readers: this is a column I put out several years ago….my wife as well as others
have asked me to repeat it. Since I don’t catalog any columns by subject (I suppose
I should) the only way I can find an old one is to go back and look at each one.
So here it is…
Wow, what a week. ... not the time of the year for 1200
miles of car travel in Texas .... this is going to be a scorcher this year ...
Spent an wonderful couple of days at a Bed and Breakfast in Austin. You can't
call them a Bed and Board any longer ... because they don't "board" you, they
just give you breakfast. It was very enjoyable and relaxing ... The place was
quiet, clean and best of all the owners left us alone to do whatever we felt like
doing ... my kind of place .. .I hope I can find others out there that are just
as pleasant. I was telling the owner, about writing this column over a cup of
coffee and he told me he had something funny he wanted me to read .... My wife
and I were sitting on a swing on the upstairs porch drinking coffee as we went
over what you are about to read .... I have to tell you both of our sides hurt
from laughing so hard .... I wish I could take credit for having written this
... but, I can't...I do hope you find this as funny as we did ...
THIS IS AN ACTUAL ESSAY WRITTEN BY A COLLEGE APPLICANT TO NYU ..
IN ORDER FOR THE ADMISSIONS STAFF OF OUR COLLEGE TO GET TO KNOW YOU, THE APPLICANT,
BETTER, WE ASK THAT YOU ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTION: ARE THERE ANY SIGNIFICANT
EXPERIENCES YOU HAVE HAD, OR OTHER ACCOMPLISHMENTS YOU HAVE REALIZED, THAT HELPED
TO DEFINE YOU AS A PERSON?
am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice.
I have been known to remodel train stations on my lunch breaks, making them more
efficient in the area of heat retention. I translate ethnic slurs for Cuban refugees,
I write award-winning operas. I manage time efficiently. Occasionally, I tread
water for three days in a row.
I woo women with my sensuous and godlike
trombone playing. I can pilot bicycles up several inclines with unflagging speed.
I cook Thirty Minute brownies in twenty minutes. I am an expert in stucco, a veteran
in love, and an outlaw in Peru.
Using only a hoe and a large glass of
water, I once single-handedly defended a small village in the Amazon Basin from
a horde of ferocious army ants. I play bluegrass cello, I was scouted by the Mets.
I am the subject of several documentaries. When I'm bored I build large suspension
bridges in my yard. I enjoy urban hang gliding. On Wednesdays, after school, I
repair electrical appliances free of charge.
I am an abstract artist,
a concrete analyst, and a ruthless bookie. Critics worldwide swoon over my original
line of corduroy evening wear. I don't perspire. I am a private citizen, yet I
receive fan mail. I have been caller number nine and have won the weekend passes.
Last summer I toured New Jersey with a traveling centrifugal-force demonstration.
I bat .400.
My deft floral arrangements have earned me fame in international
botany circles. Children trust me.
I can hurl tennis rackets at small moving
objects with deadly accuracy. I once read Paradise Lost, Moby Dick and David Copperfield
in one day and still had time to refurbish an entire room that evening. I know
the exact location of every food item in the supermarket. I have performed several
covert operations for the CIA. I sleep once a week; when I do sleep, I sleep in
a chair. While on vacation in Canada, I successfully negotiated with a group of
terrorists who had seized a small bakery. The laws of physics do not apply to
I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and my bills are all paid.
On weekends, to let off steam, I participate in full contact origami. Years ago,
I discovered the meaning of life but forgot to write it down. I have made extraordinary
four course meals using only a mouli and a toaster oven.
I have won bullfights
in San Juan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and spelling bees at the
Kremlin. I have played Hamlet, I have performed open-heart surgery, and I have
spoken to Elvis.
But, I have not gone to college.
He was accepted.
October 8, 2008 column
From North America
Syndicated weekly in 80 newspapers