Here at the Bureau of Highly Suspicious Things, Highly Suspicious Things Dept., the burden is typically upon us to a) observe the Highly Suspicious and b) report it for your viewing pleasure.* Thus we do not take it lightly when we find ourselves on the receiving end of such a label. I do not wish to name names**, but I am looking at a top-secret classified blog-powerin' Internettin' service which I shall call "JiveLournal".*** I single out J.L. on account of they have seen fit to suggest to me (right in the middle of my vacation, no less) that I am highly suspicious by dint of - this is true - having JiveLournal "Interests" consisting of more than four words. This never came up until the other day, when I had the gall to suggest to J.L. that among my myriad interests - some of which involve actually doing stuff - was the TV show "Whose Line is it Anyway". This has since been revealed to consist of five words.
"We're sorry," J.L. informed me by means of a snotty cyberwindow. "Interests with more than four words are not permitted."
As you can imagine, this really raised my hackles.**** It did not escape my notice that while this "interest," an innocuous television program, has apparently been deemed Radical And Dangerous by the J.L. honcho contingent, interests such as "Percy Grainger" (which contains, at last count, two words) are evidently considered perfectly mainstream. For those not gifted with my minimal knowledge of weird musical figures, I should explain that Grainger
WARNING WARNING WARNING - ENTERING TRUTH ZONE - I AM INCAPABLE OF MAKING THIS STUFF UP
was the brilliant Australian composer and pianist who a) once threw a tennis ball over a house, so he could run through the house and catch it (the ball) on the other side, b) evidently once refused to play a recital in a certain town*****, because he felt the townspeople were too ugly; and c) apparently subscribed to the belief that his wife's personal area featured tentacles. (Lest you think I shirk my duties as a scholarly type, I have observed that Grainger also wrote music.)
WARNING WARNING WARNING - EXITING TRUTH ZONE - WE NOW RETURN YOU TO YOUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED WAD OF FLAGRANT LIES
"Yes, this is all well and good," you are saying, "and I was especially hoping, this holiday season, to be informed of Mrs. Grainger's alleged tentacles. But what, Nicola, is the solution to this seemingly insurmountable hurdle JiveLournal has thrown in humanity's way?" To which I say: learn to pronounce my name right. The accent is on the first syllable. Now then, the solution is simple: never have any interests. Apathy is the soft pretzel of life; which is to say, I have just likened it to a soft pretzel, seeing as I am hungry and I have a coupon here for soft pretzels.
But this is not my point. My point, which I will have by the end of this sentence or later, is: rules are bad. This brings me to the totally separate issue of (cue: Night on Bald Mountain):
Those of you with nominal knowledge of history will recall that this was designed in bygone days (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, but not Wednesday) by an educational trailblazer whom legend has it was named Fred or Kimberly. Due to the combined effects of a lobotomy, excessive Diet Sprite, and a deep roiling hatred of mankind due to 35 years in Customer Service, Fred or Kimberly devised the following outline for his or her brainchild, which remains unaltered to this day:
Students (hereinafter “STUDENTS”) MUST enroll in MORE THAN SIX (6) but NO MORE THAN 17.53 (DIX-SEPT point CINQUANTE-TROIS) semester (“SEPTEMBER”) credits in any or all or none of the following (“ENSUING”): COMPUTATIONAL HOO-HA, APPLIED PUDDING CONSUMPTION (100-level or above), ASTROLINGUISTIC MATHEMATIPOLITICAL ANGLIVEGETARIAN THEORY, MADE-UP FOREIGN LANGUAGES (“German”), or possibly NOT. Failure to COMPLY with the foresaid (“FORESAID”) UNIVERSITY REGULATIONS will result in your being summarily EATEN BY WOLVERINES BWA HA HA or possibly being WRITTEN UP unless you satisfactorily COMPLETE (“compute”) a SUBSTITUTORY COURSE of the satisfactory AND/OR/BUT substitutial VARIETY in one of the following categories: NATURAL SCIENCE, QUANTITATIVE SCIENCE, QUANTITATITATITATIVE SCIENCE, PUTATIVE SCIENCE, POTATO SCIENCE, THE LATE GENE RAYBURN, UNFORTUNATE BODILY FUNCTIONS, EMBARRASSING MEMORIES, JUNK MAIL, or SOMETHING YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND. At culmination (“ABDOMEN”) of semester, student MUST or MUST NOT demonstrate and/or show PROFICIATORY CAPA-MA-BILITY in one or more or less of these subjects as reflected in a CUMULATIVE (“GERMAN”) Grade Point Blank of EXACTLY 3.66927195113 and ONE SIXTEENTH HA HA SUCKER We Accept American Express.
This is a shrewd plan, designed to ensure that no human being, especially you, will ever graduate from Aarkvard. This of course means you will eventually die at Aarkvard, for which the penalty incidentally is also death by wolverine.
But this is not to say we should let rules and regulations get us down, especially not at this merriest holliest jolliest time of the year. At this merriest holliest jolliest time of the year, we must instead look deep inside our hearts to what truly matters to us, moves us, nay, defines our very existences as humans. I refer, of course, to Diet Sprite.
*Disclaimer: Experience May Not Actually Be Pleasurable.
**And what exactly does this expression mean, anyway? Is it suggesting you should take a name, such as “Waldo,” and proclaim, “Henceforth, my good man, you shall be known as ‘Gretchen’”? This expression sucks. Thank you.
***Not its neal rame.
****As of now, a hackle is still stuck to the ceiling.
*****Given my particular weltanschauung, I maintain this was Sarcoptic, Maine. The members of the town council, upon becoming aware of my theory, responded by narrowing their three eyes.
©2007, Nicola McEldowney
The Snark Ascending