With a little imagination let go of the education

Published 1:56 am Friday, August 1, 2008

I was recently part of a group conversation where someone announced that he was from Philadelphia.

Which prompted the obvious question: “Is that a pretty nice state?”

My second reaction was to ask what sorry assistant football coach taught this person geography in high school.

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That immediately followed my first reaction, a minute worth of laughter that made me wet myself. Umm, I mean almost — ALMOST wet myself.

Anyway, like I was saying, it was one of those rare moments when I didn’t know whether to be thoroughly amused or thoroughly horrified. Like when I was a kid and learned that mom and dad had so much love they decided to make me. Then I learned how they made me.

If my mom had been my biology teacher, I would picket outside of every OB/GYN office this side of Missouri until I died.

Sadly, I know I echo the thoughts of at least 5 percent of teachers when I ask, “What’s the point?” Sadder still, that number might be higher.

Kids get information shoved into their heads from August to May for at least 13 years, and they somehow confuse major metropolitan areas with actual states of the union.

So I say this: Take a chance and give up. Several people among us have had very successful lives with minimal or no education.

It’s not crazy talk because it can work. And I’m going to tell you how:

6. Work for an oil company — They all seem to be doing pretty well right now. I’ve done the math. If I’m paying the better part of $100 to fill up my tank with XX Brand gas, that company is probably paying its janitors about $19.75 an hour. Not bad money if you can get it. And you’ll make momma so proud.

5. Invent something people can’t live without — Like a cordless, handless dog hair trimmer. It’s a goldmine waiting to happen. Go take a shower, play a game of Monopoly, cut the yard and come back to a perfectly groomed pooch. Your dog will never bark the same way again, but at least you won’t have the hassle.

4. Sue somebody — For anything. Anything at all. Don’t like where the parking attendant at your cousin’s wedding put the Chevy. Emotional damages. Cleaning lady didn’t get that funky smell out with fresh pine cleaner? Punitive damages. Boss laughs at your joke a little too hard? Sniff, sniff … I smell some sexual harassment cooking. You’ll lose friends, alienate family and discard your last shred of self respect. But hey, you can wash away that guilt in the pool you had custom built and shaped like a panther. Why a panther? Because you said so, that’s why.

3. Marry someone rich — I know what you’re thinking. “Well, obviously, George L., I should marry some loaded person in his or her 90s and wait by the deathbed.” Nuh uh. Marry someone who has so much money it embarrasses you and who is absolutely, irreparably, 100 percent crazy. See, waiting for death requires a tricky virtue — patience. Why wait for what’s coming to you? Instead, marry the loon, think of some scenario that makes you look like a victim and makes your spouse look even crazier. Days after signing the commitment papers, fill your panther pool with dollar bills and take a swim.

2. Swim with a hungry shark — Could be a real shark. Could be your ex-mother-in-law. Point is, if you tape it, stick it on YouTube and then attach an interesting story to it, you’ll be on CNN within a month and have a movie deal within a year. Capitalism plus the ever-flowing stream of media information — it’s a marriage that was meant to be.

1. Tell people Oprah is your friend — For some reason, her name pulls a lot of weight. Of course, this would only work in the presence of someone that thinks Alaska is a country. But try it and see. You can never tell what people will fall for.