Well, folks, spring semester is wending its jolly way toward us, which can only mean one thing: spring semester is wending its jolly way toward us. And on that note, it's time for this exciting inaugural edition of our brand-spankin'-new college question-and-answer column: If You Must Matriculate, Do It Where I Can't See You!, where we undertake, all the while deftly referring to ourselves in the plural, to answer the questions that never even occurred to you:
Q. What is your recommended method for buying course books?
A. We are a big fan of not bothering. But if you must be an overachieving little perfectionist elitist snotball, we recommend buying course books marked "used." These books are discounted at most stores according to how many different varieties of bodily fluid have been administered to the text.
Q. What if the book just has ketchup on it?
A. Then you can expect to pay top dollar. You will incur an additional 10% fee if it is determined to be McDonald's "Fancy" ketchup.
Q. Sometimes, it seems just impossible to keep track of everything with all the demands coming at you at the start of a new semester. How should I stay afloat?
A. Leading physicians recommend heroin, now available in Flintstones chewable form.
Q. If I take five "three-credit" courses this semester while maintaining a "cumulative" "GPA" of no less than "3.141592653" in addition to a "cumulative" "shoe size" of "8," "7 central," will it be possible to study abroad next fall?
A. Yes, but not for you personally.
Q. May I ask why not?
A. We do not like your face.
Q. What if I do not, technically speaking, HAVE a face?
A. Sucks to be you.
Q. Are you composing this piece in the coffee corner of Ernest Klein & Co. Supermarket at 6th Avenue and 55th Street?
A. Why, yes.
Q. So then how about that cheese package over there? The one advertising "Low-Moisture Mozzarella?"
A. It is humorous.
Q. How about highly suspicious?
Q. Has it distracted you from your original topic to the point that you have begun mentally composing a steamy novel consisting of such lines as, “As Lenore locked eyes with Ricardo in the dairy section, she maintained her mask of calm, but was privately pleased to note his mozzarella was unusually high-moisture?”
A. We cannot say the idea has crossed our minds.
Q. I always feel so awkward getting to know new professors. In these casual times, how am I supposed to address them?
A. The Oxford English Dictionary of Oxford English, informally the "E-I-E-I-O," advises that "Raoul" or "Kirsten" is appropriate.
Q. What if my professors are not named Raoul or Kirsten?
A. The E-I-E-I-O then advises that you kill yourself.
Q. I also feel really awkward posing questions. Is it okay to ask provocative questions?
A. By all means.
Q. OK, what are you wearing?
A. Wouldn't you like to know.
Q. What if, when I ask my question, I don't get the answer I want?
A. We suggest you use the method we observed this evening, in an exchange between a newspaper customer and street vendor:
CUSTOMER: You got the Washington Post?
CUSTOMER: How 'bout the Washington Post?
Sooner or later, success is your destiny.
Q. But what if it's not? What if I still don't hear the answer I'm after?
A. We recommend you snivel and whine in an unattractive fashion.
Q. What if I still don't get my answer?
A. No matter: by this point you will exist only in the form of attack dog poop.
Q. How about those Knicks?
A. Beats us. Ask us about the European Figure Skating Championships.
Q. How about those European Figure Skating Championships?
A. As fans deeply concerned with the athleticism as well as the artistry of the sport, we ask only that the winners, as athletes and as artists, have comical names.
Q. And if your favorites don't win?
A. We cut you.
That's all we have time for in this exciting inaugural edition of If You Must Matriculate, Do It Where I Can't See You!, easily the finest college question-and-answer column ever composed in this particular corner of this particular grocery store on this particular afternoon. In the meantime, please accept our heartiest wishes for a happy, healthy, productive and pleasing semester. In other words, may your mozzarella be consistently moist.
©2009, Nicola McEldowney
The Snark Ascending