Word of the Week: Dogsbody
Right now we're watching Tony Robinson's show The Worst Jobs in History, which plays on the History Channel. You may remember Robinson from Blackadder, wherein he was once credited as "Baldrick, a dogsbody". (And who better to narrate The Worst Jobs in History?) Back to the dogsbody. From the American Heritage Dictionary: Chiefly British Slang One who does menial work; a drudge. According to Michael Quinion, dogsbody comes from the British Royal Navy. The poor blokes had to eat dried peas boiled in a sack. "Pease pudding" became better known by the sailors as "dog's body," perhaps due to the appearance of the sack after boiling. In the early part of the 20th century, "dogsbody" came to mean the guy who gets the crap jobs. What are the crap jobs in your profession? I'll tell you what they are in mine: Nose bleeds. Bane of the ENT's existence. (ENT = ear, nose, and throat. You wouldn't think I'd have to spell that out, but whenever I assume you all know it, someone's bound to whine.) Ninety-eight times out of a hundred, they're innocent little drips. It's those two times out of a hundred . . . ever watch a firetruck hose cut loose? Mandible fractures. With rare exception, normal people do not get their jaws broken. Drunk, surly bastards do. Fortunately for me, I'm not very good at mandible fractures. I turf 'em. Ear wax. Once again, most of the time ear boogers are a piece of cake. Every so often, however, the stench that comes out of a person's ear makes me want to skip lunch. But I have nothing to bitch about. Tony Robinson had to stomp on urine-soaked linen in his bare feet tonight . . . something about 'evening out the material'. They just don't make crap jobs like they used to, I guess. D.