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Chuck Brooks: What path would you take?

Let's play a game!

You're going to have to play by my rules, though. They're not difficult to adhere to, but I feel I should give you fair warning; the game creator is the rule maker too. Always the teacher.

Recently, I had the extreme pleasure of emceeing a fundraising event held at the Landmark Center in St. Paul. It was to help support the ever-growing River City Rhythm folks. My role actually involved several responsibilities, and one of them was to be the "auctioneer" for their live auction. I had an absolute hoot playing that part!

So, here's my game. If we were to get a second chance at life, from the ground up, what path would you take? Here come the rules. I am sure many of you want to say "I wouldn't change my life for anything." For most of you, chances are that's a given. I'm not asking that, though. I'm saying, what would be the career path you would choose knowing that the career you're in or were in is no longer available to you? You have to think a bit about that, don't ya?

When I was a kid, Mom and Dad went to more than their share of auctions. I have two distinct connections with each auction. First, there was always some man smoking a cigar (an aroma I still love); second, the auctioneer himself. In our county, there was one man who seemed to be the man for all the auctions. I remember my folks must have known him, and they enjoyed listening to his rapid style of speech as he began with, "Who wants to start the bidding at..."

Me? I always thought it would have been fun to be an auctioneer. I would have been fairly good at schmoozing with the crowd while doing my auction thing. I thought that talent would always be fun to allow to surface in mixed company, for a laugh or two. I would have been able to set my own prices and be my own boss. I likely would have stayed in rural/small town America. I think it would have been a fun and interesting career, meeting all sorts of people.

Another option that won't surprise many of you is I would have enjoyed trying my hand at

stand-up comedy. The desire has always been hiding just beneath my surface. I once shared with

you the time I traveled to downtown Minneapolis to take a shot at the "open stage" night of the Scott Hanson Comedy Club. If you don't remember or weren't reading me when I shared that a few years back, I'll simply say one should never, I repeat never, change their routine moments before going onstage to a room full of people expecting to be entertained. I still shudder at that memory; however, I'm proud of myself for giving it a shot.

I've always kidded with my sister, telling her I think we should buy a little bar that would be capable of serving food, but not on a grand scale. Rather, we'd have a small menu with burgers and fries and odds and ends as offerings. I've been in many over my lifetime, and I think it would be a good life. I know people always say the bar/restaurant business is high stress. I'd take my chances.

I'm thinking something along the lines of a Cheers bar, but with a grill. I'd also choose to bartend much of the time. I have never done that in my life, but I always thought it would have been a great part-time job in college. Instead, I was a waiter. I don't want to be a waiter for my second chance.

I will lump both of these into one since I think they basically run along the same lines. I would easily try my hand at being a psychologist/psychiatrist. I've always been a people person, and on some miniscule level, being a teacher encapsulates that career more often than you could imagine. I'd listen and help to point in the right direction. Chances are, had I gone that route, I, however, would have likely had a business like "The Bob Newhart Show."

I also grew up in the TV romanticized versions of private detectives. That always held a smidge of curiosity for me. However, I would never have been a police officer. Especially these days, their jobs are simply overly complicated and more dangerous than in the past.

I also would not choose to be a vet. I couldn't put an animal down. I wouldn't be doctor or a nurse. Yuck. I definitely would not choose a field like an accountant. Anything with numbers, as appealing as they are in puzzles, just don't work with my abilities. I know my limitations.

This isn't a "Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda" game. It's more like a "What Would Have Happened If..." game. It's how my mind works. No telling what it's already up to for next week! See ya then!