near the edge

I've made a lot of plans to do things that never came to fruition. Pipe dreams, I think they're called.

Road trips never taken. Tucson haunts I've never visited. People I haven't had the chance to get to know as well as I would have liked. With only three weeks of my college career left, I'm starting to reminisce about the plans that never quite came together.

My friends have batted around the idea of hiking the Appalachian trail for about four years now. I'll be surprised if we ever hike to the grocery store again. Then there's the fabled trip to kill my car by driving it mercilessly up the California coast. We planned to do it over spring break, affixing bumper stickers to the back end from every place we made a pit stop. Either my car would break down, or we'd end up with "Hello from Nome" stickers adorning the windshield as we cruised back down the Pacific Coast Highway. Another road not taken.

The non-stop trip to Graceland was cancelled. We got bogged down at work and couldn't find the time to get away to San Diego. There were no weekends left to go Rock-and-Bowl.

Getting out of town has started to sound better and better these days. Some of us are overdue for a very long vacation. However, it's showtime for all of you students, time to shine in your brightest academic grandeur. Time to pull out of the procrastination power dive. Time to drink.

For those of you who want to leave town and won't be able to for the next three weeks to seven or eight years (longer for those of you awaiting tenure), I'll suggest some end-of-the-year alternatives you can do at home to maintain your sanity and necessary motor skills.

¨ Try going on safari in your refrigerator. I do this twice a year and always have a new, exciting adventure in fungus. In January, I discovered the cure for cancer in my three-month old milk carton, but had to throw it out before it killed my plants. Don't forget to wear a pith helmet and plastic gloves.

¨ Pack your roommate up in a big box and send him or her home to their parents. A little extra-strength duct tape and voilů, all your housemate problems are gone. No more late night ESPN watching, no more talking on the phone to their significant others and they will never eat your food again. Just remember to cut some air holes.

¨ Go spelunking in your couch. One never knows what you'll find under the cushions of your sofa, or better yet, car seats. You may find enough money to buy that beverage, lost socks to make sock puppets with or a number mid

two pencil to take to your upcoming exams.

¨ Forage through your weird utensil drawer ─ everyone has one ─ and think of alternate uses for the tools you find. I once read an article about a woman who was impregnated with a turkey baster. She stood on her head and let her husband inject her with the device for several weeks. Not having any medical expertise, I can't condone this action, but I challenge you to find entertaining uses for the egg beater and salad shooter.

¨ Make silverware sculpture. Surely, you have a few spare pieces lifted from Louie's that would make a nice mobile, paperweight or letter holder.

¨ Stalk your food. Get back to your primal roots and raise your pulse a little by pouncing on your hamburger. Pour corn flakes into your mouth. Drool. Rip that corn flakes box to shreds for extra fiber. Plant your face in the casserole. Tap dance on a fearsome zucchini. You'll soon know how far technology has progressed us past our simian forebearers. We have jiffy pop.

I wish you luck keeping your sanity for the next few weeks. It's therapeutic to get away if you can, but if it's not possible, just duck into the nearest phone booth and pretend you're changing from your mild-mannered student disguise into some super hero. Hey, it worked for all those other nut cases.

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