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Tricks Of The Trade

A while back I read an interview with a birthday clown -- you know, one of those guys who gets hired to entertain a bunch of yard apes at a seven year-old's shindig? And the interviewer asked, like, "What if you're dying out there? What if the kids are hating it?" And the subject, the interviewee-guy (I honestly have no recollection who this clown was or why I was reading this interview) said, in a pinch, he could always resort to a Funny Word. When pressed for clarification, the clown revealed a fascinating (to me) trick of the birthday clown trade: apparently every year there are two or three Funny Words, which invariably crack kids up, and when things are going sour you can just blurt one out and bring the house down. But you gotta keep up-to-date, because the Funny Words mysteriously change over time, so while "booger" might have killed in 1998, 2004 demands nothing less than a "monkey."

Anyway, this got me wondering about other professions and other sooper secret tricks of the trade, to the point where I'd like to write an article for The Morning News on the subject. Or, to be more specific, I'd like to have a bunch of other people write the article for me.

If you'd like to contribute your own Trick Of The Trade, please do so using the form below. I can't promise I'll use them all, but I can promise that everyone who contributes will get to see a painting of Bea Arthur fighting a velociraptor. That's a defective yeti guarantee.

Name: Occupation:

Your Trick Of The Trade:

Update: Wow, getting some great one. Two comments. First, the vast majority of the tricks are coming in unsigned (i.e., just as "Anonymous"), which is fine but means that I will probably omit names when I compile them into the article. Just a word of warning, so no one gets irked when they don't get proper acknowledgement. Secondly, I'm getting a lot of tricks for the same 20 jobs -- you know, the jobs that everyone on the Intenet has (IT, Customer Service, Developer, etc.) so you get bonus points if you work in a slightly more unusual position like, you know, astronaut or pornstar.

Posted on August 19, 2004 to Tricks Of The Trade