Issue #109 – “Degree of Difficulty 2007” – May 14th, 2007

-Congratulations, Class of 2007, you’re about to get your college degrees!  It’s been two years since I last offered words of wisdom to our nation’s graduating seniors (sorry, Class of 2006, I kinda forgot about you guys).  But, as a proud member of the Class of 2001, I now have six years of post-college experience under my belt – and I’m about to drop some knowledge.  Your days of frat parties and Facebook are over, and your days of martinis and MySpace are just beginning.  Here’s what you need to know.

-No matter what amount per month you were originally planning to spend on rent, any apartment you actually like will always cost $200 more than that.

-No one in the “real world” has any clue what they’re talking about.  Seriously, about 99.9% of people are talking completely out of their asses at all times.  The successful ones are those that just fake it better than others.

-The more hours your friends work, the more they’ll lie about how much they love their job.

-Twenty-two-year-old girls and twenty-eight-year-old guys are roughly equivalent in maturity level.

-A college degree doesn’t carry as many expectations as it used to.  For example, Bank of America’s CampusEdge Checking program offers free checking while you’re a student for five years – ostensibly implying that most of us are too fucking stupid to graduate in four.

-It turns out that attempting to cleanse ping pong balls by repeatedly dipping them into the same cup of tepid water is not hygienic.

-If you plan to rage during the week like you used to in college, try to remember that the people partying alongside you now are actors, comedians, and the unemployed.  They don’t have to get up in the morning.  You’ll be the one vomiting in the office bathroom then trying to play it off to your boss by saying, “I’m fine… must have had a bad spreadsheet or something.”

-No matter how old you are, if you’re at a party and two of your friends start hooking up in another room, knocking on the door and/or listening in are both always completely acceptable.

-I believe that the transition from college to actual society takes about a year.  The first six months are the hardest, at least until you stop thinking your roommate is playing a prank on you every morning when your alarm goes off at 7am for work.  The second six months, you start to get your bearings – you figure out how often you can realistically rage and become resigned to the fact that, in the real world, your monthly cable and Internet bill will always cost way more than seems reasonable.  And by the time the class below you graduates, and you realize in talking with them how much you’ve learned over the past year, that’s when the transition is officially complete.  So, Class of 2007, the clock is ticking.  Your one-year grace period is about to begin.  Be dumb.  Waste money.  Get drunk.  Slack off.  Have fun.  All the graduates that came before you are watching.  Make us proud.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-How come on TV when the character wants to conceal a gun, he always either puts it down the back of his pants or down the front of his pants?  I’m no Jack Bauer, but those two spots definitely make my list of “Last places I would ever put a gun.”

-Also, do you think that when a show requires there to be pictures of one of the characters when they’re younger, they use actual baby pictures of the actor?  Can you imagine showing up at your parents’ house like, “Maaaaa, where’s my Bar Mitzvah album?  In the next episode of ‘Heroes’ they need a picture of me when I’m thirteen.  Don’t worry Mom, I’ll bring it back.”

-I’ve noticed lately that on TV they’ll not only bleep out a curse word, but also blur out the person’s mouth who’s saying it.  Though when the gun that the character is carrying in his pants accidentally goes off, I can pretty much deduce what he’s screaming anyway.

-At the same time that censorship of TV shows is growing, it seems as if TV commercials can pretty much say whatever the hell they want.  Some of my favorites: the Puffs commercial that claims their tissues have a “magical layer” (misleading); the Glad commercial that shows plastic bags dropping from the ceiling in an airplane instead of oxygen masks (unsafe); the Coors Light commercial that shows track and field superstar Michael Johnson racing to a bar to hit on chicks (inappropriate); the commercial for Southern California casino Pechanga that shows a guy stuck in traffic daydreaming and then being served a cocktail while driving (illegal); and, probably my favorite, the commercial for car-buying web site where a bunch of teenagers stop at a light, get out of the car while it’s still running, do a Chinese fire drill, get back in, then make a left into the intersection without even signaling (just plain ridiculous).

-At this point, most college seniors have been through rounds of job interviews that often feature brain teasers about hypothetical situations that are meant to test critical thinking.  To me, there’s only one brain teaser that counts:  if the cops or the administration are about to discover your fraternity hazing its pledges – who are half-naked and covered in dog food – what to do you do?  Think about it…  Answer: Tell every brother present to quickly get half-naked and cover themselves in dog food, too.  Then you can pass the festivities off as a house-wide event and not hazing.  Foolproof, right?  And to think I only had four years of CampusEdge Checking.

-And, finally, this is also the time of year for grad school graduation.  For business students, it is a bittersweet time, as two years of sitting on their asses doing jack shit is coming to a close.  For law students, it is more of an exciting time, as three years of torture have hopefully resulted in a high-paying job (and usually the first real job they’ve ever had).  And for med students, four years of being shit on and crushed with debt gives way to, well, four more years of pretty much the same thing.  But the difference between college graduates and grad school graduates is that the latter don’t get a grace period.  If you’re an MBA, you should know how much rent and cable is gonna run you.  If you’re a JD, you should know that showing up half-drunk and vomiting in the office could get you disbarred.  And if you’re an MD, you should know that dipping ping pong balls into a cup of tepid water is not hygienic (though you probably shouldn’t be playing beirut anyway).  Then again, what do I know?  After all, 99.9% of people in the world talk completely out of their asses – I could just be faking it.  Fuck me.