Tag Archives: stupid people

My Advice to the College Bound


college or bustAll around the country a great odyssey is in progress. Students are finally getting their wishes and leaving home to head off to colleges and universities everywhere. In some places, classes are already starting and so this advice may be coming entirely too late as it is, but I feel compelled to try anyway. I do not have any children of my own and so will never be in the position to take someone to school, help him or her unpack the car, and get all the luggage and accoutrements into the dorm. Even so, I’m calling on my own experience in a huge public university back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and we took notes on a slate instead of an iSlate. Pass it on as you will. It comes from the heart.

Here goes, in no certain order of importance:

1. CHOOSE YOUR ROOMMATE CAREFULLY. Do not, under ANY circumstances, pick your BFF as your roommate as a freshman. No better method for destroying a friendship exists in the annals of civilization than trying to co-habitate the same space as a person you have known and ostensibly loved for a big chunk of your life at a time in both those lives when everything about the two of you is in flux. You are better off taking the luck of the draw than trying to keep the friendship alive by rooming together.

2. BE RESPONSIBLE. You have been screaming at your parents and the rest of the world just how responsible and grown up you are. Well, now is your chance to ACT LIKE IT. Don’t talk about being responsible — do it. Set an alarm and go to class on time, even the 8:00 AM ones you were insane enough to sign up for. Go to bed on time. Study as much as you need to.

3. DO NOT TRUST ANYONE YOU DO NOT KNOW until he or she gives you ample reason to do so. You are in the “real world” now and that world is full of predators. I’m not trying to scare you, but this isn’t a stupid horror movie. If you get in with the wrong person, you could end up in big trouble. You CANNOT tell a book by its cover. Ted Bundy was movie star handsome, brilliant enough to run for office, and executed for murdering at least 30 COLLEGE GIRLS. Watch yourself. Eventually, you will make friends who will go to the wall for you and when you do, look out for each other.

4. REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE. College is a time of challenges — to your beliefs, your ideals, and your character. You’ll be pressured to “change” in some way or another. Ignore the hype. If you love Jesus, don’t become a militant atheist just because a professor says so. Don’t dabble in Wicca just because the cute boy down the hall claims to be a high priest. Don’t change who you are just for the sake of changing. After all, being who you are got you this far, right? Of course, if you’re an asshole, by all means change. No one likes an asshole.

5. GET A PLAN. I’m where I am right now because I am the poster child for goal-less wandering. I wouldn’t trade my years in teaching for anything, but to be honest, I backed into education as a major. I NEVER sat down with myself or anyone else and figured out where I wanted to head in life and what I needed to do to get there. I just floated along and now I’m paying for it. Set goals, do research, decide what needs to be done and go do it. Alternatively, just go with the flow, but if you do, don’t be surprised when you are 43 and wondering, “How in the Hell did I get here?”

6. WATCH YOUR MONEY. Once again, I’m speaking from painful, personal experience. Unless you or your parents are exceptional planners, you’re already looking at student loan debt. Don’t add credit cards and other money suckers to that mountain as well. When I was in college, we didn’t get pre-approval credit card forms. Back then, they sent us a real live credit card and all you had to do was call and activate it and start burning plastic. I never turned one down and that’s why I live in a single-wide trailer instead of having a log cabin on the Bitterroot River in Montana like one of my buddies from high school and college.

7. AVOID STUPIDITY. Don’t make stupid choices, don’t hang out with stupid people, and don’t do stupid things. This is the era of social media. Any stupid move you make will be worldwide before you get back to your dorm room. The night I passed out on the steps of Tillman Hall stumbling back from the Esso Club, I didn’t have to worry about anything but security guards and rain. Try that nowadays and you’ll be on someone’s Facebook page in a skinny minute. Get drunk and strip on a table at a frat party? Hello, viral YouTube; goodbye future promotion opportunity. Ignorance is fine; it can be cured with education, but — to quote Ron White, “You can’t fix stupid.”

8. DON’T BLOW YOUR FUTURE TO HAVE FUN TODAY. You will be faced with a dictionary of choices in your freshman year. You can choose to party or study; go to the game or to the library; drink that one more drink or switch to water; have sex with that person or not. Binary choices. Yes or no; this or that. Choose wrong and you actually could screw up your entire future. Of course, that could never happen to you, but I watched it happen to people I knew and cared about. It only takes one bad decision and you could end up in jail, with a disease, with an unexpected baby, with a ticket out of college, or even with a headstone if it’s bad enough. Trust me on this one and don’t insist on finding out for yourself.

9. ACT LIKE YOU’VE GOT SOME SENSE. Your generation didn’t invent sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll so don’t act like you’re a rock star. For example, if you are at a party, do not, under any circumstances, drink ANYTHING offered to you unless YOU break the seal or YOU pour the drink. Once you set a drink down, consider it gone. Why waste a good drink? See #3 above. If you are tanking in a class, act like you’ve got some sense, swallow your pride, and go get help. Pride is a piss poor excuse for failing out of college. You will usually know what the right thing is to do whether you want to or not– do it. That is what acting like you’ve got some sense means.

I hope this helps some. Love y’all. Keep those feet clean.

Are You Talkin’ To Me?!


Most of us have watched a young Robert De Niro playing cab driver Travis Bickle posing in the mirror with a gun and an attitude while repeating over and over, “You talkin’ to me?” It’s a great scene but it’s just one more way in which we realize dear Travis is a bean or two short of a full bowl of chili.

Now, yesterday, I was walking around in the Garden Tools section of Lowes — or as I like to describe it, Toy R Us for males — when this guy down the aisle a bit from me starts flailing his arms around and screaming and he’s looking dead at me. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, this was not my first rodeo with babbling lunatics involved. I taught high school and middle school — I’m ready for anything. So, I stopped and adopted a good defensive posture to let dude know I wasn’t backing down from his craziness. Oh, and I also reached over and picked up a nice double-faced axe just in case I had to get all Gimli from Lord of the Rings on Rainman here. Luckily (for both of us since nothing adds pounds like “jumpsuit orange”) before I could yell out a cool dwarven war cry and get in touch with my Viko-Celtic roots, the guy turned and I saw it — he had a freaking BLUETOOTH MICROPHONE IN HIS EAR.

This idiotic phenomenon has become a pox, nay a plague, a veritable pestilence on the good graces of our public spaces these days. One can hardly walk around a mall or even a park without coming upon someone babbling incoherently to himself about picking up the milk and cat food or laughing maniacally to herself while continually repeating, “I KNOW, right?” Just about the time we get ready to pull our wives and children close and sprint to the other side of the aisle / sidewalk / track, etc, the goober turns around to reveal the blue blinking light practically embedded in his or her ear.

They have been assimilated.

No, really, watch somebody sporting a Jawbone and tell me she doesn’t look like she forgot to take off some makeup props before she left the Star Trek set where she was trying out for the part of Seven of Nine in the upcoming Broadway release “Star Trek: The Musical”. (They aren’t really making that play . . . at least I don’t think they are but with this Spiderman fiasco, who knows. But I digress). All over the highways and supermarkets of America, people are turning into Borg. I refuse to believe resistance is futile!

Now I admit, I hate cell phones on general principle. I am of the ilk who believe if someone isn’t home when you call, he or she doesn’t want to talk to you right then. Were it not for Budge and Mama’s dual insistence, I wouldn’t have one of the wretched, brain rotting devices. Cell phones are the final straw that is going to usher the barbarians through the gates.


Come ON now, Dude! Seriously? Two words: Voice Mail.

When the day has arrived that I cannot rid myself of the dregs of a two bean burritos lunch in Target without hearing a tinny version of MC Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This” coming from the next stall — followed by some fool saying “Hello?”, we are truly on the downhill slide of the slippery slope. You are pooping you fool, you need to concentrate and so do the rest of us!! Besides, do you really want to consider the environment you are placing near your hands, mouth, and ears?


Um, EWW!

Then we have the drivers barreling down the road yakking away into their “hands free device.” Apparently, hands free has become a euphemism for “wreckage inducing contraption.” You are theoretically controlling a huge hunk of steel, aluminum, glass and rubber down a stretch of autobahn at well over the posted speed limits, so you need to be concentrating on the predicament at hand, not arguing with your mother over a stupid bunch of bananas she wanted to leave you but you had no need for! For the love of all that’s holy, just TAKE THE BANANAS and HANG UP THE PHONE!

Yes, Brethren and Sistren, the ubiquitous Bluetooth in the ear is the ultimate sign the apocalypse is upon us. Not long ago, if you sat animatedly jabbering to yourself complete with hand waving and hair tugging, the nice kind men in the white coats would come and gently take you to a softly lit comfortable room with lots of padding on the walls where you could wait while being fitted for your cute jacket with the sleeves that tie in the back.

Not anymore. The rabid Bluetooth invasion has made it impossible to tell the disturbed from the merely obnoxious. Just last week, I was having a date night with Budge and watched a man and woman sit two tables across from us, both carrying on extremely animated conversations — just not with each other. All the while, that cute little blue light kept pulsing around both their temples.

Really? You can’t take that ear funk coated spit stained hunk of Bakelite out of your face long enough to talk over a meal to the person IN FRONT OF YOU?

Why, YES, as a matter of fact I AM a raging douchebag!

We are all doomed.

If I owned a restaurant, I’d have a Faraday Cage built into the walls of the building. It’s not that I’m a Luddite or something. I love technology. I just hate that rules of decent behavior and civility haven’t kept pace with the times!

So, in closing, I love y’all, but if you are walking or driving around talking to yourself because of a little chip in your ear, I’m going to make fun of you, laugh at you, and think you are a goober — especially if you cut me off in traffic because you aren’t paying attention!

Til then, keep those feet clean and those Blueteeth put away!