Go and find yourself a dirty job

Published 6:19 am Friday, July 18, 2008

Ever get bored of the monotony of the office? Want to shake things up a little bit?

Maybe a career change is in the cards. Perhaps ice road trucker? How about catfish noodler? Crab fisherman in the Bering Sea?

These are real jobs, and if you are a History/Discovery/National Geographic Channel watcher, you can’t turn on the remote without tuning in to one of this “real life” reality shows. No buxom blondes or spoiled 20-somethings here — just sweating, cursing, hairy men working insane hours in environments most of us wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot — well, fishing pole.

Email newsletter signup

If you wanna get away from your mundane world and immerse yourself in some down-and-dirty lifestyles, these TV shows are the latest TV preoccupation.

Most would say they started, as traditional reality TV began with “Cops” and “The Real World,” using a simple yet genius concept; in this case, follow fleets of crab boats during the short, tumultuous season as their captains attempt to maneuver their vessels on the dangerous Bering Sea.

Now in its fourth season, Thom Beers’ “Deadliest Catch” on the Discovery Channel is the quintessential “man show.” Follow the six captains as they work round-the-clock to beat the 40-foot waves and 80 mph winds.

The show was a surprise hit, and spin-offs quickly emerged, including “After the Catch” (crab fisherman after they’ve returned to land), “Ax Men” (loggers in Oregon), “Ice Road Truckers” (semi truckers who drive over ice in the Arctic Circle), “Tougher in Alaska” (railroading, gold-digging, fire-fighting), or the granddaddy of them all, the ultimate “man indulgence” — “Dirty Jobs.”

Host Mike Rowe test-drives pretty much every grueling, vomit-inducing career on the planet, from buoy cleaner to snake wrangler to poo pot maker (I’m not kidding).

Rowe dives head first (literally, sometimes) into his stints, using his characteristic dry humor as he narrates what it’s like to breed bugs, clean sewers and farm fainting goats.

He pretends to enjoy it so much, he even penned a mind-numbingly catchy ditty to accompany his escapades:

“Drive a nail, replace a rail, or disembowel a fish.

“Tackle grime, or grow some slime inside a petri dish.

“Tar a roof, or clean a hoof, or handle poison toads.

“Brew some beer, or drag a deer across a busy road.

“Dirty jobs, they’re everywhere, just take a look around.

“Down the street, or up the stairs, or even underground.

“You don’t need to borrow, beg and you don’t need to rob,

“All you’ve got to do is get yourself a dirty job.

“All you’ve got to do is get yourself a dirty job.”

Yes, you may hear earfuls of bleeped-out four-letter words, grumblings, grunting and bickering, and I’m not sure if I’ve even seen a female appear yet, but this exotic hodgepodge of jobs look like more of an adventure than covering the Teddy Bear Picnic, which was my adventure last weekend.

While I fantasize about my next industrial-strength, bicep-building line of work, it’s back to the daily grind — you know, the usual editing of tattoo parlor/church pastor/crack dealer stories.