Monthly Archives: January 1994

Choose Your Own Misadventure

Note: This column, while “hilarious,” was rejected by the editors and was never printed.

1. You wake up. Your very favorite section in the whole world starts in thirty minutes. You notice a glass of water by your bed. You also notice that your brain is throbbing and someone seemed to have lined your mouth with cotton while you were sleeping. If you hit snooze, go to number 2. If you get out of bed, go to number 3.

2. You hit snooze, fall asleep, and wake up nine minutes later. You were dreaming that you were playing Monopoly with Sam Donaldson, you think. If you hit snooze again, go to number 6. If you get out of bed, go to number 3.

3. You roll out of bed to get ready for the day. Yesterday’s outfit, laid out on the floor, is ready to go. If you decide to take a shower, go to number 4. If you head straight for class, go to number 5.

4. You’re in the shower. It’s hot. Then it’s cold. It stays cold for a while, then it gets hot. Then it’s cold again. You wait for it to get hot but it doesn’t so you get pissed and start yelling and throwing soap. When you get out of the shower, you realize that your tantrum has netted nothing but a pair of thoroughly soaked shoes on the bathroom floor. Looks like you’re going to have to wear your high school bobos instead. Nobody in your entryway feels sorry for you, though, and as you head out the door for class five minutes later, you swear that you hear the guy across the hall from you mutter under his breath, “Nice bobos. Attention K-Mart shoppers, attention…” It’s going to be a tough day. Go to paragraph 7.

5. You make it to class, five minutes early, even. Lucky you were wearing your durable rubber-soled perma-grip shoes—you saw people falling all over themselves on the ice on the way to class. Section goes well. You toss in three CP’s (Class Participations), smile twice at The Hot One in the left corner of the room, and manage to write that paragraph-long response in the last five minutes. Lunchtime. Go to number 8.

6. 10:00, 10:09, 10:18, 10:27…as the snooze-manipulated readings on your clock get closer and closer to section time, you can think of more and more reasons why you don’t actually need to go to class today. At some point you hit the alarm-off switch. You next wake at 2:14. Go to number 9.

7. On your way to class you slip and land squarely on your back. You try to get up quickly to save face but slip again, this time face-first into a slush puddle. As you try to steady yourself for the third time, you see six of the coolest-looking people in the world were watching the whole time. “That wouldn’t have happened if they weren’t wearing those corny bobos,” you hear one of them whisper to the other. Go to number 10.

8. As you walk out of section, you notice The Hot One swallowing an aspirin. You still have a slight headache, so you ask for one. The two of you get to talking, and decide to go out to lunch together. The Hot One knows a place—they’ll drive. Go to number 11.

9. You put on some sweats and cook up some ramen. Then you sit in front of the TV. Smoky and the Bandit just came on. You stare transfixed. Go to number 12.

10. You get to section 15 minutes late, soaking wet. Your bobos are squeaking loudly on the floor. A few people are openly and unashamedly laughing at you. You sit in the far corner, hoping to rest a little. But you get called on four times in the next thirty minutes, and each time you wince as you’re forced to respond with the kiss-of-death “Um, I’m a little behind in my reading.” Your TA asks to see you after class. Go to number 13.

11. You, The Hot One, and The Hot One’s Saab head down to New York, where you eat lunch in a charming bistro, then wander around the Village, arm-in-arm. You do a little shopping, and at one of those used clothes stores, The Hot One buys you the nicest sweater you’ve ever seen. The two of you head to The Hot One’s mother’s penthouse on the Upper East Side for dinner. Later that night, as you stare across the table at each other, the wine flowing, candles burning, music playing soft, The Hot One tells you that the moment they saw your awesome shoes in section that day, they knew you had to be theirs.

12. You can’t help but shed a little tear when you see Burt Reynolds head off into the fading sun after outsmarting that fat old Smoky for the last time. You’re just about to turn off the TV when the Police Academy Marathon comes on: all six of them, uncut and uninterrupted. You heat up another Ramen Pride and dig yourself a little deeper into the couch.

13. After class it’s just you and your TA. “I’m going to fail you,” the TA says, breathing onion-smattered plaque-breath into your face, “Unless you agree to spend this weekend with me and my friends. We’re going to be doing some review sessions, maybe a few party games. I was going to fail you outright, but when I saw how neat your shoes are, I realized that deep down, you’re just like us.”

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How to Pick Up Women

Recently I’ve been receiving a lot of reader mail, much of it from concerned young lovers looking for a little advice on exactly how to attract that quelqu’un certaine. Now this is perfectly understandable because A) everybody wants someone to snuggle with in these cold winter months; B) everybody wants someone they can bitch to in these depressing winter months; and C) after all, since I do know a great deal about the subject I’m clearly the obvious person to turn to. So here they are, The Eight Steps to Achieving True, Life-long Romance in just ONE NIGHT.

First you need to telephone the object of your desire to invite them on a date. While the key here is of course Be Yourself, the secret is Pretend You’re Someone Else First. When they pick up the phone, the wonderful “Is your refrigerator running?” gag is a great ice-breaker and will make them realize right from the get-go that you are indeed a creative and wry person. Or you could hyperventilate into the receiver and ask them what they’re wearing, which would expose them to your passionate side. But remember, don’t let them hang up on you.

Now ask them out. They’ve been charmed by your wit already, so there’s no way they’ll say no. But if they do, keep naming new dates up to and including May of your graduation year and you will be guaranteed a night of romance. If they insist that they have no idea who you are, tell them you’re the outgoing president of the YCC, own a yacht, or play lacrosse, any of which can get you whatever you want. If they insist that they do know who you are and that that’s precisely the reason they don’t want to go out with you, tell them you’re someone else.

 At step three we move to the BIG NIGHT itself. Be sure to dress up. Wear either tails, a formal dress, or a leisure suit. Pick them up about a half hour to an hour early—people say that this is annoying but that’s just a front. Compliment your date. Tell them that they’ll knock your whole family’s socks off when you take them home with you over spring break. Start holding hands at this point and do not let go for the rest of the night.

The fourth step is flat-out the most important part of the whole night, the core to the whole mystique of picking up lovers. On the way to dinner, tell them in empassioned tones that you are absolutely in love with them, that you never think about anything else, and that you cannot live without them. Crying a little has been known to help. Show them the love letters and macrame bracelet you’ve been working on. Say that your analyst used to say you were insecure, but now that you know you’ve found your lover for eternity you aren’t worried about a thing. If you sense that they feel a little awkward, assure them that there’s “No pressure”…but keep crying.

 Now that the passionate mood has been set, go to an expensive restaurant. Insist on ordering for the other person, and now that you’re intimate don’t feel uncomfortable referring to them as “my lover,” as in, “I’ll have the lamb, and my lover for life here will have the sweetbreads.” Rack up as high a bill as possible, insist loudly on paying for it, then look in your wallet and say that you left your money at home. This little premeditated blunder allows your new lover to assert financial independence and feel good in the process.

 For the sixth step, go from the restaurant to a hip club for some dancing. What you need to do here is start acting distant and strange and suddenly abandon your date on the dancefloor. Go to the bar and drink broodingly, making occasional violent gestures like smashing bottles over your head or threatening to kill anyone who talks to you. Here you establish that you are A) deep; B) independent; and C) belligerent, all of which are obvious turn-ons. Naturally, make your date pay for your drinks.

On the way home rant loudly that you saw your lover talking to another person in the club, and that that had better not continue or else. You may also want to let them catch a glimpse of your rebellious disdain for authority by starting a long-winded diatribe against The Man and throwing rocks at police cars and fraternity members. Here also is the ideal opportunity to throw up on your date, a gesture which never fails to galvanize a budding romance.

Finally, insist on a good-night kiss. If your lover refuses out of modesty, lick them on the cheek and run away screaming.

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