Graduate school is like regular college except with more drinking, less sex, and they make you do stuff.Friend, you have seen what being in graduate school for a year has done to me. I am now a husk of a man who lives every second of his life in contempt for his humorless peers who take 30 minutes to answer a question by parroting nonsense from some interminable book that can only be understood by its author, who is either dead or an asshole. I nurse my growing ulcer like a child; it feeds on hate and my colon dispenses blood like a sno-cone machine. To be fair, I'm sure my peers have contempt for me as well; I write comedy articles for the Internet and have absolutely nothing to offer academia except my ability to stand in front of a room of college freshmen for a salary that even the homeless would scoff at. I'm pretty sure I could fall asleep on a bench downtown next to an open coffee can and wake up with nearly three months' worth of wages in assorted change. At least you'll know where to find me if you come back.
Where else but America could you find a motorcycle built for a man who is larger than a lane of traffic?If America is known for one thing, it's fat people. Friend, in the time you are gone, I imagine that fast food restaurants will drop all pretenses and start serving bowls of corn syrup and bacon-flavored starch in a culinary mixture known as "Muhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh." (This is what you say when you want to order it.) But why wait for the future when there are so many ways to feel good about yourself waddling down the aisles of our Wal-Marts and overturning beef carts at Old Country Buffets this very moment? Now, I'm not proud of my body by any means; devoting my life to a series of activities that involve staring into a screen has given me the physique of a dead tree. But to feel better, all I have to do is walk outside and see a fat person to think, "Gee, things aren't so bad; at least torrents of sweat don't escape from my body like water from a high-pressure fire hose after a walk to the mailbox, and I don't even have to purchase a special mail-order wand over the Internet when I want to wipe myself!" Sure, I'm a horrible person, but technically, they're not even people.
This look of bewilderment will never leave my face.Of all the things from your life that you're tossing away like unopenable pistachios, I am what you will miss the most. In just a few days, you will no longer be able to say to your friends and loved ones, "You know Bob Mackey, who writes for that website I've never read? Well--get this--he lives in our country! Let's go buy him a drink and pay one of his credit card bills." Gone will be the days of enabling our respective extended adolescences, only to be replaced with the empty accomplishments of a normal adult life, like a living wage and the responsibility of watching a stranger's luggage at the bus station while they pee. Sure, Scotland will be full of pale weirdos, but will any of them have my exact DNA structure or haircut? The chances are slim, at best. Will the doors of your new friends' depressing college town apartments always be open to you, much like mine is? Probably, but their accents will be so thick and ridiculous that you won't be able to understand what they hell they're saying unless you've watched a lot of DuckTales. And there's no DuckTales where you're going.
If I wasn't the better person in all of this, I would shun you for all eternity like I've done to so many others who have wronged me in the past. Instead, I will show how I truly feel with one powerful and profound symbol that transcends language and reaches far into the soul:
I have raised over $300 participating in quilting bees for the American Quilting Bee Society so I think I deserve at least seven minutes of your time.
Ernest Cline, writer of Ready Player One, shares his newest poem.
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