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7 Jobs Your Inner Child Would Love

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Growing up often means prioritizing work over fun stuff. Unless, of course, your job involves nothing but fun stuff. Take a look at these seven occupations that require a bachelor’s in arrested development.

1. Mattress Jumper

Beds are not trampolines, but that never stopped kids from treating them like one. Today’s smaller mattress companies actually employ people to jump on their mattresses to compress the cotton material and make sure there are no imperfections or bumps in the layers. Reuben Reynoso, a professional jumper out of San Francisco, tests three a day and often reaches 100 bounces per mattress—side to side, corner to corner. Sure, a machine could do the same thing, but Reynoso’s small talk at parties would be a lot less interesting.

2. Professional RC Vehicle Racer

Radio-controlled (RC) vehicles are more than just an aisle filler at Toys ‘R Us: They’re the center of an entire subculture, where “drivers” travel the world racing their customized vehicles on tiny tracks for prize money. If that sounds too good to be true, it isn’t—just make sure you’re one of the top racers in the world to attract sponsorships, which make up the majority of a driver’s income, and don’t mind traveling up to 46 weeks out of the year.

3. Professional LEGO Builder

Architecture too intimidating? Try reducing the scale. Sean Kenney is one of many “certified” LEGO building professionals—artists who use the multicolored blocks to construct an array of projects. Major companies like Google and Mazda have commissioned Kenney’s work, which can range from a Homer Simpson bust to sports stadium replicas.

LEGO has at least nine pro builders registered. Just be prepared for some initial material investment: Kenney has over a million bricks to aid in assembly.

4. Amusement Park Ride Tester

The PC term might be “forensic ride engineer,” but in the end, these theme park scouts are paid to test-drive rides, point out any faults in the experience, and check for anything that might be a potential hazard. Companies like ATA Associates can even recreate accidents to make sure the ride doesn’t repeat any engineering mistakes.

If you’re not much of a full-time puker, at least be thankful for those who are: One company tested a new ride, London’s The Swarm, and watched as the gravity-defying track ripped the limbs right off their test dummies.

5. Ice Cream Taster

Enjoy ice cream? Partial to elastic waistbands? Food companies have a job for you: a professional taster samples up to a pint of the frozen stuff a day in addition to brainstorming ideas for new flavors and taste combinations. Tasters often have a food science or dairy science degree. And if you have a particularly fine palate, you might consider what Nestle tester John Harrison did: insure his taste buds for one million dollars.

6. Treehouse Designer

While most of us have probably fantasized about a wooded refuge from parents, few ever had the resources to construct one. Artist Roderick Romero designed a treehouse in 2003 for a community garden in Seattle; he has since created dozens of elaborate forts for the likes of Val Kilmer and Sting, with an emphasis on green and sustainable materials. No two are quite alike, and each is customized for the client’s preferences—many of whom want the designs for themselves, not their children.

7. Comic Book Inspector

For decades, comic collectors often had to rely on very subjective terms: one seller’s “near mint” may be a buyer’s “not worth the price.” That changed in 2000, when the Comics Guaranty Corporation (CGC) began offering third-party grading on a numerical scale: books flirting with a vaunted 10.0 score could fetch hundreds or thousands more than an uninspected copy.

Naturally, comics selling for five or six figures need to be carefully evaluated, which is where a CGC Grader comes in. All day long, they pore over classic comics and inspect them for damage. Upon completion, the book is “slabbed” in a tamper-proof plastic case to seal the condition. Top Graders with the CGC enjoy health benefits and a 401(k), as well as bragging rights: what could be better than getting paid to rifle through priceless comics all day?

 

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Smart Shopping
18 Tea Infusers to Make Teatime More Exciting
Cost Plus World Market
Cost Plus World Market

Make steeping tea more fun with these quirky tea infusers.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. SOAKING IT UP; $7.49

man-shaped tea infuser
Amazon

That mug of hot water might eventually be a drink for you, but first it’s a hot bath for your new friend, who has special pants filled with tea.

Buy on Amazon.

2. A FLYING TEA BOX; $25.98

There’s no superlaser on this Death Star, just tea.

Buy on Amazon.

3. SPACE STATION; $9.99

astronaut tea infuser
ThinkGeek

This astronaut's mission? Orbit the rim of your mug until you're ready to pull the space station diffuser out.

Buy on ThinkGeek.

4. BE REFINED; $12.99

This pipe works best with Earl Grey.

Buy on Amazon.

5. A RIBBITING OPTION; $10.93

This frog hangs on to the side of your mug with a retractable tongue. When the tea is ready, you can put him back on his lily pad.

Buy on Amazon.

6. ‘TEA’ ALL LIVE IN A YELLOW SUBMARINE; $5.95

It’s just like the movie, only with tea instead of Beatles.

Buy on Amazon.

7. SHARK ATTACK; $6.99

shark tea infuser
Cost Plus World Market

This fearsome shark patrols the bottom of your mug waiting for prey. For extra fun, use red tea to look like the end of a feeding frenzy.

Buy at Cost Plus World Market.

8. PERFECT FOR A RAINY DAY; $12.40

This umbrella’s handle conveniently hooks to the side of your mug.

Buy on Amazon.

9. AN EGGCELLENT INFUSER; $5.75

cracked egg tea infuser
Amazon

Sometimes infusers are called tea eggs, and this one takes the term to a new, literal level.

Buy on Amazon.

10. FOR SQUIRRELY DRINKERS; $8.95

If you’re all right with a rodent dunking its tail into your drink, this is the infuser for you.

Buy on Amazon.

11. HANGING OUT; $12.85

This pug is happy to hang onto your mug and keep you company while you wait for the tea to be ready.

Buy on Amazon.

12. ANOTHER SHARK OPTION; $5.99

If you thought letting that other shark infuser swim around in the deep water of your glass was too scary, this one perches on the edge, too busy comping on your mug to worry about humans.

Buy on Amazon.

13. RUBBER DUCKIE, YOU’RE THE ONE; $8.95

Let this rubber duckie peacefully float in your cup and make teatime lots of fun.

Buy on Amazon.

14. DIVING DEEP; $8.25

This old-timey deep-sea diver comes with an oxygen tank that you can use to pull it out.

Buy on Amazon.

15. MAKE SWEET TEA; $10

This lollipop won't actually make your tea any sweeter, but you can always add some sugar after.

Buy on Amazon.

16. A SEASONAL FAVORITE; $7.67

When Santa comes, give him some tea to go with the cookies.

Buy on Amazon.

17. FLORAL TEA; $14.99

Liven up any cup of tea with this charming flower. When you’re done, you can pop it right back into its pot.

Buy on Live Infused.

18. KEEP IT TRADITIONAL; $7.97

If you’re nostalgic for the regular kind of tea bag, you can get reusable silicon ones that look almost the same.

Buy on Amazon.

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Pop Culture
"Weird Al" Yankovic Is Getting the Funko Treatment
Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images
Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

Though the New York Toy Fair—the largest trade show for playthings in the western hemisphere—won't officially kick off until Saturday, February 17, kids and kids-at-heart are already finding much to get excited about as the world's biggest toy companies ready to unleash their newest wares on the world. One item that has gotten us—and fans of fine parody songs everywhere—excited is "Weird Al" Yankovic's induction into the Funko Pop! family. The accordion-loving songwriter behind hits like "Eat It," "White & Nerdy," "Amish Paradise," and "Smells Like Nirvana" shared the news via Twitter, and included what we can only hope is a final rendering of his miniaturized, blockheaded vinyl likeness:

In late December, Funko announced that a Weird Al toy would be coming in 2018 as part of the beloved brand's Pop Rocks series. Though we know he'll be joined by Alice Cooper, Kurt Cobain, Elton John, and the members of Mötley Crüe, there's no word yet on exactly when you’ll be able to get your hands on Pop! Al. But knowing that he's coming is enough … for now.

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