A Cautionary Tale

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They tell you all the time that when you go to college, you have to get a degree in something that can translate into many possible careers. And naturally, as a kid, you brush them off, telling yourself that you can just get a job as a teacher or something to hold you over until you can get that record deal or that literary agent or that one big break on Broadway that you need to really jump-start your dream career. Well, kids, I’m living proof that this doesn’t always happen. 


See, I, like so many other stupid high school seniors out there, wanted to pursue a career in music. Specifically, I wanted to get rich off of writing and playing my own songs until I was capable of retiring at age thirty to become a movie star. I would only play characters that fit in with my rock-and-roll persona. My salary would exceed that of pro-football players and my fame would rival that of top movie stars like Orlando Bloom because I would be just that sexy.


I majored in music theory with a minor in composition. I spent practically all of my days in college either with women in the back of my Buick, if you get what I’m saying, or living out my rock star fantasy in front of my dorm with the Fender Sonoran SCE ’67 Acoustic-Electric my dad bought me for my eighteenth birthday.  And now that I’m out of college and living in the real world, all the stupid classes I took are for crap. They aren’t helping me pay the bills for my tiny little apartment, or for any of the food I eat, or for my unfortunate caffeine addiction. The job I have is pretty much the office bitch. Sure, I have the title of “Senior Editor,” but when you only write three-sentence album reviews of the top-40 hits for your local newspaper and you don’t have anyone working under you, being a senior editor doesn’t mean much. I mostly run errands for all of the other writers/editors/publishers.


Basically, my life sucks because I made a bad college choice and my parents supported it. Now, I’m not saying all you parents out there need to tell your kids that they can’t major in music. I’m sure somewhere along the way I made some decisions that were… less than good, to put it lightly. Perhaps spending the money in the trust fund my grandparents set up for me on a new car was a bad idea. Maybe I shouldn’t have turned down my college roommate’s offer to room with me for another couple of years while we both tried to jump-start our careers. Maybe I should have stayed in the night before graduation rather than going out and getting drunk with my friends and getting arrested for sexually harassing the hot bartender…and then sexually harassing the hot cop she called on me.


But hey, that’s all water under the bridge, right? No one ever looks at your criminal record or asks you about the misdemeanors you have on file for assaulting an officer. No one ever hires you, either, let me tell you. And another thing, too. Having this super-impressive musical degree and life does not automatically make you more attractive to girls. In fact, there’s this coffee store that I go into all the time that’s pretty famous for crap coffee and sassy, sexy women. A lot of the patrons go there specifically for the biting sarcasm and the insults these girls hurl like snowballs made of ice. I personally go because they have a mean coffee cake and it provides me with entertainment for the day. But these girls, they can be pretty brutal. And it’s just my misfortune to have fallen in love with two out of four of them. But do they ever notice me? No. And does playing my guitar in the corner all day help? Not even slightly. In fact, the owner of the place told me one day that if I didn’t get out of her shop within five minutes, I would find myself not only without a guitar, but also without a penis, because she would use the broken neck of the guitar to slice it off and keep it mounted above her mantel like a pair of antlers.


I don’t bring my guitar there anymore. But I have been striking up conversations with these girls on a regular basis, and I’ve even brought them with me to a local bar a couple of times. We hang out. But that’s all we do. And unfortunately for me, I think that’s all we’re ever going to do. I recently had a pretty big fight with one of the girls about how her insecurity issues are keeping me from pursuing a real relationship with her. I tried to make up with her by writing a song, but it came out totally wrong. More proof that college can’t teach you everything, especially not social grace, right there. So now this girl won’t even talk to me and her friends won’t talk to me except to hurl insults like they’re discus throwers at the Olympics. I’ve basically screwed every friend I have left.


So no, being a music major does not automatically make you more attractive. And now I’m about to lose my apartment and everything I have in it to become a homeless busker on street corners and bus stops in a fairly large college town in Ohio. My parents cut me off years ago, and I’m almost out of money.


I am living proof that despite what your parents tell you, a useless degree is USELESS. I recommend that you listen to your guidance counselors, children, and get a degree in sciences of some kind or a double major in secondary education and firefighting. Don’t make a stupid mistake like me. Trust me when I tell you that it will haunt you for the rest of your life until you get bitten by a rabid dog that’s angry at you for stealing its cardboard box to use as a shelter for winter and die.

Created: Jan 14, 2012

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