Perchance to Dream: Quirky Fantasy Jobs

It isn't too surprising that many people share the same fantasy about a job. After all, if everyone could be an actor, musician, author or travel writer (the most popular responses we got when hundreds of people weighed in with their fantasy career), who would do all the other more mundane jobs in the world?

But there are some who dream with a quirkier sensibility, whose flights of fancy take them to places that most never even consider. We salute those free thinkers here; if you've got an equally original idea, we'd love to hear about it!

Dark chocolate dreams

If I could do anything, I would be a taster for a French chocolatier in Paris, France. To me, there's nothing better than a French dark chocolate ganache filled with praline; and the opportunity to return to Paris would be welcome.

So what's stopping me? Reality. I have a husband, a high-maintenance dog and a home that all require me to be in America. It's not practical to leave my life as a freelance writer, wife and cocker-spaniel mom behind and go knock on the doors of my favorite French chocolatiers, begging for a taste-tester job; although it might make for a great writing opportunity. And who knows? It might even pay better.

-– Bobbi Leder

-– Find chocolatier jobs

Drawing for dollars

Ever since I was a kid, I loved cartoons: reading them, watching them and especially drawing them. Since around 2000 I've made a small business out of drawing caricatures of guests at parties and events. My dream job would be to take it to the next level and become a traveling caricature artist.

This would be a great job in the summer. I could go to various fairs and festivals all over the state (I live in Indiana), plying my trade. I could also go to national parks and other tourist spots and set up. From my talents, people would have a cartoon memento of their trip to cherish for years.

Ideally, I'd want to travel light, packing everything (clothes, art supplies, paper, drawing board) in one carry-on bag. And I'd travel on land by train or bus and stay in youth hostels (even though I'm 50) and/or bed & breakfast places. Simple ways to go and stay.

In the winter months I could branch out to sunnier states like California and Florida. I could also set up tables at the various comic-book, science-fiction and nostalgia conventions that run all over the country throughout the year.

For now, though, I'm doing caricatures at parties and events in Northwest Indiana and I like it fine. But maybe there's still time to book the Porter County Fair, or a comics convention in nearby Chicago. Hey, it takes work to make a dream come true.

– Donna K. Upshaw

Quesadilla queen

If I could do any job, what would it be? I pick my head up from my laptop screen, turn and gaze out the window, breathe a heavy sigh and begin lustfully daydreaming about Dillas, my fantasy quesadilla restaurant. It's the place I've always wanted to open. For many years now, I have been an avid quesadilla consumer. I will order them at any Mexican restaurant or cook them at home, knowing that instant gluttonous satisfaction awaits me. The thing I appreciate most about quesadillas is their versatility. What kinds of fillings does someone like? Corn, beans and tomatoes? Maybe bacon, chicken and ranch sauce? Throw it inside a quesadilla with some melted cheese, and it can satisfy any kind of hunger.

I would love to take my strange enthusiasm and spread it to others by creating Dillas (pronounced dill-uhs), a quesadilla restaurant. Different from typical Mexican restaurants with only a few quesadilla options, Dillas will have fixed favorites and make your own, allowing the choice for type of tortilla and fillings -- proteins, veggies, sauces and even fruits for sweet, crepe-like quesadillas. There are many more details I fantasize about, like wall colors and organic produce to be used. But mostly, I dream it to be a place where people love food -- and, of course, quesadillas.

Maybe one day I'll have a job as the wildly successful owner of Dillas. Until then, I keep on "researching" delicious quesadilla combinations; right now, I'm enjoying a wheat tortilla surrounding sauteed spinach, julienned carrots and Gruyere cheese. Yum! This one's definitely going on the menu board.

– Sarah Kate Boltz

Soaring the canyon

Today, I staggered home with sore and twitchingly raw feet, after just another day building electric wheelchairs at a poorly ventilated assembly line. But as I fiddle with mind-numbingly small screws and bolts, and strive not to scratch the paint, I dream. I suspect that most of us doing my job daydream, considering the quality of the work.

My daydreams usually involve some sort of crazy flying thing, something airborne for sure. And if I could turn this into a career path, I think that I would become a hang-glider tour guide up in the Grand Canyon. I have never hang-glided. I will be honest, I have never even been to the Grand Canyon.

But the images of gloriously bright walls in shades of reds, umbers and purples, with mottled sunlight flashing from tourist cameras, awestruck on the edges fill my brain. Through it all I wing and glide, with an incredulous client on muted silent wings beside me. We converse on two-way radios, and I point out significant landmarks, places of historical significance, and "oh, look out, we are heading into a narrow gorge!" Catch the updraft, or you're a goner!

My supervisor heads over, black look on her face. Oh crap, did I screw the wrong bolt together? And somehow my boss never accepts this as a valid excuse, that I was soaring high above in a moody Arizona sky, wheeling with the bald eagle and truly happy in my dream job.

– Shey Dirnt

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A taste for hops

My dream job is one where I spend all day tasting beer. I would be considered an expert in determining the finest beers ever made. I would be a famous beer specialist; the best breweries in the world would hire me to sample their products and assist them in developing a beer beyond compare.

Just imagine it: All day long I sit casually sipping various beers from a tall glass entertaining the thought, "Why do they pay me such a handsome salary? I would do this job for free." I think I am happier than Snow White!

– Irisdalva S. Fulcher

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