As the U.S. Federal Trade Commission proposes a ban on noncompete agreements, here is a look at such clauses in the contracts signed by members of unusual and offbeat professions.
Lion tamer: Employee shall not, during service to Circus and for a period of two (2) years following end of service, engage in the commercial practice of placing his or her head into the mouth of any big cat, including but not limited to lions, tigers, and leopards, for the purpose of thrilling, dazzling, or keeping on the edge if its seats any audience at any competing circus, nor shall employee induce or attempt to induce any big cat to jump through a flaming hoop or otherwise act in a way a reasonable person would describe as spectacular or awesome at any competing circus.
Court jester: Employee shall not, during service to Sovereign and for a period of two (2) years following end of service, engage in the practice of eliciting or attempting to elicit laughter, guffaws, chuckles, or any similar reaction from any noble with the title of Count or above, nor engage in any such practice within 5 miles of any castle belonging to Sovereign. This shall apply to castles within land already in Sovereign’s possession at the beginning of Employee’s service and to land acquired through conquest, purchase, or marriage by Sovereign during Employee’s period of service.
Executioner: Employee shall not, during service with Firing Squad and for a period of two (2) years following end of service, engage in the practice of judicially sanctioned killing, including but not limited to the use of firearms, axes, poisons, trap doors, rope, or other such device, for any competing entity that performs such services. This shall apply to the performance of any such services anonymously (e.g., while wearing a mask or hood), and shall also apply to participation in any execution which results in incomplete services rendered due to malfunctioning equipment, divine intervention, judicial reprieve, executive clemency, or crowd interference.
Military dictator: Employee shall not, during service to Regime and for a period of two (2) years following end of service, whether service ends voluntarily or by means of a coup or popular uprising, preside as the autocratic head of any government which engages in direct or indirect competition with Regime, whether such government is recognized by other governments or is considered a rogue nation. All military insignia and epaulets worn by Employee during term as military dictator, unless earned prior to beginning of term, shall be retained by Regime and shall be returned by Employee upon completion of service. Trade secrets, including but not limited to propaganda methods, surveillance techniques, maintenance of a cult of personality, and election rigging shall not be divulged. Employee may retain his or her legal name, but any nom de guerre, nickname, or sobriquet acquired or bestowed upon Employee as a consequence of his or her service to Regime shall be owned by Regime, and Employee shall not use such name for commercial purposes, including but not limited to signing autographs and making appearances at trade shows or conventions. If, within two (2) years following the end of service to Regime, Employee receives fees for doing consultation work for any junta, cabal, or failed state which engages in direct or indirect competition with Regime, Employee shall turn over 50% of those fees to Regime.