>>> Text-Heavy
By staff writer E.E. Southerby
Volume 101 – October 3, 2004

“‘S' Removed For Comedic Purposes”

Now Playing: “Darling Nikki” by Foo Fighters

I'm going back to my roots this week, with a Text-Heavy that's actually sort of, but not really, about college life. I realize this comedic well has been pretty much tapped dry, but that won't stop me from beating the “isn't college funny” angle into the cold, hard earth. We hope you enjoy it and so forth etcetera. Here's what happened:

-There's some sort of competition going on among college students to see who has the hardest courses, or the most homework, or something. Ask any student how their classes are going, and you'll always get an answer like, “Oh, man, they're sooooo hard this semester. I have so much homework and I'm so stressed. What about you?” And then you have to try and top that with something like, “You think YOU'VE got it bad! Mine are even WORSE!” I guess it's just because nobody wants to be the jerk who answers, “Mine are hella easy. You're pretty screwed.” Even though that's totally what's going through your head.

-Sometimes, just to fit in, I find I need to make up work for me to do just so I don't look like an idiot. Like if I ask someone if they want to get together for lunch, and they say they can't because they're so busy because their classes are so hard, I kind of backpedal. “Oh, yeah. I know what you mean. I can't get together for lunch either, because my classes are really hard, um, also.” Whew, dodged that land mine.

-I have a class that's filled entirely with ugly people. I don't mean regular unattractive, either. We're talking circus ugly here. I can't take it. Every time I have that class I feel like I'm walking onto the set of “The Swan.”

-What about people who brag about how rarely they go the library? “I haven't gone to the library at ALL this year. And I hope to keep it that way. The library is for douchebags.” Aren't we a little old to just label anyone who goes to the library a dork? I'm afraid to tell people I actually like going to the library to study because there's a chance they might give me a wedgie.

-You know the one guy who's been in school forever but still takes freshman classes and lives in the dorms and hangs out with all the kids fresh out of high school? Dude, you're not fooling anyone. Nobody thinks you're Van Wilder. Stay away from my underpants.

-Ever hear someone actually ask, “Will this be on the test?” in real life? It's a bit unsettling. I didn't think people actually did that. Like if you go to NASA headquarters and watch them do a space shuttle countdown, when all along you thought it was something they just did in movies starring Tom Hanks. (“Van Wilder.”)

-How many Ph.D's does it take to operate an overhead projector? You'd think somewhere around your eighth year of post-graduate work they'd tell our profs how to change those little light bulbs. Obviously it wasn't on the test.

-Students looking to furnish their new student houses often go to the Salvation Army, which has an impressive assortment of furniture that even homeless people won't take. Some friends of mine stole a couch from the Salvation Army, which apparently was an awful thing to do because it's considered bad form to rob a charity. I don't see what the big deal is. The couch was donated for free. I figure the Salvation Army should be treated like a “Take a penny, leave a penny” jar, only instead of pennies it has couches with diarrhea stains on them.

-I just don't get it. I hear tons of people complain about the high cost of textbooks, but nobody complains about how much posters cost at the campus poster sale. Apparently $100 is too much to spend on a chemistry book that took a team of researchers fifteen years to write, but it's no problem to spend $400 on six posters of Anna Kournikova. Actually I do get it.

-So here's what I was thinking: I'm going to market a series of college posters that are just glossy photographs of the contents of popular college textbooks. I figure people will stop complaining about how expensive books are, and they'll just read their assignments off their walls. It's so brilliant you'd think I saw it in a movie. (“Van Wilder.”)