New employment opportunity involves contracting malaria

Elysha is opposed to me taking on any new jobs, and I certainly understand her feelings. Between teaching, writing, storytelling, consulting, ministering, standup, coaching, and the occasional DJ gig, I am never short on work.

But I also understand my insanity.

When you’ve been homeless and hungry and facing the real possibility of prison, and you honestly believe that you will never live in an actual house again, it’s hard to feel like you’re ever more than a step or two away from the cliff at any moment.

And now that I have a wife and two children depending on me, the cliff is more frightening than ever. Terrifying, really.

This is why I seem to collect jobs. I’m building a bulwark against possible oblivion. I’m in a constant battle against possible economic disaster.

A little crazy, I know, but born from a former and very real reality.

Troy Carter of The Atom Factory calls this financial PTSD. "When you grow up poor, you suffer financial PTSD. You always have that fear."

I get that.

Despite Elysha’s admonitions, I actually managed to land three new jobs in 2018:

I started writing and consulting for an advertising company, I started consulting on documentaries, and I became a notary.


In my defense, Elysha was excited about my opportunity to work on a national advertising campaign and fully supported it.

I'm not sure if she knew about my application to become a notary, but I don’t feel like that job will be terribly demanding of my time and energy. She’s probably fine with that one, too.

I’m not sure if she’s even aware of the work I’m doing with the documentarian. Until now.

Just last week, I learned of a new employment possibility:

Malaria vaccine volunteer

Yes, it’s just what it sounds like. Pharmaceutical companies are looking for test subjects to determine the efficacy of new vaccines. There’s no real danger to the subject, and it pays well too:

A vaccine trial through the Jenner Institute at Oxford, for example, pays about $3,200, to malaria volunteers. Over 1,000 people have been deliberately infected with malaria for research purposes so far, and they’ve all been perfectly fine.

I know what you’re thinking… Getting malaria on purpose sounds a little crazy, but I feel like it’s one of those jobs that I could do while doing other jobs, doubling my earning power.


If Elysha doesn’t approve of this idea (and I see my chances as rather low), other job possibilities on the horizon include:

  • Professional best man (Five grooms, a filmmaker, and two reality show developer have tried to hire me for this position so far)

  • Unlicensed therapist (Two licensed therapists have given me the thumbs up on this idea)

  • Unaccredited sociologist (I have many theories to test and write about but no desire to earn a boring sociology degree)

  • Gravesite visitor (It’s a thing)

  • Double date companion (Alongside Elysha, we would offer the social lubricant needed to ensure a successful first or second or third date)

  • Futurist (I’m more than willing to be paid to predict the future)

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