(Photo Credit: Nat Tarbox/Flickr)
If you love to swim but being a professional mermaid is just too far-fetched, your dream job may be working as a water slide tester. This job is real.
Last April, Seb Smith beat out 2,000 other applicants to work as a water slide tester.
Mr. Smith is traveling all around the world testing slides at water parks before they are deemed ready for the public. The Examiner reports that he earns a salary of $34,000.
It may seem like a dream come true. He gets to evaluate water park slides for the biggest splash they can make, and for the "adrenaline factor." But let's not forget that he may also be testing for safety issues.
Behold the Cannonball Loop, a slide at a water park in New Jersey so dangerous that it is mind-boggling that it was ever open at all. The Cannonball Loop was a straight shot down a 45-degree angle. Toward the bottom, it gave the park patron the gravity-defying experience of looping around for a full 360 degrees before being spit out onto wet sand.
I09 reports that the Cannonball Loop was open for only one month during the summer of 1985 before the New Jersey Carnival Amusement Ride Safety Advisory Board entered the scene and shut the thing down. Where was Seb Smith when we needed him?
There are plenty of seemingly death-defying water slides around the world, and we should thank Mr. Smith for his efforts at making sure slides are safe before the rest of us allow our teenagers to experience the thrills. Mr. Smith is making certain that slides are safe, fun, and give you the burst of adrenaline you are so desperately seeking.
The real moral of this story is that there are wild, wacky, and incredibly fun jobs out there if you know where to look. Scour the internet, read the want ads, and keep your eyes and ears open. If you are lucky then maybe, just maybe, you can get paid to test drive the first shuttle to Mars. Just don't expect them to cut you a check until you return -- alive.
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