7 Hilariously Badass Jobs (You Had No Idea Were Real)
Remember when you were a child and wanted to be a firefighting dinosaur president, but then eventually grew up and had to face the reality of a bleak and meaningless career? Well, unlike us, some people refused to play by the adults' rules. These heroes went out and made their childhood dreams a reality, creating new jobs that sound like they were made up by a four-year-old in time out for punching all the other children at the daycare. For example ...
Medieval MMA Fighter
We've told you before of the Knight Fighting Leagues, wherein people dress as knights and play-fight as if they've been called a scoundrel and a cur by the parking attendant at Medieval Times. But when Russia, which has been suffering a critical fuck shortage for decades, saw what was going on, they quickly stripped away the pomp and circumstance of medieval lore and started an MMA league with swords.
Medieval MMA is not like typical medieval combat circles, which prefer to focus on the "arts" part of martial arts. Russia's M-1 Medieval fighting is all about taking fully armored bruisers, giving them swords, putting them in a brightly lit ring, and letting them beat the absolute hell out of each other. M-1 Global, Russia's biggest MMA league, stumbled upon this incredible formula when they decided to introduce a "Medieval league" in 2015. Starting off as a novelty act, armored knights would tussle to fill the time in between official MMA matches. But the crowd loved the halftime entertainment so much that the organization moved on to full "knight fight nights." Now, armored warriors fight in a real league with their own categories, title fights, and, of course, champions -- whom we imagine get a +1 to their armor bonus or something.
Strangely, people were a little underprepared for how dangerous "MMA but with weapons" turned out to be. Strict rules were drawn up to contain what immediately became the league's most violent competitions. No groin attacks, neck attacks, or arm locks are allowed. Neither is thrusting at an opponent with your sword. Actually, the safety advisors would have preferred they not use swords at all, but the league made it clear that the use of swords in their sword-based tournaments was "non-negotiable."
Maybe you were one of those kids who just answered "Space!" when some adult asked what you wanted to do when you grew up. It didn't matter what you did, really, just where you got to do it. Space soldier. Space doctor. Space pirate. Whatever. But then people kept telling you to grow up and pick a serious career. Well now you can have your moon-pie and eat it too, because law schools are turning out their first crop of for-real space lawyers. Lawyers! In! Space!
Nearly 60 years after we first launched a satellite outside of the Earth's atmosphere, the first space businesses are being formed, from asteroid mining to orbiting hotels (and we've never been so happy to write a sentence). Of course, since we can't just let space businesses do whatever we want, lest the Universe gradually turns into Cowboy Bebop, the countries of the world have started developing space law. One such space lawyer traversing the final legal frontier is Sagi Kfir, who acts as legal counsel for an asteroid mining company, trying to determine the answers to legal questions that nobody has ever thought to ask before, such as "Does an asteroid mining company own the materials it gathers from an asteroid?" That problem was settled in the 2015 U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act, but what happens if there's an industrial accident on the asteroid? Who is liable if acid-blooded aliens swarm out of its depths and kill everyone?
And it's more than Mr. Kfir thinking about these issues. In fact, space law was a thing long before you might expect, existing when man was but a primate looking longingly at the stars like they were some unreachable divinity: 1959. That's the year the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space was created to regulate space law. Up until now, they've mainly been dealing with nutballs like Dennis Hope, a San Franciscan who tried to register the Moon, gave himself the title of "Head Cheese," and billed all moon-walking nations $55,000 for littering. But with the rise of space-minded billionaires picking up NASA's slack, new issues have presented themselves with hilarious Futurama-inspired terms like "orbital jurisdiction," "space tourism liability," and "spacecraft tort" -- which sounds both confusing and delicious. It looks like space lawyers will have a great impact on the next century, filling the gaps between the stars with as much confusing paperwork as they can.
Drone Cop (Or Drone Racer)
Entities like Amazon are planning for us to become accustomed to having drones buzz about in the air. But with the upcoming surge of civilian drones, people are getting nervous about the lack of regulations regarding their usage -- specifically, the committing of drone crimes. Thankfully, the city of Tokyo is training an elite squadron of law enforcement specialists to take on the threat of airborne crime. That's right: drone cops.
Tokyo has trained officers to catch rogue drones with larger, too-old-for-this-shit police drones. These first-generation Robocops will be equipped with cameras, nets, and a warning system so that the drone operator can be given the chance to knock off whatever it is they are doing. And before you discredit Japan's drone-policing efforts with an incredulous guffaw, their anti-drone squad has already proved itself successful. Earlier this year, the police intercepted a drone carrying trace amounts of radioactive cesium over the prime minister's office, apparently trying to carry out the slowest assassination plot in world history.
If you can't be a drone cop and you're too much of a wuss to do drone crimes, you could also take up a hobby that's almost as cool as either of those: drone racing. It might not seem that exciting at first, until you remember that drones are generally equipped with cameras. That's why drone racing is FPV (First-Person View), in which the pilot can look through the drone camera with special goggles, providing them with all of the thrills of a Top Gun-esque chase without risking the tragedy that befell Goose.
Some have even modded their experience for it to resemble a digital hub. The racers even brag about how this feels like playing a video game, but in real life -- except that you're still looking at a screen, and no one ever thought Mario Kart was lacking the feature where you have to clean up smoldering bits of plastic off a field after a crash.
They even have a drone racing league, with the world championship being broadcast on ESPN. We are fast approaching a future of drone cops, drone criminals, and drone racers. Pretty soon, the Fast & Furious franchise is going to be nothing but footage of Vin Diesel sweatily wearing a headset.
Lego Master Builder
Everyone loves playing with Legos [citation unnecessary], but a lot of us aren't creative enough to do much beyond follow the instructions. At best, we stick some wings on a car, break it on the first throw, and call it a day. But if you're skilled enough, imaginative enough, and patient enough to find that one goddamned piece you saw 10 goddamned minutes ago, you can get an honest-to-goodness job building things out of Lego pieces and call yourself a Lego Master Builder.
You probably heard the term "Master Builder" if you watched The Lego Movie -- that name comes from the geniuses who work at the Lego campus in Connecticut. But if you too want to get a job playing with toys all day, you need to have a good working knowledge not just of artistry, but also of math (for scaling things up or down) and biology (for making people or animals). But for those who think this job merely entails playing with Lego bricks like some precocious toddler, being a Master Builder is quite dangerous work. Because being fast earns them as much fame as being artful, Master Builders constantly get cuts on their fingers and hands from shoving them into buckets of bricks with the kind of steely-eyed determination that would put even a samurai to shame. "You can see scars all over my hands," Master Builder Erik Varszegl told Maxim, joining a long lineage of barefooted parents wounded in the line of duty by Lego bricks.
If you don't have quite the skills or luck to become a Master Builder, you can still become a Lego Certified Professional. While these folks aren't employed directly by Lego, they are recognized as skilled builders and "trusted business partners," who behave in a professional manner -- an important standard for artisans who have to watch little six-year-old shits smear their chocolate-covered hands all over the Lego Dobby they spent two weeks building.
Zero-Gravity Flight Attendant
Unless you're an astronaut, a billionaire, or the world's most enterprising hijacker, you're probably not going to be traveling into space anytime soon. If you're a mere thousandaire, though, you can simulate the experience by taking a ride on a zero-gravity flight. And who watches over you, making sure you're having a good time and don't crash into the ceiling of the plane? That would be your zero-gravity flight attendant, the working man's astronaut.
Tim Bailey, whose LinkedIn profile only says "catalyst" (possibly because his job is a catalyst for awesomeness), has been on over 150 weightless flights. On board, his job entails aiding passengers in adjusting to the sensation of being weightless -- something that requires a bit of getting used to. Bailey is one of nine people capable of being a zero-gravity flight attendant. He has accumulated over 24 hours of zero-g time working as a crew member for the ZERO-G company, with at least 80 hours of training before he was even able to take the job. That's over 100 hours of weightlessness -- something nearly impossible to achieve if you're not an astronaut. He lists himself as a "parabolic expert" on his business card, which is a much more humble way of saying MASTER OF GRAVITY.
If being able to go weightless for a living wasn't cool enough, Bailey is meeting celebrities all the time, because everybody rich and slightly nerdy wants to experience zero-gravity at least once. He's flown with noted geeks like the Mythbusters, Buzz Aldrin, James Cameron, Elon Musk, and even Stephen Hawking, so Bailey's job is never dull. He's even been part of one couple's zero-g wedding (and because after about 30 seconds of weightlessness they got pressed into the bottom of the airplane with the force of 1.8 Gs, also their wedding night).
Competitive eating is where you duck-swallow three packs of uncooked hot dogs within five minutes. That sounds less like a dream job and more of a calling. Professional eating, however, is simply eating whatever you fancy and getting paid for it. With webcams and streaming, people can now tune into feeds of people ingesting nutrients in a compelling way. Our very own apple-cheeked Michael Swaim has already offered his erotic interpretation of what digestive entertainers can do for the hungry and lonely, but in recent years, the industry has blown up like an overworked gastric band. South Korea, the land of exploding phones and professional StarCraft, has its own popular streaming website known as AfreecaTV, which we hope is at least a pun in a language we don't understand. The second-most-popular category is something known as mok-bang, which translates roughly to "eating broadcast," and it's exactly as appetizing as it sounds.
This is Park Seo-Yeon, otherwise known as "The Diva." Every night, she gorges on several pounds of food, smacking her lips in a satisfied manner while thousands of people watch with their mouths watering. She's one of many "broadcast jockeys" -- knowingly referred to as "BJs" -- and she makes $9,000 a month by eating three-hour dinners with the hungriest parts of the internet as her guests. And she's not the only one. Choi Ji-hwan is another popular mok-banger, offering his viewers a cooking lesson before shoveling food down his face like a starved cartoon character.
In honor of the Naruto outfit, it takes three 20-minute videos of him running to make it to his bathroom.
Professional eaters also insist on informing people that there's nothing overtly sexual about their trade. They aren't eating naked, they're not saying sexual phrases, and they're not even suggestively wrapping their lips around a banana. Park suggests that her viewers may be on a diet and living vicariously through her, or they may be lonely and want to feel like they're not eating alone. However, the fact that these BJs have microphones right next to their mouths, catching every chew and swallow, makes us think there's more than one person masturbating to this.
Whatever the case, mok-bang has gotten so popular that Korean restaurants are now sponsoring channels, and if you check out the front page of AfreecaTV, you'll probably find one eating channel somewhere in the top spots. Next time you're eating microwaved ramen by yourself, tune in and watch one of these people while you eat. Or better yet, fire up a webcam and let the world watch you eat alone, bathed in the yellow light of your apartment.
Parkour Camera Operator
For the better part of a decade, parkour has been ranked the #1 Awesome Sport We Could Totally Do With a Bit of Practice. That is, until we watch the insanity of human daring in videos like this.
But have you ever asked yourself about the impossible human being mirroring every move in the video in order to capture it on camera? Because you should.
While most parkour specialists will have to wait for the apocalypse, some wall jumpers have started to look for ways to make their skills more marketable. Like Florian Hatwagner, also known as gimbalninja, who bills himself as a parkour cameraman. According to his website, he is "specialized in shooting whilst running and jumping over obstacles of any kind," like running across monkey bars while managing to hold a camera steady -- two tasks most of us couldn't even do separately. This may seem like impossible bullshit, but advances in camera rig technology mean that it's quite possible to keep a camera steady while you are flipping around like a radioactive teenager, as seen in videos like this one.
While it was invented to make the camera operator's life easier, some saw it as a challenge to create shots previously thought impossible. This is now creating a new breed of camera operators: the camera ninja. And people like Hatwagner are moving up to the real movie business fast. After all, who else can do a long take while diving straight through the windows of a goddamned car?
Combining state-of-the-art tech and peak human fitness will literally give movies entire new angles to play with. But beware, camera operators of the future, because the next step in this evolution will clearly turn you into cyborg assassins.
One of our most popular episodes from 2016 was when we invited Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark from 'My Favorite Murder' to talk about some of the best true-crime stories out there. So successful, in fact, that we're resurrecting it (get it?) for a part two! Metal Fang, the Strangling Executioner and the murderer living in the attic just weren't enough. So Jack O'Brien, Dan O'Brien and the Cracked staff welcome Karen and Georgia back for another creepy hour of serial killers and urban legends that are bound to make you terrified to go outside or talk to a stranger or do anything.
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