Is it ever easy being 22? Or 23? Or 25? Once upon a time in America, high schools sought to prepare young people for the various, serious responsibilities of adulthood. With a high school diploma in hand, a graduate could find a job (nearly impossible today), keep up with current events (Britney? Khloe?), and even start a family (okay, some things never change). But today, even college graduates have a difficult time making their way in the world. They spend their twenties bouncing from job to job, fretting over their career prospects, complaining about the opposite sex, and failing to put money away for retirement. And young people who are just now graduating? From what I understand, they’re moving back home in droves. Not only are they hosed, but their parents are too. Yikes.
Archive for the ‘Pearls Before Swine’ Category
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Sometimes, when I’m running high on pity and low on perspective, I take a look around my house and sigh. I tally up all the projects I want to do – painting, hanging shelves – and all the projects I want other people to do – sanding the floors, replacing the tile in the bathroom, finishing the basement – and become discouraged. But then I realize that my house is perfectly livable as is. Could it use some maintenance? Sure, but I don’t need to replace vital systems like plumbing and electricity. Could it use some cosmetic upgrades? Of course, but it’s attractive enough without them. Overall, things could be worse. Yes, my wife and I have a lot of work ahead of us, but it’s not like we live in a gross, disgusting ball of dung.
Coincidentally, today was my birthday too. What did I do to celebrate? Well, I woke up, ate breakfast, read the newspaper, and then scurried out of the house so my wife could prepare a surprise party for me. (I knew about the party, but was clueless about the theme.) I spent the next eight hours golfing at an indoor driving range, reading at a suburban Barnes & Noble, and drooling at a crowded Apple Store. I then strolled into my basement to find…a disco-themed roller skating party in full swing. Kudos to my wife for taking advantage of our unfinished basement, kudos to my friends for digging their rollerblades out of the closet, and extra kudos to my in-laws for sporting afro wigs, mullet wigs, and fake mustaches. Sweet.
Text-heavy billboards are bad, but do you know what’s even worse? Video billboards. What could be more distracting than a gigantic television perched on the side of an interstate highway? These monstrosities practically beg drivers to ignore the road. Instead of reading a short headline and thinking, “Hmm…HVAC repair,” the average motorist will notice a bright display and think, “Hmm…HVAC repair…and…wait a minute…minor league baseball? The sign just changed! I wonder if it’s going to change again. I wonder how many ads they place in rotation. I wonder if I should be watching the ro-“ CRASH.
If it were indeed part of the English language, “pompouser” would be the greatest word of them all. I mean, would it even be possible for there to be a funner word than “pompouser?” (Well, maybe “funner,” but that’s beside the point.) At any rate, I suggest “pompouser” be added to the Oxford English Dictionary post haste. If that happens, it would automatically become the, um, most fun word anyone could possibly use.
How old is too old to be living with your parents? As a kid, I would have said 19. As a young adult, I would have said 30. And as a married man who’s starting to think seriously about children of his own? I’ve settled on 25. That leaves time for four years of college and three years of job hunting / saving money / goofing off / dreading the day that you’ll have to pay your own utility bills. It’s also an easy-to-remember number; one that my wife and I can repeat to our children throughout their formative years. And if that doesn’t work? Well, we can always push.