entries. Here are some we liked best:
The anonymity of the internet can certainly feed your alter ego(s):
"My weirdest job was doing online marketing and promotions for a fashion and shopping-oriented website. The weird part was that I also had to adopt different personas and try to start conversations on message boards. In reality, I'm a plain-dressing 31-year-old man, but every day I'd spend a few hours pretending to be a handbag-loving 22-year-old female professional, a Miley Cyrus-obsessed tween, or a sarcastic college student with a fondness for expensive sneakers.
"Eventually I had about 10 alter egos and a cheat-sheet detailing their names, ethnicities, habits, hometowns, education, and income levels. If I couldn't get a real person involved in a conversation, I'd stage an argument between two of my alter egos. Occasionally, customers would try to flirt with my alter egos, and two of the fake personas got interview requests from a magazine doing a story about shopping websites."
Hi. I’m Batman. See if you can dunk me:
"When I was 15, I worked up in Salisbury Beach, Massachusetts. The owner of the local midway carnival gave me a job as a heckler for a dunk clown tank. He told me I had to be in disguise and be good at heckling people. I thought it would be fun, and I could not tell anyone my identity (I wore a mask), so I kind of felt like Batman.
"One night during the third weekend of my heckling, some drinkers came by after the bars let out. Two guys were so angry with my heckling, they jumped the fence and knocked the tank over and came after me. The police had to walk me home. I guess I was pretty good at it, but that was the end of that crazy job."