Barry Wolverton is the MG author of Neversink and the forthcoming novel The Vanishing Island. In this new novel, main character Bren gets himself into all sorts of trouble and ends up with the disgusting task of cleaning the town vomitorium. Today Barry is here at The Hiding Spot to share 5 unpleasant real world jobs that just might be worse than Bren's punishment.
Be sure to check out The Vanishing Island when it releases September 1, 2015!
5 Real Jobs That May Actually Be Worse Than the Vomitorium
Vomitorium is a real word, you know. It’s Latin for those long entrance or exit tunnels into a stadium. (Impress your friends with that tidbit next time the home team comes pouring out of the tunnel onto the football field.) Sadly, it’s probably not true that the ancient Romans actually had a place to purge themselves during their famous feasts to make room for more grapes and olives. There are some pretty unpleasant jobs in the world, though. Here are five good reasons to encourage your kids to stay in school and learn their Latin:
Elevator Operator in Upper Manhattan
If you want to visit the Cloisters in New York (which I highly recommend), you take the subway to 190th St., at which point you are 140 feet underground, with no way out except one: a huge elevator. I hate elevators. I hate crowds. I hate being crowded onto elevators. The thought of being stuck on an oversized elevator with a bunch of strangers made me feel panicky. And then I noticed that this particular elevator still used a full-time operator (and still does, last I checked). A person who just sits there, in the elevator, 140 feet underground, all day. No sunlight, no fresh air. No Internet! And the city prohibits them from reading or listening to music.Port-a-Potty Cleaner
It may be hard to believe if you’ve ever used one, but Port-a-Potties actually do have to be cleaned at some point. All the waste has to be sucked out and disposed of properly, all those tiny bits of used toilet paper have to be extracted, every surface that could possibly have become dirty (which is every square inch) has to be sanitized, and remarkably, the smell has to be made tolerable. Somewhere, at some time in history, some lucky person has actually been the first scheduled visit for a cable installer. And somewhere, at some other time, some person has actually gotten to be the first (and only) person to use a clean port-a-potty.Cat Food Tester
If you thought cat food testing was best done by cats, you’d be wrong. It’s done by humans who must really, really love cats. Apparently they don’t actually have to eat it, but they do have to grope around in huge vats of wet food for pieces of bone and gristle.Manure Inspector
If you’ve never seen pictures of someone collecting elephant poop by hand, Google it now! Apparently any animal manure to be used as natural fertilizer has to be combed through for dangerous bacteria like E.coli and salmonella. That must be why organic vegetables cost more.Fart Smeller
When I read about this, I couldn’t tell if it was a full-time gig or part of a one-time experiment, but it’s too good to leave out. Apparently subjects were fed pinto beans and then told to collect their own gas in a tube (guess where the tube went?). Then a pair of researchers had the joyous task of inhaling more than 100 samples. I hope they learned something valuable to humanity.
About The Vanishing Island
Does the Vanishing Island really exist? And if so, what treasure—or terrible secret—was hidden by its disappearance?
It’s 1599, the Age of Discovery in Europe. But for Bren Owen, growing up in the small town of Map on the coast of Britannia has meant anything but adventure. Enticed by the tales sailors have brought through Map’s port, and inspired by the arcane maps his father creates as a cartographer for the cruel and charismatic map mogul named Rand McNally, Bren is convinced that fame and fortune await him elsewhere. That is, until his repeated attempts to run away land him a punishment worse than death—cleaning up the town vomitorium.
It is there that Bren meets a dying sailor, who gives him a strange gift that hides a hidden message. Cracking the code could lead Bren to a fabled lost treasure that could change his life forever, and that of his widowed father. But to get there he will have to tie his fate to a mysterious Dutch admiral obsessed with a Chinese legend about an island that long ago disappeared from any map.
Before long, Bren is in greater danger than he ever imagined, and will need the help of an unusual friend named Mouse to survive. Barry Wolverton’s thrilling adventure spans oceans and cultures, brings together the folklore of East and West, and proves that fortune is always a double-edged sword.
About Barry Wolverton
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