As the last arts columnist for this semester, I thought very hard about what to write. Then, I played Tony Hawk Pro Skater II for about three hours. Then, I thought again. Then, I tried to get more than 75,000 points in the Hangar stage. Next, I thought all about how I wanted to inspire people to better their lives. Then, I got a score of 85,320! Finally, I decided I shouldn't be writing columns at all.
So rather than write a column on something boring, like why I hate X, let me give you the reasons why this should not only be my last column this semester, but my last column ever:
I will be too personal in my columns, revealing too much and for no reason besides to get attention and create interest in whatever I say next, which will probably be said to further interest in whatever I say after that.
Here is an example: I woke up at 11 a.m., then walked to the Circle K for a hot dog, before playing Tony Hawk II - not very interesting, so here's what I did a few months ago.
My boyfriend, Brent, and I were driving back from Las Vegas, and out of boredom, we indulged in a somewhat common road-trip activity - one I don't want to mention by name - until, of course, we were off the Speedway exit and on Speedway Boulevard proper and had to stop.
Which story should I continue with? I was pretty disappointed with my low scores and my inability to Wall Ride in Tony Hawk. One or two drivers uncomfortably realized what I was doing despite my attempts to hide.
See, half of me thinks that my life, even at it's most mundane, is between 10 percent and 50 percent more interesting than other people's. The other half is quite sure of it. Even if it weren't, I would lie about it.
I'll present a personality that isn't really me. I will try to make myself look smarter than I really am. Or cooler than I really am, by shamelessly name-dropping hipster bands I like (The Dismemberment Plan) and complicated books I've bought but never read ("Infinite Jest"). I will also write things like, "Dude, I got so drunk last night!" or "Cops suck for busting up my totally awesome and huge parties" to look cool. I'd be untruthful, just to impress any readers.
No matter how hard I try, or how interesting my writing could be, my column will never be as good as a puppy. "No, no, Jessica!" you cry. "You are an interesting and vibrant person. Your columns are dearer to my heart than any just-birthed animal!"
But imagine, as you are saying this, a 4-week-old pug puppy with soft brown fur and a cold little black pug nose began tugging at your cargo-pant leg, begging you to put this newspaper column down and play with it, its sad brown eyes staring up at you. Which would you choose: the puppy or this column, which has no sad brown eyes to beseech you? (Just look at my picture. I could not look less cute. Even Brent would agree - I've got nothing on a puppy. And a jar of peanut butter.)
I like going to parties. So I'm hesitant to write things that will piss off certain groups of people, thus lowering my chances of getting invited to their parties. That is why I've avoided saying anything to slight frat boys, sorority girls, goths, transsexuals, anatomy illustrators, Star Wars fans, Dead Heads, Honors students, shoplifters, interns, nudists, riot girls, strippers or Tobey Maguire. So if I'm not invited to your next party, I will be pissed off. Tobey Maguire, I'm looking in your hot, hot direction.
I write about topics I know nothing about. As an example, let's take my knowledge of the rare Sokoke cat breed.
The Sokoke breed was discovered at the turn of the century. Originating in South Africa, this cat has become a favorite among U.S. cat associations.
Right? Wrong. See, the Sokoke cat is from Kenya; it was discovered in the 1970s, not the turn of the century! And not only is it not a favorite breed among U.S. cat associations, but - get this - it isn't even recognized by U.S. cat associations!
Who cares if I don't know what I'm talking about? But you should expect more out of me as a columnist. I am a faker. A poser. I bought Nevermind after Kurt Cobain died, for Chrissakes.
But, despite my posturing and outright lying, I can still assume that, for the purposes of this column, I will be smarter than a good 70 percent to 75 percent of whoever is reading this. For the (at most) 30 percent, which, in this case probably equals three near-geniuses, I'm sorry, and feel free to make criticisms and corrections in the margins. Remember, this is your last chance.