The Blogologist

This past weekend, I was telling a group of friends about my recent bar room interrogation, and how I realized that I’m not really quick enough with the lies. One of my friends revealed her secret weapon for dealing with such situations: make up an absurd profession and the rest of the lies will just flow like water.
“So what do you tell people you do?”
“I say I’m a dolphin trainer.”
“A dolphin trainer? Okay, you’ve got to be joking. Who would believe that?”
“Lots of people. I tell them I work at the Shedd Aquarium.”
“What if they ask you how you train dolphins?”
“I say they’re actually really easy to train. They’re a lot like dogs. Really intelligent, they have very distinct personalities. It’s really rewarding work.”
“Okay, that’s insane.”
“Works every time.”
As outlandish as this seemed, I was intrigued. Maybe I needed a fake career, too. It would have to be something normal enough to be believable, yet complex enough that people wouldn’t ask too many questions. So I consulted my friends:
“Hey guys – maybe I want a pretend job, too.”
“All right – what do you want to be?”
“I’m not sure… I think I’d like it to be kind of scientific, but a little uncommon. Maybe something that ends in -ologist.”
“Like a cosmetologist?”
“No, more scientific, like an ophthalmologist. My brother’s an ophthalmologist, so I could probably fake my way through that one. No, wait – I want to work at the Field Museum! What are those people who study bugs? I could say I’m in charge of the butterfly displays at the Field Museum!”
“Yeah. I’m totally going to be an entomologist.”
“Yeah, that’s sick, Jenny. How about a paleontologist?”
“No, that’s lame.”
“Bugs are better than dinosaurs?”
“At least bugs still exist. Paleontologists are just living in the past. Oh! I just read about this new kind of scorpion they discovered, along with like 20 different species of bugs, in some caves somewhere. I could use that anecdote to prove I’m an entomologist!”
“Somehow I think people will believe you’re an entomologist without any help.”
“Thanks! Hey, wait a minute!”
[In the event that I pick a fake career like an entomologist, for example, and then someone says, “Really? My dad is an entomologist. What’s your area of specialization?” I’ll need to have a backup career. That way I can say, “Entomologist? No, you heard me wrong – I said endocrinologist.” I am now amassing a list of fake –ologist careers to keep in my back pocket, so let me know if you have any to add to the list. Thanks!]

29 Responses to “The Blogologist”

  1. the_editter Says:

    Etymologist sounds a lot like entymologist, so that work better than endocrinologist. Etymology is the study of the origins of words. So, the etymology of “etymology” is Middle English from Old French via Latin from Greek.

  2. jenny Says:

    Excellent idea! And I think I could fake it if someone started asking me word origins.
    But maybe I should just say I’m a Scientologist, as that will probably end any conversation…

  3. Roy Says:

    Cool. I’m going to start telling people I remotely provision fiber-optic network elements for the phone company. If people ask how I do that, I’ll say, well, the Fujitsu Flashwave series, or the Nortel stuff? Then I’ll raise one eyebrow and stare them down until they go away.

    And they will.

  4. jenny Says:

    C’mon, Roy. I said my fake -ologist career had to sound at least a little bit believable. Why don’t you tell them you fly around in a hover-craft, too? Sheesh.

  5. The Scarlett Says:

    You could say that you are a phytologist and that you specialize in the functional genomics of plant-microbe interactions. And if they ask you what that means, say “I study plant disease. It’s really rewarding. Our last symposium was in France.” They will be confused and impressed on several levels.

  6. Jessica Says:

    There’s no ‘ologist’ at the end but you did an excellent job of faking my stockbroker career – you can borrow that if you like.

  7. Kevin Says:

    I don’t see why “Dolphin Trainer” is so outlandish. Very easy to lie about as you really don’t need to worry about referencing scientific data. You can just talk about the food they prefer and the tricks they’re good at.
    I wouldn’t mind trying that one out.

  8. Tracy Lynn Says:

    I generally tell people I’m a speleologist- someone who studies wines. It works, because I’m an alcoholic, see? As a back up, I tell people I’m an archivist. They don’t usually ask many questions after that, for some reason.

  9. Coco Says:

    we-ell… It might come across as mean if you say it a certain way, but you could be a “geekologist” who studies the lame way people pick others up in a bar. See? Told you it was kinda mean. Whenever we get stuck in awkward conversations, my friends and I just say “I’ll be right back.” Then tell our friends that we “have to go to the bathroom.” This tactic is highly effective because men of all ages assume that women of all ages still need to go to the bathroom together. The idea being that when you come out, you move to a different section of the bar so that the weird guy doesn’t see you. This can be tricky, but they usually seem to think you just forgot where they were sitting and don’t come up to bother you later. It’s not perfect, but sometimes it works for the really sticky ones!

  10. mike Says:

    Tell them you’re a therapist. Then you’ll have wonderfully colourful stories to blog about. See? Everyone wins.
    Also, I have to say that certain other commenters (see above) don’t have to lie about what they do in order to avoid getting asked the followup questions. But I shouldn’t talk. I truthfully declare that I’m a “consultant” and strangely, nobody wants to know “in what?”

  11. sandra Says:

    Porpologist? (deriving from porpoise, and thus including the dolphin love?)

  12. jenny Says:

    TS: Ooh, plant disease is kind of cool. I kill all my plants, so I know a lot about dying flora.
    Jess: Unfortunately, I could probably fake a conversation about plant-microbe interactions more easily than about stocks. I’m dumb like that.
    Kevin: It’s not so much that it’s outlandish, it’s just that it’s too cool to be anyone’s real job. My friend Seamus said he wants to tell people he’s a flavor technologist for Canfield’s soda. See – too cool.
    Tracy Lynn: Speleologist? Really? This has been incredibly educational for me!
    Coco: I think what’s interesting about your comment is that you imply that your friend actually stays with you. In my experience, the one friend leaves to go the bathroom, abandoning the other friend at the bar.
    Mike: So I should just say consultant? Consultologist sounds so much cooler!
    Sandra: I think that sounds too much like poopologist, and that doesn’t interest me at all. (and yes, I’m 12. i said poop and it made me laugh.)

  13. mike Says:

    Ooooh, consultologist! The consultant’s consultant. Damn, a person could make some money on that.

  14. Erik Says:

    What if you just told people you were an “ologist”? “Ologist” means “one who studies something” and then it usually has a prefix before it to define what the person studies, but if you said you were an Ologist, and someone asked you what you were an ologist in, you could say you study a little bit of everything–you’re an expert in people who are experts of things, so then you could pick and choose from all of the above mentioned ideas. This sounded like a really good idea when I started writing this comment, but now I realize its two faults are, (1) believability–it sounds a little absurd, would anyone believe you were actually an Ologist? and (2) it might not work if you’re trying to shake off someone because they might find you TOO interesting and want to know about ALL of the various experts you’ve studied.

  15. shari Says:

    I’ve always wanted to be a circusologist, myself. Not a circus performer, mind you, just someone who scientifically approaches the spectacle.
    Or perhaps, with your penchant for list-making, you could be a listologist. And when they look blankly at you, just mumble something vague about the sad state of public education, sigh pointedly, and change the subject.

  16. Chris Says:

    My stand by lie is that I’m a helioseismologist. I study the motion of the gases in the sun…that pretty much kills the conversation.

  17. jenny Says:

    Not that this comes as a surprise to me, but you folks are a lot smarter than I am! I struggled to come up with ophthalmologist. Maybe I’m just not cut out to be a scientist.
    [throws Bunsen burner and pipettes in trash]

  18. jill Says:

    Are bugs the next horizon, Jenny? What about the boats? The paintings? The photographs? The tap shoes? The jugband? The GYM?! You could build a fake careers on any of those. But, Jenny, c’mon. In your heart, you know you’re an hobbologist. And that ain’t no lie.

  19. jenny Says:

    OMG! You need to be a career counselor. I am TOTALLY a hobbologist! But, does that sound like the study of Hobbits? ‘Cause I may be a geek, but I ain’t no Lord of the Rings nerd… ;)

  20. Bonnie Miss Says:

    Sodaologist: Say you work for Canfield’s soda. You travel from location to location (in the U.S. and in international stores/venues) buying and tasting their sodas to determine/confirm proper levels of carbonation and taste satisfaction. Go on and on about factors that affect soda goodness: altitude problems, extreme heat/cold, kosher sodas, cans versus plastic, UV degradation of ingredients…oh I could go on and on…

  21. Erik Says:

    I was reading your comments and I read “entomologist” wrong and thought it said “Entemannsologist” and then thought, wouldn’t it be cool if your job was to be an expert in yummy pastry foods?

  22. Pants Says:

    I have a friend who tells people she is a flight attendant when she’s at bars. I’d like to tell people I work at Hot Dog On A Stick, but I don’t think I could say that with a straight face.

  23. Tim V Says:

    Why be a hoBBologist when you could be a hoBologist- studying the lifestyles and habits of the American hobo. You could talk of studies on rail-jumping migration patterns, vittle consumption- and if you want to ditch someone- start a rant about hobos vs. bums, and “oh, yes, there’s a difference!”

  24. Hap Says:

    Since I study so many assholes, I’m considering self-branding as an Aologist. Not be confused with an AOLogist, who studies AOL users. Lots of crossover, mind you….

  25. romy Says:

    actually, etymologically speaking, speleology is the study of *caves*. oenology is the study of wine. my alma mater university offers a degree in viticulture and oenology. (why did i never take a course in that department? too busy being an english major, i guess. sheesh.)
    i’m giggling at “Aologist.”
    you could always just tell the truth – you are a cyber-neologist. you make up new words for use on the internet.

  26. jenny Says:

    “Bonnie Miss” – Uh, please see my above comment where I clearly state that Seamus is already claiming the Canfield’s sodaologist role. Did he steal that from you, or vice versa?
    Erik – krispykremologist?
    Pants – Hot Dog on a Stick? Does such a wondrous place truly exist?
    Tim V – I used to pretend to be a hobo as a kid, mainly because I liked wrapping up my meager belongings in a handkerchief and tying it to the end of a broomstick.
    Hap – Wouldn’t that be an aholologist?
    Romy – So would speleoenology be the study of wine cellars? Yum!

  27. Hap Says:

    Thanks for listening. It was getting pretty quiet here at the bottom of the comments section. (e.g. No one elese loved my golden pavilion joke….)

  28. Erik Says:

    I’ve heard of krispykremologists, but I’m actually a dunkendonutologist.
    And yes, there IS a place called Hot Dog on a Stick. It’s gross but kinda good.

  29. Ms. Annie D Says:

    I’m a psychologist with an unwholesome interest in why bloggers blog. Do you think I could call myself a blogologist?