JOE WEBB AND CO. – THE WRITTEN WORLD

LESSON #45: TRAVEL IN PACKS

Posted in Lessons by The Books Production Team on January 13, 2009

LESSON #45: TRAVEL IN PACKS

typewriter2          An open note to the readers…

          Well after a month-long sabbatical, a massive technical upgrade, and a reconstitution of the site as the locus for the newly launched Dr. Wizard Creative Group, we’re finally back with new posts.  To those of you who have been with us since the fall, welcome back, and to those of you who are finding your way here for the first time because you read about us in one of this week’s newspaper articles, I’d like to take a moment to introduce myself, and say, like Veronica Corningstone, thanks for stopping by.  We hope you’ll explore all of the new material available in the tabs on the right, and continue to check back as we launch a dizzying array of entertainment options for the 18-30 year old demographic throughout 2009.

          Normally, these main-page posts, which are drawn from the Dr. Wizard’s Advice for College Students book project, don’t follow this exact format.  Generally speaking, my objective is to start with a few salient pop-culture observations, mix in a little humor, and then get down to business – offering a concrete lesson that can be taken and tangibly applied to life as an undergraduate.  In fact, that was going to be the idea with this post – Lesson #45: Travel in Packs.  But for the last six hours, I’ve been sitting here at my computer, starting and stopping, erasing what I’ve written, playing solitaire and Snow Patrol, and trying to figure out a way to launch into a very serious topic with a few of the customary pithy jokes.

          Originally, you see, my intention was to get a running start by rebooting the College Magazine article posted below – drawing on the idea that sometimes in life, unusual tandems are necessary to help us ward off trouble.  I was going to talk about how, 9 times out of 10, when you see Nelly out in St. Louis, he’s rolling with his pack – the St. Lunatics, but when the Lunatics aren’t around, I was going to say how glad I was that he had his friend Tim McGraw to kick it with.  I was then going to jump into a joke about an equally unlikely combination – Taylor Swift and Rihanna – and how, if they ever found themselves alone at a party, they could build a friendship, and walk home together sharing Rihanna’s umbrella (ella) (ella) (hey) (hey) (hey).

          But that didn’t work.  So then, I played around with this lengthy metaphor admonishing college students to march to the beat of their own drummer, but to make sure they had an accompanist or two.  There were jokes in there about John Bonham, Dewey Cox, and Dream Theatre.  But that didn’t work either.

          The bottom line, it seems to me, is that today’s topic of discussion just makes me so pissed off, that I can’t even see straight when I try to think about it rationally, and to cut my anger with humor felt shallow and wrong.  Sometimes, you’ve just got to drink the whiskey straight – no water, no ice, no diet coke – and let the slow burn of the alcohol set your chest on fire.  This is one of those times.

          So below the line, I’ve posted a direct, succinct, summation of my anger.  Take it for what it’s worth.

*************************************************

Dear Dickhead,

          After ten years of a secularizing higher education in the liberal humanities, I’ve come to question a number of my early beliefs regarding a strict literal interpretation of the Bible.  But at times like these, I’m glad that I grew up in a fire-and-brimstone evangelical church, because it gives me great pleasure to think that someday you will fucking burn in hell.

          I can’t believe that I have to sit here and write this.  I can’t believe that this is the place to which you have brought us.  That because you are so small-minded, so insecure, and so pathetic – and because for some reason it is impossible to preemptively check your baser nature with a systematic, organized program of government castration – I have to tell women that it is unsafe for them to walk on this sacred planet by themselves at night.  I have to tell them that they shouldn’t get into a cab by themselves; that if their friends are leaving a party, they mustn’t stay behind because you are out there; that they shouldn’t let an acquaintance walk them home unless they are absolutely certain it is safe, and that he is not you.  You are forcing me to write what should be a ridiculous letter.  You are forcing me to violate every ounce of an education that has told me that men and women are politically and socially equal, that the world is a good place, and now I must tell potential victims to keep themselves out of harm’s way – just because you are unable to resist the temptation of your sickness, and just because you happen to be physically stronger than a female.  Congratulations, asshole – you make the world a shittier place.

          That you would take something that is not yours to take, that you would steal the one thing that should be held most sacred in this world, is an abomination.  It makes you the lowest possible specimen of life.  You are lower than a fucking cockroach.  You are lower than a fucking snake.  And know this, if you ever, ever, touch my future wife or daughter, I will fucking send you to hell myself.

                                                                                                                                                                Sincerely,

                                                                                                                                                                                  Joe

*************************************************

          And we’ll return to the regular posting style on Friday.

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5 Responses

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  1. Thomas said, on January 13, 2009 at 2:45 am

    ZING!

  2. Carlin said, on January 13, 2009 at 4:48 am

    Welcome back, Doc! And thanks for writing this post. It is such a shame how important a lesson this is for people that live in cities both big and small. I look at the mace carrying worry wart I am now, and cannot believe the dumb nights I walked home by myself in college. But the truth is, we still live by the philosophy that nothing will happen to us. That we are invincible. But we aren’t. And we shouldn’t have to hear stories of our friends being raped or held up at gunpoint before we take precautions. I’ve heard those stories before, and they are not fun to listen to. Girls, a thing of mace is like $5. Buy one today. And don’t keep it in the bottom of your purse. Keep it in your coat pocket. A Club acts not only as a deterrent for thieves, but can be used as a weapon against a car jacking as well. But the easiest thing to do is follow the cliche: There are safety in numbers. And let’s be real, if you are always the last one wanting to leave the bar, and can’t bare to go home “early” with your friends, may I suggest two things: 1- consider why you really need that last drink. I’m sure your college has good AA meetings. 2- Invest in some good birth control and STD checks. Be smart about your lives.

  3. Third Bass said, on January 13, 2009 at 4:55 am

    Good to see some action on the site again. Man, even I carry mace with me. I’m not sure I have anything else to add to this one. It’s sad is all.

  4. UVA Mike said, on January 13, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    Welcome back, Wiz! I think a little well-directed anger can be a good thing every now and then. And in this post, it comes in torrents.

  5. Greece Lightning said, on January 13, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    I understand the hesitation, but I wouldn’t mind hearing the jokes about John Bonham, Dewey Cox, and Dream Theater at a different juncture. There’s a lot that’s funny about those three – especially when you pair them up.

    Also, I like the redesign, but will miss making comments about the picture, because it’s hard to make a good joke about that typewriter.


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