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In an early morning history class a teacher began to notice that only two people had been showing up tardy.
Every Tuesday and Thursday of the week a young man and a stunning redhead had repeatedly shown up late. The boy walking in as if he had just ran a 10 mile race and the redhead would show up after him with a bottle of water and a proud smile.
On a usual Tuesday the teacher waited to start class until both had shown up. He took out his list of tardys and announced, “Everyone in this room has made it to my class on time… except two obvious people.” With this, the boy began to get a little nervous, glancing at the redhead, who stared on with a confident smile at the teacher.
The teacher then decided to ask the redhead if she knew the reason why she and her male friend were always late. She answered, “Well, you always have pop quizzes on either Tuesdays or Thursdays so (boy) and I just have early morning reviews before each day. Sometimes we just get a little carried away.”
The teacher, more or less than amused, sentenced the redhead to come to a before school detention for Thursday morning, and proceeded with a pop quiz for the day.
Thursday morning rolled around. The boy came to class early, walking perfectly, but neither the teacher or the redhead were in sight. It wasn’t until 10 minutes into class that the redhead cooly walked in, winked at the boy and sat down with her bottle of water.
Not but a minute later the teacher sauntered in the classroom, announcing that it no longer was a need to be on time for class anymore, the redhead had proved herself worthy of her study time, whether he liked it or not. With that he turned to the board, exposing the nail rips in the back of his shirt.

College is basically a bunch of rooms where you sit for roughly two thousand hours and try to memorize things. The two thousand hours are spread out over four years; you spend the rest of the time sleeping and trying to get dates.

Basically, you learn two kinds of things in college:

1. Things you will need to know in later life (two hours).

2. Things you will not need to know in later life (1,998 hours). These are the things you learn in classes whose names end in -ology, -osophy, -istry, -ics, and so on. The idea is, you memorize these things, then write them down in little exam books, then forget them. If you fail to forget them, you become a professor and have to stay in college for the rest of your life.

It’s very difficult to forget everything. For example, when I was in college, I had to memorize — don’t ask me why — the names of three metaphysical poets other than John Donne. I have managed to forget one of them, but I still remember that the other two were named Vaughan and Crashaw. Sometimes, when I’m trying to remember something important like whether my wife told me to get tuna packed in oil or tuna packed in water, Vaughan and Crashaw just pop up in my mind, right there in the supermarket. It’s a terrible waste of brain cells.

After you’ve been in college for a year or so, you’re supposed to choose a major, which is the subject you intend to memorize and forget the most things about. Here is a very important piece of advice: be sure to choose a major that does not involve Known Facts and Right Answers. This means you must not major in mathematics, physics, biology, or chemistry, because these subjects involve actual facts. If, for example, you major in mathematics, you’re going to wander into class one day and the professor will say: “Define the cosine integer of the quadrant of a rhomboid binary axis, and extrapolate your result to five significant vertices.” If you don’t come up with exactly the answer the professor has in mind, you fail. The same is true of chemistry: if you write in your exam book that carbon and hydrogen combine to form oak, your professor will flunk you. He wants you to come up with the same answer he and all the other chemists have agreed on.

Scientists are extremely snotty about this.

So you should major in subjects like English, philosophy, psychology, and sociology — subjects in which nobody really understands what anybody else is talking about, and which involve virtually no actual facts. I attended classes in all these subjects, so I’ll give you a quick overview of each:

ENGLISH: This involves writing papers about long books you have read little snippets of just before class. Here is a tip on how to get good grades on your English papers: Never say anything about a book that anybody with any common sense would say. For example, suppose you are studying Moby-Dick. Anybody with any common sense would say that Moby-Dick is a big white whale, since the characters in the book refer to it as a big white whale roughly eleven thousand times. So in your paper, you say Moby-Dick is actually the Republic of Ireland.

Your professor, who is sick to death of reading papers and never liked Moby-Dick anyway, will think you are enormously creative. If you can regularly come up with lunatic interpretations of simple stories, you should major in English.

PHILOSOPHY: Basically, this involves sitting in a room and deciding there is no such thing as reality and then going to lunch. You should major in philosophy if you plan to take a lot of drugs.

PSYCHOLOGY: This involves talking about rats and dreams. Psychologists are obsessed with rats and dreams. I once spent an entire semester training a rat to punch little buttons in a certain sequence, then training my roommate to do the same thing. The rat learned much faster. My roommate is now a doctor. If you like rats or dreams, and above all if you dream about rats, you should major in psychology.

SOCIOLOGY: For sheer lack of intelligibility, sociology is far and away the number one subject. I sat through hundreds of hours of sociology courses, and read gobs of sociology writing, and I never once heard or read a coherent statement. This is because sociologists want to be considered scientists, so they spend most of their time translating simple, obvious observations into scientific-sounding code. If you plan to major in sociology, you’ll have to learn to do the same thing. For example, suppose you have observed that children cry when they fall down. You should write: “Methodological observation of the sociometrical behavior tendencies of prematurated isolates indicates that a casual relationship exists between groundward tropism and lachrimatory, or ‘crying,’ behavior forms.” If you can keep this up for fifty or sixty pages, you will get a large government grant.

1. Stay clear of all windows.
2. Seat yourself at a hard chair at least four (4) feet from desk or table.
3. Loosen necktie, belt, or other restricting clothing.
4. Remove eye glasses and other sharp instruments (pens and pencils) that might be in your pockets.
5. Bend over with your head between your legs.
6. Firmly kiss your ass “Good bye.

* Smoke jimson weed. Do whatever comes naturally.
* Switch the sheets on your beds while s/he is at class.
* Twitch a lot.
* Pretend to talk while pretending to be asleep.
* Steal a fishtank. Fill it with beer and dump sardines in it. Talk to them.
* Become a subgenius.
* Inject his/her twinkies with a mixture of Dexatrim and MSG.
* Learn to levitate. While your roommate is looking away, float up out of your seat. When s/he turns to look, fall back down and grin.
* Speak in tongues.
* Move you roommate’s personal effects around. Start subtlely. Gradually work up to big things, and eventually glue everything s/he owns to the ceiling.
* Walk and talk backwards.
* Spend all your money on Jolt Cola. Drink it all. Stack the cans in the middle of your room. Number them.
* Spend all your money on Transformers. Play with them at night. If your roommate says anything, tell him/her with a straight face, “They’re more than meets the eye.”
* Recite entire movie scripts (e.g. “The Road Warrior,” “Repo Man,” Casablanca,”) almost inaudibly.
* Kill roaches with a monkey wrench while playing Wagnerian arias on a kazoo. If your roommate complains, explain that it is for your performance art class (or hit him/her with the wrench).
* Collect all your urine in a small jug.
* Chain yourself to your roommate’s bed. Get him/her to bring you food.
* Get a computer. Leave it on when you are not using it. Turn it off when you are.
* Ask your roommate if your family can move in “just for a couple of weeks.”
* Fake a heart attack. When your roommate gets the paramedics to come, pretend nothing happened.
* Eat glass.
* Smoke ballpoint pens.
* Smile. All the time.
* Burn all your waste paper while eying your roommate suspiciously.
* Hide a bunch of potato chips and Ho Hos in the bottom of a trash can. When you get hungry, root around in the trash. Find the food, and eat it. If your roommate empties the trash before you get hungry, demand that s/he reimburse you.
* Leave a declaration of war on your roommate’s desk. Include a list of grievances.
* Paste boogers on the windows in occult patterns.
* Shoot rubber bands at your roommate while his/her back is turned, and then look away quickly.
* Dye all your underwear lime green.
* Spill a lot of beer on his/her bed. Swim.
* Buy three loaves of stale bread. Grow mold in the closet.
* Hide your underwear and socks in your roommate’s closet. Accuse him/her of stealing it.
* Remove your door. Ship it to your roommate’s parents (postage due).
* Pray to Azazoth or Zoroaster. Sacrifice something nasty.
* Whenever your roommate walks in, wait one minute and then stand up. Announce that you are going to take a shower. Do so. Keep this up for three weeks.
* Array thirteen toothbrushes of different colors on your dresser. Refuse to discuss them.
* Paint your half of the room black. Or paisley.
* Whenever he/she is about to fall asleep, ask questions that start with “Didja ever wonder why….” Be creative.
* Shave one eyebrow.
* Put your mattress underneath your bed. Sleep down under there and pile your dirty clothes on the empty bedframe. If your roommate comments, mutter “Gotta save space,” twenty times while twitching violently.
* Put horseradish in your shoes.
* Shelve all your books with the spines facing the wall. Complain loudly that you can never find the book that you want.
* Always flush the toilet three times.
* Subsist entirely on pickles for a week. Vomit often.
* Buy a copy of Frankie Yankovic’s “Pennsylvania Polka,” and play it at least 6 hours a day. If your roommate complains, explain that it’s an assignment for your primitive cultures class.
* Give him/her an allowance.
* Listen to radio static.
* Open your window shades before you go to sleep each night. Close them as soon as you wake up.
* Speak into a walkie-talkie in trucker’s terms.
* Divide the floor into an 8 X 8 grid. Arrange piles of laundry, books, pizza boxes, etc. on the glid and tell your roommate that you’ve turned the room into a chess game and not to move any of the piles.
* Cover one of the walls with polaroids of fire hydrants from all over the city. Tell your roommate that you think that you were a dog in a former life. Stare lovingly at the photos, and make frequent trips to the bathroom.
* Get a small, battery-operated clock which ticks very loudly. Put it in a briefcase and put the briefcase next to your roommate’s bed.
* Expound upon the importance of good personal hygiene. Wear rubber gloves and a surgical mask in the room.
* Eat an entire bag of cheese curls at once. When you are finished, see how many times you can make orange fingerprints from all of the cheese junk left on your fingers.
* Come home from class with a bucket of plaster of paris. Paint a section of the ceiling with it, and plaster your roommate’s underwear to the stuff. When your roommate comes in and comments, tell him/her, “Sorry, I was doing your laundry, and I sneezed.”
* Wear the most obnoxious orange hat that you can find. Convince your roommate and everybody else that if they do not wear an orange hat, they will be hit by stray bullets.
* Point west at 3 AM every night and yell, “It came from that way.”
* Walk around in circles all the time. Complain that your turn signal is stuck.
* Whenever your roommate is out, turn the volume on his stereo ALL THE WAY UP. When he turns on his stereo, complain hysterically about the noise and his lack of courtesy.

It had been snowing for hours when an announcement came over the intercom: “Will the students who are parked on University Drive please move their cars so that we may begin plowing.”

Twenty minutes later there was another announcement: “Will the twelve hundred students who went to move 26 cars please return to class.”

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