A professor, a CEO, and a janitor are walking through a forest, when they come across a magic fairy.

“I will give each of you what you most desire,” says the fairy. “But first, you must do someone else’s job successfully for a day.”

“I’ll be an elementary school teacher,” says the professor immediately. “How hard can it be to teach six-year-olds to read?”

With a poof, the professor is teleported into a classroom.

A half hour later, the desks are overturned, the kids are screaming, crayon is scrawled all over the walls, and Jimmy, the class’s pet guinea pig, lays dead in a pool of his own blood.

“Get me out of here!” says the professor. And with another poof, he’s back in the forest.

Convinced he can do better, the CEO asks to become a waiter.

“I can certainly do that,” he says. “You just carry food back and forth. No problem.”

And with another poof, the CEO is in a bustling restaurant during the lunch rush.

“I said dressing on the side!” a woman is soon yelling at him. He drops four balanced plates while bussing a table. Three tables stiff him on the tip.

“This is ridiculous,” says the CEO. “I want out.”

And with a poof, he’s back in the forest, too.

The janitor strokes his chin in contemplation.

“I think,” he says, “I’d like to be an artist.”

“An artist?” she asks.

“Exactly,” he replies.

And so the janitor is teleported into an art studio. Surveying the supplies, he begins to smash brushes and palettes into pieces, then slowly glues dozens of those pieces onto a large, white canvas.

A collector walking through the studio sees the work and gasps.

“What a brilliant, evocative deconstruction of the creative process!” he exclaims.

With a snap, he summons his assistant, who offers the janitor twelve million dollars for the work.

And with a poof, the janitor is transported back to the forest, alongside the amazed fairy, professor, and CEO.

“How did you manage to fare so well as an artist?” they ask.

“Oh, it’s simple,” explains the janitor. “I have a master’s degree in art.”

June 30, 2017