Freelance writing is never boring. I have learned many things completing jobs for clients. Knowing about real estate investments in Australia might not seem useful, but it could be. If I’m ever trapped on an elevator I can say, “How about those investment opportunities in Sydney?” rather than asking about the Yankees.
I might receive some strange looks, but I don’t follow sports.
One of the more interesting subjects I recently wrote about was tigers. I learned that every tiger’s stripes are as unique as fingerprints and are visible on their skin. My favorite fact is that tigers are true gentlemen. Whereas male lions will fight off the women and children to be first at the, um, dinner table, tigers will allow the women and children to eat first. Since I have a weak stomach, I tend to block out the picture of the food on this imaginary dining room table and focus on the gentlemen tigers in their striped fur coats.
Speaking of dinner, I researched dangerous Chinese foods and discovered there is a region in China where pufferfish is popular. Since failing to prepare a fish correctly will kill the diners, guests were asked to hand over a coin before sitting down to eat. If the guest died, they had “bought” the fish, and their host would be absolved of culpability in their death.
While the jobs are often interesting, perhaps the most fun experiences are the jobs I have opted not to take. Multiples requests for entire books. This might be a dream come true — only the clients want all the rights to and credit for the perfect book one writes in two weeks — and they offer the grand price of thirty dollars.
I discovered my favorite job offer a month ago. This client requested a letter to tell their co-worker just how badly they stunk. The thought behind the letter was kind, I believe, since they would be including a basket of personal hygiene items. “Roses are red, violets are blue, garbage stinks, and so do you!” In spite of this brilliant piece of poetry, I opted out of the job.
Without my freelance jobs, extensive knowledge of small farm equipment might not have ever appeared on my horizon. I would not have had the privilege to be employed writing children’s Bible lessons and stories. I wouldn’t have fought to keep my mouth closed while researching the weird objects sold on eBay or rejected jobs offering $20 for a million words (no joke).
With all this random trivia stuck in my head, I might even appear on lists of top ten people to be stuck on an elevator with.
If only I wasn’t mildly claustrophobic.
If you were stuck on an elevator, what random trivia would you share?