Here are some career paths that it's just as well I didn't tread. Opportunities for failure and misery.
1. Taxi driver in a large city (especially a city that's not on a grid, such as Boston or London. Even the DC-diagonals drive me nuts). I've earlier written about my incapacitating directional disability, but I neglected to mention that I tend to get into a bit of a panic when I'm lost -- I start driving much too fast and far too waywardly. So, dear friends, imagine me a befuddled cabbie, sweating super-profusely, while the fares in back scream bloody murder when I take the exact wrong turn for the fourth consecutive time. It would be a freakin' nightmare. Related occupations that won't work: tour guide, wilderness guide, tracker.
2. Dog-groomer. I've hinted at my lack of affection for doggies before. I just don't think I'd do a good job blow-drying Fido or brushing Fifi's teeth. (Incidentally, I'm joined in my prejudice against curs by gentle Will himself, whose references to canines are uniformly unfriendly: the superbly wicked sisters in King Lear, for example, are "dog-hearted daughters.")
3. Trapeze artist. I'm terrified of heights and I have absolutely no sense of rhythm. Imagine me launching myself at just the right moment to catch my partner by the ankles. Related opportunity for ignominious disgrace: dance instructor.
4. Surgeon. I'm far too squeamish to be poking around in someone's innards. Even channel surfing has become a dangerous pastime since we accidentally acquired the live surgery channel. Motto: "all gore, all the time." I have to keep clicking that remote lest I accidentally pause at an open-heart moment. The FCC should mandate a warning and a five-second delay: "Caution: palpitating inner organs on view shortly." Related non-opportunity: veterinary surgeon.
5. Hostage. Chained to a bed somewhere in the 'stans wouldn't work for me. I must have my oatmeal every morning at 7 a.m., and I need to move my bowels shortly afterward. Moreover, if I don't eat lunch right on time, I get wicked headaches. Not to mention that I don't function well in rooms that are either too hot or too cold or not well ventilated, and I can't stand tobacco. On the whole, I'd be a mighty cranky hostage.
6. Monk. Poverty I could manage, I suppose. Chastity would be a struggle but with plain fare, isolation, and cold showers I might succeed (but why?). Obedience? Never. Not a chance. Nope. Not for me.