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"Stand Up and Be Graded" mind matters
October 18, 2002

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Every now and again I think about being a stand-up comic.

I figure it’s got to be hard, because they have comedian schools. I wonder if I’d even pass the entrance exam, with all those trick questions. True, false, and tell me about it. I bet the essay questions are hysterical.

What do they ask in their interviews? "Where do you see yourself in five years?" In the mirror. "Who inspires you?” Clowns. "Why did you leave dentistry to study comedy?" Because every time I told a joke, I got bitten.

On graduation day, as students cross the platform to collect their bright orange diplomas, do they each get five minutes? (Take my roommate, please.) Well, except the mime comics, who just pretend.

Maybe I should go to Donut School. Dunkin’ Donuts has a university. I suspect the cafeteria has great food. Nobody sleeps in the hallowed "holes" of DDU; they’re always making donuts. Fred the Baker is professor emeritus. They’ve got a statue of him in the residence quad, and students rub his mustache for good luck. That guy did so many commercials, he retired in his 80s. At his departure he was asked for his favorite donut. He answered, "They are all my children. I love them all equally." So he got tenure.

McDonalds has a university too. The whole campus smells like french fries. There’s a foreign language requirement to work the pick-up window. Graduation there goes pretty quickly, since their diplomas are handed out and picked up at the drive-through. What’s cool is that McDonalds helps with job placement, so you don’t have to repeat the whole high school experience by asking for an application form before working there.

Starbucks has a camp. Every new employee goes on this retreat for two weeks. It’s not much of a sleep-away camp, because everyone’s wired. In classes they learn to say things in the right order: iced half-caff venti vanilla double soy no-whip five-pump white mocha. That’s a real drink. Don’t try it, it’s gross. Anyway, now that Seattle’s Best is out of it, Starbucks is playing Dunkin’ Donuts in this year’s Coffee Bowl. Expect great things from both teams, if they can stay awake.

In flight attendant school they train you to fasten seat belts and put on oxygen masks. Imagine the parties.

Clearly, going to a scholastic college or university is overrated. In those kinds of schools, being the class clown is a bad thing.

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Copyright 2002 Seth Maislin

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