So all my friends are graduating. This sucks twofold, because not only is this making me aware of how shitty being on the quarter system is (wherein I’m in school until the middle of June), but also because it’s kind of like being on the Giant Drop at Six Flags. You watch it happening to everyone around you, you clench up, develop an uncomfortable pain in your taint and wait for it to hit you next. My ticket will be punched soon enough, but since most people are finished and are transitioning into kind-of-sort-of being real people, I thought I’d use this week to talk about graduations.
But what to discuss? I could easily do a piece on the top five things that make me clench in terror at the thought of graduating (lot of clenching this week, it seems), but that’d be depressing and would solve nothing. I do my best to bring y’all comedy from week to week, or at least jokes that fall flat and give you the aggrandizing satisfaction of going “this fucking guy” at your screen.
But then it hit me. The thing that leaves me the most immediately disconcerted about graduating from college is the veritable fucking marathon that is a collegiate grad ceremony. The procession, the thousand disinterested kids preening for their parents, the long-winded rich old white man who gives lots of money to the school and is both confused and frightened by how many ethnics are among the crowd.
So, I give you, my Top Five Ways To Spice Up Your Graduation.
1) Feels good, grad or: Taking advantage of a huge robe.
If there’s one thing that I’d consider to be an essential part of growing up, it’s handjobs. Not always great ones, mind you; it usually takes until the age of eighteen to learn the concept of turning the wrist. So, what better way to cap off your final transition between the halcyon days of youth and the halcyon days of having a salaried job with no familial obligations and thus becoming the owner of a metric fuckton of 40s of Old English? Because of both the flowing nature of graduation robes and the uncomfortable proximity to people you’ve likely never met once in your four years of advanced schooling, it’s easier than ever before to get in one last clandestine fap (or schlick; I try to keep Listless equal-op).
2) Mental Mad Libs.
Not to simplistically villify all graduation speeches based upon only having gotten through high school as of this writing and having only seen one that a terrified girl managed to mispronounce “graduation” during, but graduation speeches are a goddamn joke. So, how do you shake up the banality of being told how much future lies ahead of you by people who have enough money to know what a “gap year” is? You start making shit up. Take any general idiom that tends to pop up during the speeches and just insert your own. Observe: “Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Enjoy this feeling, never forget it.” This becomes “(verb) this (offensive slur), never forget (name of something really patriotic.)” The fun is boundless!
3) Stop a terrorist from blowing up the entire arena.
If, like me, your graduation is moved to a larger venue (such as the Allstate Arena, or as us OG Chicagoans know it the Rosemont Horizon), there is always the danger that rebels will abduct the vice president of your school with the intent to kill him, blow up the arena and wire millions of dollars to an offshore account. So, it’s up to you to keep the speeches running long and the procession running slow in order to prevent this, which may or may not involve you dangling precariously from the rafters. You must have the courage to incite a standing ovation for each speech, or manually override the teleprompter with the phonetic pronunciations of names. All will be well, though, because within these trials and tribulations you will find the courage to once again become a volunteer firefighter.
4) Concentrate really hard on not falling on your face.
For real, how bad would that suck? Like, you’re just walking up to the podium, and suddenly SPLAT. You pratfall like a Marx brother on a banana, and you’re up on the Jumbotron, and your family is so embarassed that your party gets cancelled, so all that obligatory money you’re reluctantly handed goes out the window, and now you can’t pay your rent, so you have to move back home, but your parents have that Iranian dude subletting your room. But seriously, deep breath. Just focus on one foot ahead of the other, one at a time, and how hard you seriously need to try not to step on the hem of your robe and faceplant and completely shame the institution that has been goodly enough to lower itself to educate the sorry likes of you.
5) Just sing this fucking thing to yourself for three straight hours.