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Get a Job: Santiago as Fisherman

Part 3 in a series where Nick Mazmanian examines the occupations of fictional characters and whether or not they’ve excelled at their chosen fields. [Read Parts 1 and 2.]

Name: Santiago
Occupation: Fisherman

Santiago is a fisherman in the strictest sense of the word. He makes his living at it, but for 84 days he hasn’t done this very thing. Looking over the story of the formerly banned book, The Old Man and the Sea, many a reader would think that this evaluation is an open-and-shut case. Be that as it may, let us see if Santiago should keep his job.


A fisherman must have patience when he is out at sea. Start fishing too soon and you scare the fish; too late, and you miss them completely. The fact that so many people hate doing this is why they stay away from it entirely. Fishing, while peaceful, isn’t for everyone.

Santiago has patience, almost too much. After 84 days of not catching anything, he should have moved on to another profession, like becoming a cobbler or maybe a social media manager.


Leaving industrial fishing to the side, actually fighting a fish on a line takes a lot of strength. There’s a reason why most fishing line can hold 500 pounds. It’s because physics is a bitch, and that fish doesn’t want to go where so many have never returned.

Santiago fights this giant fish, single handedly, for three days. Three days! To train for something like that today would take weeks on a Shake Weight, because our modern bodies are spongy and soft.


A fisherman can stack the odds in his favor by using technology to track the fish down and bait the hook, but no matter how many times he radars the water, he still might not catch a fish.

Santiago is carved from a slab of wood that was unlucky enough to be cut down in the first place and was sent to a mill to be made into boards, but the place burned down during the cutting process. Luck ran away from him like an atheist from church, and it was so bad that people from the village were afraid of catching it.

Should he keep his job? Verdict!

Santiago sure as hell should! Why? Because he is a fisherman in every sense of the word. Sure, he didn’t wind up being able to profit from the fish (spoilers), but he still caught it and brought it into town.

Now, get this man a Bass Pro Shop sponsorship and a tie-in video game!

Nick Mazmanian is the author of Where Monsters Lie & Other Tales, and when he isn’t banging away at the keyboard writing stories or emptying his thoughts onto his website, Ironcladwords.com, he can be found working on a multitude of projects that range from video games to podcasts about Batman to YouTube shorts to adventuring into the wide world with his wife and dog. You can also find him on Twitter and Tumblr.

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