Pathetic License

Probably the most provocative image in the April issue of Islands is the one of a Cuban woman chomping on a cigar that could easily pass for the largest kielbasa hanging in a butcher’s window. However, the text below the photo draws the reader’s attention to the laminated card hanging from her neck, an ID which declares that she is a “licensed costumed character.”

The statement that the Cuban government “offers a license for most every job” led me to the logical conclusion that, just as refugees try to bridge the gap between our two countries, it will not be long before most Americans will be wearing job titles around their necks. Notice how many employees in schools, hospitals, daycare centers, nursing homes, and shopping malls are already wearing occupational IDs pinned to collars, pockets, or belts.

Why wait for the Department of Labor or OSHA to issue job titles? My O, PSHAW enterprise has the laminator already warmed up and the digital camera in place so smile as you stand in line to answer the question “What’s my line?”

Footwear clerk­–Licensed Shoehorner

Barfly–Licensed Reprobate

Used car salesperson–Licensed Lemon Squeezer

Linebacker–Licensed Bonecrusher

Airplane Pilot–Licensed Sky Jockey

Hair Restorer–Licensed Follicle Fixer

Painter–Licensed Brush Artist

Bodyguard–Licensed Brush-Off Artist

Cabdriver–Licensed Hacker

Defensive Lineman–Licensed Sacker

Masseuse–Licensed Back Rubber

Lobbyist–Licensed Back Slapper

Gossip Columnist–Licensed Back Stabber

Carpet Installer–Licensed Tack Pounder

Gigolo–Licensed Tacky Bounder

Plumber–Licensed Pipe Wrencher

Pimp–Licensed Ripe Wencher

Maid–Licensed Bed Maker

Bookie–Licensed Bet Taker

Baker–Licensed Dough Kneader

Cashier–Licensed Dough Feeder

Travel Agent–Licensed Wheretogoer

Farmer–Licensed Seed Sower

Barber–Licensed Clip Artist

Electrician–Licensed Circuit Righter

Florist–Licensed Pedal Pusher

Seismologist–Licensed Quake Finder

Babysitter–Licensed Tyke Minder

Boxer–Licensed Fist Fighter

Mortician–Licensed Last Riter

Pest Controller–Licensed Critter Getter

Auto Mechanic–Licensed Engine Fixer

Censor–Licensed No-No Nixer

Caterer–Licensed Food Bringer

Pitcher–Licensed Baseball Slinger

Quarterback–Licensed Football Flinger

Chimney Sweep–Licensed Soot Remover

Tailor–Licensed Suit Creator

Dermatologist–Licensed Skin Healer

Ecdysiast–Licensed Clothes Peeler

Meteorologist–Licensed Forecaster

Storyteller–Licensed Lore Master

Roofer–Licensed Shingle Applier

Electrologist–Licensed Tingle Supplier

Dentist–Licensed Tooth Repairer

Peeping Tom–Licensed Covert Starer

Furrier–Licensed Purveyor of Minks

Golfer–Licensed Master of Links

Shyster–Licensed Defender of Finks

Custodian–Licensed Basement Sweeper

Burglar–Licensed Second Story Creeper

Herbalist–Licensed Root Seller

Fetishist–Licensed Foot Smeller

Locksmith–Licensed Door Opener

Lion Tamer–Licensed Roar Silencer

Pretzel Maker–Licensed Knot Bender

Thug–Licensed Arm Twister

Collision Repairer–Licensed Fender Mender

Transvestite–Licensed Gender Bender

Coin Dealer–Licensed Gold Buyer

Trapezist–Licensed High Flyer

Perjurer–Licensed Paid Liar

Photographer–Licensed Shutter Snapper

Loan Shark–Licensed Money Grabber

Hunting Guide–Licensed Tent Scrounger

Slumlord–Licensed Rent Gouger

Bartender–Licensed Mix Master

Candle Maker–Licensed Wicks Waxer

Audiologist–Licensed Hearing Aider

Roué–Licensed Leering Dater

Fortuneteller–Licensed Crystal Baller

Strikebreaker–Licensed Mob Mauler

Telemarketer–Licensed Nuisance Caller

Heating Contractor–Licensed HVACer

Apiarist–Licensed Wary Bee-er

Realtor–Licensed Home Shower

Demolition Expert–Licensed Home Blower

Insurance Agent–Licensed Policy Pusher

Summer Stock Actor–Licensed Perennial Busher

Model–Licensed Fashion Styler

Strip Miner–Licensed Land Defiler

Asphalt Paver–Licensed Blacktopper

Efficiency Expert–Licensed Slack Stopper

Janitor–Licensed Hall Mopper

Petty Thief–Licensed Nickel-and-Dimer

Poetaster–Licensed Middling Rhymer

Malcontent–Licensed Constant Whiner

Dance Instructor–Licensed Toe Tapper

Racecar Driver–Licensed Fast Lapper

Multiple IDs are possible. Licenses need not be worn at once or kept for life.  Perhaps even the stogie-wielding Cuban has abandoned her role as costumed character as have Cyndi Lauper, David Bowie, and others.

Don’t delay or the bureaucrats may impose their own occupational title upon you. Remember, at O, PSHAW our licenses come with ribbons to wear around your neck, not red tape to tangle you up in blue.


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