What Does a Paleontologist Do?

Part of Kuban's K-Paleo Place (humor section)

Anne Weile posted the following to the VertPaleo list...

A couple years ago I was in Belize on vacation, and a Belizean friend of mine asked me what I did for a living. I said, "I'm a vertebrate paleontologist." He looked puzzled, and asked, what's a vertebrte paleontolgist?" Not feeling like going through the whole "mammals that lived at the same time as the dinosaurs" shtick, I replied, "Paleontolgists work on extict animals, like dinosaurs." At this point, my friend was roused, alarmed, and very concerned for my sanity and livelihood. He leaned forward, grasped my arm, looked very seriously into my eyes, and said, "But you know, they don't really exist."