Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"College Essay"

This was my first draft of a college essay. I decided not to turn it for fairly obvious reasons.

If you were to delay going to college by one year, what would you do with that time? And, what would you hope to gain from that experience?

If I were to delay going to college by one year, I would get to work immediately on setting a list of goals for the next 365 days. “A day wasted is a day wasted,” my one-legged neighbor used to say, and he was a millionaire so I take everything he says as fact. So I would sit down with a pad of paper, a number 2 pencil, and a box of Nilla Wafers and start to think. What do I want to do with my year? I remember a time not long ago when “Play Pokemon” would be a satisfactory answer to that question, but now I’m an adult and if I said that people in the community would probably look down on me and not permit me to see R-rated films.

Here’s the real goal I would sketch up: I will stand on a level surface, 200 meters above sea level, and leap to the moon. To do this will not be easy. I will have to hire a Soviet coach to train me. Not just a Russian coach, but a true Soviet, an obese man with a mustache who honestly believes in the merits of Communism. His name will be Vlad. I will endure excruciating pain during our training sessions. Such pain that women across the world will say they would rather give birth to fifteen sets of twins at once than endure the hardships my muscles had to endure. I will do squats with heavy objects on my back. First I will use barbells and weights. Then I will use cars. Then I will use trains and roads and planes, advancing my way up through an infrastructure until I am finally squatting with an entire civilization resting delicately on my back.

After two months of preparation my legs will resemble Roman columns and I will be ready. I will alert the news media (both wings), and set the date. I will do it on a Wednesday because that is the day of the week new DVDs are released on the moon. The night before I will feast on Oreos and geese. When a crowd of at least one million has gathered, I will await Vlad’s signal. The moment he shouts, in his accent that is as thick as my thighs will be, “Do it now, you moron, before these people leave!” I will jump. With the concentration of a thousand Buddhists I will focus on the jump until I have gathered enough force. Then, in a sonic blast, I will leap to the moon.

My jump will be majestic. The entire world will watch in awe. It will momentarily unite Shiites and Sunnis, the Chinese government and Tibetans, and David Letterman and Jay Leno. The most difficult part of the jump will be holding my breath from the time I leave Earth’s atmosphere until I return to it, but last summer I held my breath at the pool for almost a minute, so I should be okay. When I am on the moon I will do three things: a handstand, a summersault, and a crossword puzzle from the USA Today. An alien may ask me what I’m doing and I will tell him, “It’s a crossword puzzle. We have them on Earth.”

Upon reentering the Earth’s atmosphere I will spend fifteen minutes allowing my ears to readjust to hearing things, because in space I stubbed my toe on a moon rock and I tried to yell, but those rumors about there being no sound in space are true. Once my ears are good to go, I will embark on an around-the-world publicity tour. I will befriend scholars, scientists, writers, and bounty hunters. With them, I will sit in a dark and stuffy Irish pub to discuss my projects for the next eight months.

First, I will plan to volunteer so hard that the definition of volunteer will be changed to “To behave like Matt Burns.” I will then spend months answering life’s most difficult questions: If a tree falls and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? What is the meaning of life? Who shot J.R.? I will devote at least two months to the most important debate of our time: Is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable? With revolutionary research techniques and instruments such as beakers, centrifuges, and guitars, I will find that the tomato is neither; in fact it is a meat.

My discovery will be influential and controversial; it will spawn new debates and cause entire species of dissatisfied birds to leave the continent forever. In the wake of my breakthrough, I will have an intellectual dinner with a colleague of mine named Doctor McGinty.

I will ask him a series of hard-hitting questions, including, “If you were to delay your next clinical study by one year, what would you do?”

Doctor McGinty will finish his mozzarella stick and respond, “What’s the point of that question? Can’t I just make up anything? It’s not like it matters what I say because your situation is completely hypothetical.”

I will look at Doctor McGinty and say, “Oh, now na├»ve you are, Doctor. If you will excuse me, I have to be going now. I begin college in a month and still have to work at a soup kitchen, hit 75 home runs in a season, and eat one hundred pounds of lettuce.”

Monday, October 13, 2008

"A Down-Under Break-Up"

Dear Sir Hops-a-Lot,

It pains me to say this, but I think our relationship should come to an end. We’re just too different. I like the White Sox; you like the Cubs. I enjoy Megadeth; you prefer Metallica. I am a human; you are a six foot-tall Australian Red Kangaroo. Please don’t take this the wrong way. It’s nothing you did. You were great, you really were. All the hopping and bouncing was a joy to watch. You are a very speedy kangaroo. And thank you so much for allowing me to store my makeup and hair accessories in your pouch. That was a real life-saver at the pool. We had some real fun together, like when you took me to Australia to graze on your favorite patch of grass, or when you invented that international dance craze, the Ranga-Koo. The main reason I wish to end what we had is your hobby. I do not like it when you go out late at night to the bowling alley parking lot to beat up Costa Rican midgets for money.

Sincerely,

Linda

Dear Linda,

I do not care. I do not care. I am a kangaroo. I am a large kangaroo. You are a human. I could beat you up. I could beat you up real easy. But I won’t do that. I will not do that. Because Sir Hops-a-Lot is a gentleman. I do not beat up women. I do not beat women. Unless they are also Costa Rican midgets. But other than that I do not beat women. I’m glad you liked my dance craze. I achieved international fame and fortune. Last November I slept with your sister. What? I didn’t say nothing.

Keep hoppin’,

Sir Hops-a-Lot

P.S. I am a male kangaroo so I do not have a pouch. You put your makeup and hair accessories into my butt crack. At the time I found that disgusting. Now it is very humorous to me.