Why do we risk life and limb, not to mention being ostracized by all living relatives in order to dedicate our lives to the gathering of performance dates for acts like Tori Amos and bands like Velvet Revolver and Black Sabbath? “But you could have been a doctor,” whine our parents over the phone as we make those obligatory calls on birthdays, Christmas, and rent days. “You could have been someone.”

Yes, we could have been a doctor. We could be saving lives instead of researching new tours for Slaid Cleaves and Femi Kuti. But when you think of it, transplanting sphincters, birthing babies and curing cancer is nothing like the thrill one gets when uncovering a new date for Tears For Fears. But does anyone understand? Heck no.

“You could have been a lawyer,” cry our in-laws when we make those obligatory calls on anniversaries, John Lennon’s birthday and car payment day. You could have been someone.”

Ah yes, a lawyer. We could be upholding truth, justice and the Constitution. We could be defending the poor and honest people of this great nation as they make a stand for what they believe in. We could take on the dragons and vultures of corporate America. However, winning a billion dollar settlement against big tobacco or emerging victorious over a lawsuit against purveyors of hot coffee hardly matches the adrenaline rush one gets when checking out the support acts for Mudvayne. But does anyone appreciate it? Hardly.

“But you could have been president,” scream our cousins when we make those obligatory phone calls on Thanksgiving, Halloween and our birthdays. “You could have been someone.”

But does anything compare with gathering dates for Sting, Alan Jackson or Fritz’s Polka Band? Sure, a president can carpet bomb a third-world country or ravage a nature preserve in search of Texas tea, but that doesn’t even come close to the power one feels when entering dates for Coldplay or Papa Roach. Besides, federal law calls for both of us to be protected by the Secret Service, so there’s hardly any difference in lifestyle or perks.

A doctor, a lawyer a president. Yes, we could be healing the sick and defending the innocent. However, we’re not too sure about being president. After all, true power lies in the perception of those being led. When one considers the mayhem, havoc and loss of life one might inflict by accidentally deleting the dates for Pat Metheny Group or Oasis, occupying the White House seems awfully insignificant. Yes, we could have been a doctor or a lawyer, but president? We don’t think so.

Besides, our grades weren’t low enough.