Friday, March 7, 2008

the ripe age

"I think every man needs a navy blue blazer and a pair of gray slacks," the wise Clyde told me a few weeks ago. He was sitting in the passenger seat as I drove us home from Blockbuster in my 1991 Honda Accord, complete with bright yellow tape across the rear passenger window and a gaping crack in the windshield, which, if the eye chooses to follow, draws attention to a busted rear view mirror, all on the passenger side. To ensure that the passenger side doesn't bear the entire burden of the car's old age, there are no less than four dents on the body; the locations of which are so disadvantageous that there are truly no attractive angles through which to view the car. Nothing can prepare you for the moment when no cars are visible in your mirrors, and you turn your head to find my car in your blind spot. You'd have rather hit it than see it. I used to jest that these idiosyncrasies only added character to the car. It's difficult to shrug them off now that I chauffeur multi-million dollar business executives around like Clyde. I became very self-conscious when we reached my car to go to
Blockbuster. To make matters worse, it was an extremely cold night and the windows had fogged up. Out of my desire to get the car trip over with quickly, I started to drive without giving the car enough time to defrost. I tried to squint through the square inch of clear windshield, but I realized it was futile and I put the car in park at a stop-sign, hoping no one would approach from behind. Maybe it was my self-consciousness that reminded me I wanted to ask Clyde about buying a suit.

"I don't know if you are the right guy to ask for advice on the subject, but I need a suit. I think I'm the only respectable 23 year old without a suit," I told him. I explained that I had attended my friend's wedding a few months ago, and I was the only guy wearing khakis. It was a sobering moment, indeed. My excuse for this is that I was a groomsman in nearly every wedding I had attended before this one, but this excuse doesn't hold much water. At age 23 I didn't even have a pair of dark slacks, for which there is no excuse; except maybe that I never planned on growing up.

Luckily, there are guys like Clyde who are willing to take younger guys aside, ride with them in their crappy cars , and tell them they need to grow up and get a damn suit. Let’s just say that I now finally have a respectable pair of gray slacks.

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I have started to realize there are several issues every young adult needs to have his mind made up about. No matter how closely I follow the presidential election I feel inadequate every time there is a debate among the candidates on these core issues. These issues include: economic philosophy, national security posture, health care, gay marriage, the death penalty, and, last but certainly not least, abortion (which sort of includes stem-cell research). I wish there was some sort of placement test that every young adult is forced to take, something similar to a career placement test. It would ask you questions like: if you have an hour of free time, would you spend it a) surfing the internet, b) watching TV, c) reading, or d) playing Breath of Fire II on Game Boy Advance? -or- choose one of these foods to eat for breakfast: a) eggs, b) sausage, c) chocolate cake, or d) a 1/4 lb Hebrew National Hot Dog from Costco. If you are one of Bill Cosby’s kids you would probably choose chocolate cake, which would result in the test telling you that you are a hawk when it comes to national security; you believe in trickle-down economics; you disagree with gay marriage; you agree with the death penalty; however, you not only agree with stem-cell research, but you should pursue a career in it. See? they could even meld it with the career placement test.

I think, even more important than choosing sides on these issues, every young adult needs to select which national news network will tell them what to think. There are plenty now: CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC. Here’s a way to choose:

If you think it’s cute that on a show with a name as tough as ‘Hardball’, the host can’t help but grin and laugh every minute, watch MSNBC.

If you never laugh during the Colbert Report, but only nod in agreement; and if you watch television from a tanning bed, watch Fox News.

If you want your political anchor to report the news as intensely as you’d expect from someone named Wold Blitzer, and never ever smiles; and if you have time to watch from 10am until noon on weekends and are attracted to Asian-American women, stick to CNN.

Now, you won’t have to worry about thinking; they’ll think for you. It’s easy to know what side someone is on at work because in our news room everyone has little flat-panel televisions right next to their computers, and everyone is always watching the news (hence ‘news room’). This way, I get to broadcast my political affiliation without actually saying anything.
I won’t say which one I’ve chosen. But let’s just say it’s the oldest one.


1 comment:

Alana said...

You forgot immigration!

(just kidding)(please let me stay)