Chapter 10: The General Song

One day, back in college, I found myself really high in class. I didn’t even mean to go there that day. I just all of a sudden realized I was in class like one of those bad dreams, but luckily I had on pants. So I tuned into what the professor was saying, and she was muttering something about how it was presentation day. Since I never went to class, I got the shit end of the stick when the day came to pick your turn. I got slot three in a two-day presentation. I asked the girl next to me what the fuck was going on. Looking appalled that I had no idea what the project was about, she explained that we were on the body language chapter and had to do body language to a song. Isn’t college a waste of money? The class was argument and reasoning. I thought Jesus, how stupid and easy is this, and the girl said, “But it doesn’t matter. You are third to go which means you have eight to ten minutes to pick a song and plan a presentation.”

No problem, I thought. I can do a test grade project in eight minutes. I learned three chapters of developmental psychology in four minutes and took the exam. This should be fun. I asked to be excused to the bathroom, and I was gone eight minutes and counting. Now when people say they had to run across the campus, they normally mean something shorter. I literally had to run across the campus. It was a good mile across, with many hills. Six minutes and counting. Somehow I had sprinted, hurdled, dashed, and darted halfway running across the center of campus. Everyone else I saw was just happily walking, whereas I was running as if coked-up, flesh-eating zombies were chasing me. I think I passed Roadrunner, and he stuck his tongue out at me. The coyote screeched over our heads attached to an ACME rocket. Weed is fun.

I arrived at my destination—my jeep, Trusty Rusty. Now to save time, my plan was to hop in Trusty Rusty, go through my CDs on route, and literally drive back across campus to make up for lost time because I didn’t have another mile in me. Four minutes and counting. The first CD was Kings of Leon and the first thing coming to mind was the “I’m Soft” song. Images of me acting that song out were just out of the question. Next, Flogging Molly and I thought without beer, it just wouldn’t be the same. Three minutes and counting. I was cursing across a grassy part of campus furiously switching CDs and dodging students. I didn’t want to honk because that would attract more attention to my already four-wheeling across campus. I put in a mixed CD just as I made a turn and almost ran over a couple.

They were holding hands, her head on his shoulder, probably on acid. This is art school. They were completely oblivious to the jeep bearing down on them. Everyone else heard my ass coming, but they were so in the lovey-dovey acid zone, they didn’t even notice. How inconsiderate of them, huh? So I swerved and took out this bush that didn’t have it coming. I always apologized to that bush as I walked by it the rest of the year. I exited the grass into the theater parking lot.

Now there was a huge median about four feet wide and eight inches high, separating the Theatre parking lot from the computer lab parking lot, which was next to the writing building. I hit this median going about thirty, bouncing nicely into the air, and landing comfortably in the Comp Lab parking lot. Just one more median to go and I’m there. Two minutes and counting. The entire side of the parking lot was packed with cars except for one spot, so I planned to punch the gap, as I went from parking lot to parking lot paralleling the road. I hit the second median, barely squeezing through, just as this poor professor was trying to park in that spot. I come flying through, and we lock eyes as I soared through the air in front of him. Bear in mind I have my music cranked, my jeep is covered in mud as usual, and I’m high as Zeus on Mt. Olympus. The professor was frozen in terror, completely shocked by the defiance of physics and parking code 302. I kept burning ass across the parking lot, slammed on my brakes parking like a glove. Ace Ventura would have been proud. As I ran into the building, I saw the professor still frozen in his car, staring at me as I apologetically cheese it. I got to the class just as the second person finished.

I caught from the end of theirs that yes, we had to illustrate our use of body language as future speakers through a song of our choice. I picked “The General” by Dispatch while driving forty in the computer lab parking lot. My presentation was the best. I marched my high ass around like a soldier in the song, across her classroom and back, jumped on her desk, knocking over some of her papers as if I was jumping into bed and it was great. I just let loose, had fun, and the weed helped my endeavors. After I was done, my professor asked me balls out. She knew me. All of my professors knew me. I was the smart kid who did the bare minimum. Not on any lazy sentiments but I felt if I grasped the core concepts, why should I waste my time on homework? It was just redundant, so I was the kid with the A or B test grades and the zero homework and pop quizzes my whole life. So she asks me, “Mr. Oceans, did you do this project just now, because you look a little too out of breath for one song?” Without hesitation, I replied, “Yes ma’am. When I went to the bathroom, I ran to my dorm, drove my car through the green, picked my song, dodged students, and killed a bush.” She thought for a few seconds on the repercussions of her next words. She said, “Nice work, A. Next presentation.” I did nail it better than any of those stodgy fucks. They wanted to be politicians; I wanted to be an ass.

So the moral of this story is when you don’t have your homework, ask to go to the bathroom and think fast. Don’t give up and remember anything late is better than nothing.

I had recently heard this song and man did it take me back.

To buy the entire book check the link below kindle and paperback available.

Long live the writers


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