Last Wednesday, I decided to go see Dr. Strange at the cheap movie theater. When unemployed or, worse, employed as a self-published author, it’s important to be thrifty. By waiting until a movie has been out a while, you can get a movie ticket for as little as $2, which makes you feel better about spending $25 on a “small” soda (I say “small” because the smallest size my theater carries is so large, it doesn’t actually fit inside the movie theater. They have to keep the cup outside in the parking lot and pass you a long straw through the window.)

Weird people go to movies on a Wednesday afternoon. I can say that for a fact because I was the only one in the theater.

The movie was good and had a whopping two after-the-credits scenes, where they hint at an Avengers/Dr. Strange cross-over. I didn’t say “spoiler alert” because if you didn’t know that was coming, you clearly live somewhere in the boonies with no internet connection and therefore cannot actually be reading this blog. Unless you have a friend with a printer and some carrier pigeons. In which case I’m relying on the carrier pigeons pooping over that part anyway.

Every movie gets crossed-over with the Avengers. If they were to bring out a remake of “Little Women”, it would end with an after-the-credits scene where Loki brings Beth March back from the dead.

“Wow!” you say. “But how would the actual movie go?

I’m glad you asked!

In “Avengers: Little Woman, Destroyer of Worlds”, Loki would give the reincarnated Beth powers that also turn her evil, and unleash her on the world:

Jo (with a little pause): Wouldn’t it be fun if all the castles in the air which we make could come true, and we could live in them?

Beth (with glowing demon eyes and lightning coming out of her fingers): Join me, Jo, and we will rule the universe from fun castles in the air!

(She shoots a glowing beam into the sky, opening a portal to an evil alternate dimension)

Jo: Didn’t they do the beam-of-light-shooting-into-the-sky-and-opening-a-portal-to-an-evil-alternate-dimension thing in the last movie?

Loki: That’s part of my dastardly plan! Repeat the same plan in every Avengers movie until people surrender to my powers of redundancy!

Jo: Oh. That makes sense, then. I didn’t mean to be impertinent. Mother says I too often speak without thinking first.

Loki: I actually find your honesty quite refreshing.

Jo: Really?

(Able to fight it no longer, they share a passionate kiss)

I’d pay to see that movie, possibly before it even got to the cheap theater.

But we’ve gotten off-topic.

The point is, as I was sitting through the end credits of Dr. Strange, waiting for the inevitable Avengers cross-over teaser, I was pondering if I shouldn’t get a job. Reading the names scrolling by, I kept thinking, “All those people have jobs. How hard can it be?”

But what kind of job to get?

Suddenly the answer came to me, right there on the movie screen:

Benedict Cumberbatch. I could make TONS of money being him.

I of course quickly realized that, while I freely break into an impressively unconvincing British accent, I’m much too short to be him.

But then I got am even better answer from the aforementioned movie screen:

Stand-by painter.

That’s right: there’s someone who’s job it is to stand around doing nothing, absolutely not painting a single thing, all the while cultivating a willingness to possibly paint something if called upon. And for that, they not only paid him (or her, because women can stand around just as well as men, except we do it in heels), but they also put this person’s name in the credits.

For not painting.

But being willing to.

I am SO qualified for that job. It may be one of the few jobs that I, with my Liberal Arts Degree, am OVER-qualified for.

As a matter of fact, I basically already did that job. I haven’t painted anything in at least a year and I certainly haven’t done anything productive in twice that long. But – and this is key – had anyone from the Dr. Strange production called me and asked me to come, I would have gladly gone and slapped some paint on the sets, costumes, actors, my own hair, several cameras, the craft services table, and anything within a 5 foot radius of me because that is how I paint.

Long story short, the producers of Dr. Strange are in store for a strongly worded letter demanding a paycheck for services not rendered, but willing to have been rendered, and that my name be listed as 2nd Stand-By Painter in the corrected credits for the DVD release.

The best part about being 2nd stand-by painter is the opportunity for advancement. All I have to do is hide in the bushes of the 1st stand-by painter’s house, catch him actively painting something and get photographic evidence of it, which gets him fired, and gets me the promotion to 1st stand-by painter.

And once I’m 1st stand-by painter, it won’t be long before they give me my own Avengers cross-over movie :

Loki: You’re too late, Avengers! I’ve already set my evil plan into motion. Behold: Veronica!

Veronica (Holding, but not using, a paint brush): Hi!

Iron Man: Is she going to do something with that paint brush?

Veronica (Maniacally): No, I’m not. Bua ha ha ha ha ha!

Loki: Really? I thought you were going to use it to shoot some sort of beam into the sky to open a portal to an evil alternate dimension.

Veronica: I’d love to help you out, but I actually need to keep my schedule free, just in case someone needs me to paint something.

Iron Man: Is that all you’ve got?

Veronica: No. I also have…A WHITE, FLUFFY DOG!!!!


Iron Man: Oh no! I can’t take the cuteness! It burns!

(Dog shoots beam of light into the sky, opening a portal to an adorable alternate dimension)

Loki: That is quite impressive!

(Able to fight it no longer, my dog licks him right in the mouth)