August 10, 2008

Last week in Los Angeles, I learned of a new job: "Sober Companion" or "Clean Living Assistant." Someone gets paid $2,000 a day to make sure a celebrity doesn't drink and prevents them from relapsing.

They're on retainer to follow the person around the clock making sure they stay clean.

Finally, a job I have qualifications for. I don't drink and I like clean living. Also, I'm good at sleeping late and talking. The only problem is I'd have to talk to celebrities. And celebrities love to sit in the sun. I'd be good at the sober part. The rest, not so much.

I guess it would depend on who hired me. If George Clooney were looking, I'd offer to work weekends. But if Paris Hilton hired me, I'd last 10 seconds. As soon as she said she was going to tan, I'd want to go home.

Another variation of the same job is an Eating Coach. The job consists of following the celebrity around on errands and making sure they don't skip meals or consider gum counts as lunch. I'm assuming it's based on positive re-enforcement and support. How hard can that be? I'll remind them: "If you don 't eat you'll end up with kidney failure." No one wants a movie star on dialysis.

I asked my friend Liz who is a recovering alcoholic if she'd ever want a sober companion. "I already have that," she said. "It's called Alcoholics Anonymous."

My friend Sophie says her dream would be to hire a Reality Check Companion. Whenever a man came into the picture she would be on duty. The job would be to point out why this man was an unsuitable romantic interest and refer to things he was doing or saying that were red flags.

Then no matter how much Sophie tried to rationalise it could work, the Reality Check Companion would refute it. In dire circumstances she would bring up the exes as a cautionary tale. Emotionally, the working conditions might be stressful. Especially around Valentines Day. On the other hand, the job would be part time. No one wants reality full time.

I'm not sure what sort of assistant I would hire. Maybe a Wellness Companion. Every time I thought I had something he or she would point out why it probably wasn't what I thought it was. Then we'd argue. I'd say: "How do you know?". They'd say: "I don't know for sure" and I'd say "that's your job - to know for SURE". I can't see anyone qualified for that position. Except a doctor. But if you've gone to the trouble to get a medical degree chances are you don't want to follow me around while I do my chores.

Maybe a summer companion would be easier. Someone to make sure that from June to September I always have access to airconditioning.

But I'd have to be a celebrity first. Once you're a celebrity there's no job too small. You can hire someone to peel your bananas. Nobody says "do it yourself" to a celebrity. Why expend energy or will power when someone else can do it for you?

I wonder if there's an Anger Companion. Naomi Campbell should get one. Next time she gets upset this person would step in and remind her not to throw her iPhone at the maid's head because she might break it - and Phone's are expensive to replace.

And what about a Depressed Companion? Let's say someone like Tom Cruise wanted to change his image. He'd have to get rid of the cheerful persona. He'd need to hire someone who could wipe the smile off his face and help him see the darker side of life. Now there's a job I'd be good at.