The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 01, 1999, Page 5, Image 5

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    Running from love
_Valentine’s Day brings pangs of loneliness, social ineptitude
senior broadcasting major
and a Daily Nebraskan
I’ve got a problem.
Actually, I have several problems,
and when they’re rolled together, I
get one big helping of problem casse
Problem No. 1:1 have this shirt,
you see. It’s a special shirt. So spe
cial, in fact, it’s a once-a-year-shirt.
The day to wear that shirt is just
around the comer, and what’s the use
in reaching into the bowels of my
closet for my special Valentine’s Day
shirt if there’s no one to appreciate it.
Problem No. 2: In fact, there
hasn’t been a special lady around
casa del Munson in such a long time,
that something odd has sprouted, and
it isn’t back hair. Rather, the statute
of limitations on dry spells has
expired, and my virginity has decided
to come back to papa.
Problem No. 3: The Spice Girl
formerly known as Ginger has yet to
respond to any of my letters.
Problem No. 4: This is the spe
cial sauce. I was watching TV the
other day, and in all seriousness,
made this comment: “Hey, is that
new Menard ’s chick hot or what?”
Can you say I need a date like an
aging rock star needs a new liver?
I knew you could.
Two weeks ago, I strapped my
shoes on tight and decided in true
Foxy Brown fashion that it was time
to put the mack down, proper.
Attempt No. 1: Forget about hot
pants and tube-tops, if there’s one
thing that makes birds suddenly
appear, it’s pig tails and/or overalls.
And this little minx was sporting
ME: Could I
sneak in and
make a quick
ME: Hey
that’s a pret
ty neat rain
bow you ve
got on your,
HER: Oh,
thanks I’ve
been out for a
year now.
ME: You
haven’t been home
in a year?
You said what?
ME: Sorry...
Attempt No.
2: Let’s go \
where the sea is Nllfl/
big and the fish
are plenty -
Omaha. The C j
music was funky,
her hair was red
and my roommate
called me a nutless
ME: Howdy, wann
HER: Only if my si
can come.
Twins? This doesn’t even
happen to Hugh Heffner. On the
dance floor, I was busting out my
best “Shopping Cart” and Aaron
was standing slack-jawed.
THEM: Are you a
ME: Yes, lam.
A few moments
THEM: How old
are you?
ME: Twenty
THEM: We’re27.
ME: Right on.
A few moments later
Curse my youthful
exuberance! Oh well,
I’ll be dreaming of
them for weeks, and
they probably went
home feeling like
losers after they
were hit on by a lit
tle boy.
Problem No.
5: It’s becoming
apparent that I’m a
bit on the socially
inept side or, some
might label me a
Thank goodness I’m
dumber than I am socially
inept. Because bookstores
don’t have books for the
socially inept, but for dummies
there more than just a few, includ
ing a 404-page opus titled “Dating
for Dummies.”
If this book can’t get me a date,
nothing can.
Written by Dr. Joy Browne, this
reference guide “for the rest of us”
breaks the most confusing ritual
this side of dancing around a
i Maypole into a fun, factoid-filled
■ grnae mat maxes dating as
r quick and easy as changing
' the oil in your car. (There’s a
ji. book on that, too.)
■to. Several nights last week,
treks were made out to the local
m? Mega-Bookstore. Considering
Sr my limited funds, “Dating for
Dummies” would have to be
read in-house. Good thing they
allow unlimited loitering.
After a lengthy search, I
found a copy nestled in the
self-help section, first
in a row that ended
with “Divorce
Hows that
Shawn Ballarin/DN
wench wants everything I got.
MAD LADY: You little jerks have
no tact!
Wow. Did you know people actu
ally turn to self-help books for help?
Sitting down in the cafe, I real
ized this book assumes its readers are
actually smart. It was missing this
warning: DON’T READ THIS
Once the snickering stopped, I
opened the pages to see what Dr. Joy
had to say. Yes! According to her,
high schools are good places to meet
members of the opposite sex! Oh,
wait a sec, it goes on to say that one
is only legal in Arkansas.
From where to meet someone to
dealing with a stalker, Dr. Joy ram
bles and rambles and rambles some
more. Can you believe it takes her
404 pages to reveal absolutely noth
ing insightful about the mysteries of
dating? Watching any of John
Hughes’ ’80s teen flicks would tell
you more about how to work it than
Dr. Joy. The only helpful hint was on
what to do if someone breaks wind.
“Quickly apologize. Don’t giggle. If
you can, open a window.”
Thank you, Dr. Joy! No wonder
girls pull my finger just once. They
don’t enjoy flatulence like men do. If
I knew that any sooner. I wouldn’t be
in this situation.
Actually, reading this book taught
me something, as did the caffeine
induced hallucinations from one too
many shots of espresso. We’ll just
call this Todd’s Daily Zeitgeist. (The
Daily Show has a copyright on
“Moment of Zen.”)
Finding that special someone is a
lot like going No. 2. Most people
can’t sit down and instantly pinch a
loaf. Sometimes, you can tell when
something’s cooking, and you say, —
“Hey, it’s time to go out.” Other
times, it hits you like a runaway
freight train, so hard you can barely
make it to the toilet.
With that, I say to hell with
Valentine’s Day Nebraska-style. My
shirt and I will be going down to
Mardi Gras with a fist full o’ Ex-Lax.
Aliens in the closet
m. . -,v«kj Proving extraterrestrial life would open frightening doors in
JAY GISH is a senior broad
casting major and a Daily
Nebraskan columnist
You’ve all heard about alien
abduction, right? Maybe you didn’t
know about it before “The X-Files”
captured half a generation of
Americans, but you’re aware of the
stories now.
It’s said that otherworldly beings
visit earth, abduct humans, and
experiment on and impregnate them.
There’s proof, but the governments of
the world are hiding it.
That ’s the gist of the stories, and
there are infinite varieties of detail.
Just for the mental exercise, let’s pre
tend it’s all true. What would it mean
for the world?
Foremost, it would mean that for
once, we couldn’t fault our govern
ment for a cover-up. Just showing up
here would mean die aliens’ knowl
edge of science kicks our collective
ass. Unlike in the woefully patriotic
“Independence Day,” humans would
be helpless.
If aliens are treating the earth like
an ATM for humans, and there’s
absolutely nothing we can do to pro
tect ourselves, what good would it do
for the public to know?
Instead of living ignorant, rela
tively placid lives as part-time lab
rats, people would lead desperately
panicked lives as part-time lab rats.
In this case, the truth would do
nothing to set us free.
Bigotry might finally be ended -
against humans, anyway. Arguments
about “diversity” and “tolerance”
pour out from every direction these
days. But remember the ’80s, during
the Cold War? Discussing our coun
try’s evils took a back seat to roasting
those Commie bastards.
Now, the aliens would replace the
Communists, and the whole world
would huddle together in frightful
belligerence! I can just see “We Are
the World” topping the charts again.
On the flip side, some of those
fighting for diversity now - along
with activists for animal rights and
saving the trees - would scream just
as loudly to “Save the poor aliens!
They’re people too!” Never mind that
the E.T.s talk with their eyes and
would sooner probe your intestine
than march in a diversity parade.
Court cases to win alien rights
wouldn’t go smoothly, since none of
the buggers would ever show their
faces to testify.
You think talk TV is messed up
now? It’d be a whole new world, with
show topics like “Alien Makeovers”
and “I quit the KKK because I love
Having an alien’s baby wouldn’t
be reserved for the cover of the
Weekly World News any more.
Which leads to an interesting idea
- Christians might be forced to enter
tain the thought that Jesus was alien
human spawn.
The angel sightings reported in
the Bible could be explained as close
(Incidentally, author and
astronomer Carl Sagan once wrote
that the two were probably the same
thing - common hallucinations.)
How does a virgin become preg
nant? In-vitro fertilization by aliens
in the night. How does that child cre
ate miracles? Alien super-technology.
(Remember, folks, just a mental exer
cise. I’m Christian myself.)
Many religious quarrels would go
like this: Christian: JesUs was the
child of aliens? Ridiculous ! Non
Christian: Any harder to believe than
his being the child of God?
Shoot, just about every religious
leader could be accused of having
alien accomplices. Buddha,
Mohammed, Confucius, most of
them have at least a few ideas that are
way too good for one man to think of
- like the Golden Rule. All of them
taught a version of it, but it seems just
out of humankind’s grasp.
Any freakish cult leaders - like
Do of the Sunny Valley cult, or what
ever the name was - would automati
cally lose their standing. If it were
known that the alien visitation
rumors were the truth, even the losers
who used to join those cults would
know better. Any “Sightings” or “X
Files” installments will tell you aliens
aren’t here to bus you to Planet
Happy Face.
In fact, as much television as I’ve
watched on the subject (too much,
obviously), I’ve never heard an
“abductee” claim to have spent any
time on the aliens’ planet. It seems
they only work on an outpatient basis.
Wow, when you really think about
it, proving alien visitation would be
the biggest thing... ever. Elementary
school show-and-tell would have the
added element of “look what the
aliens put inside me.” Local gambling
rings would form with people betting
on who is going to be abducted next.
Women would write letters to
Penthouse about how their abduction
experiences were better than anything
a man could ever give them.
Of course, there are things on
Earth that wouldn’t change.
Politicians would just have one more
scapegoat, and people still wouldn’t
believe them. Film studios have
turned out crappy movies about
aliens for decades, and they stilt
would. Knives and exercise machines
alike would still be described in
infomercials as being made of
“space-age polymers.” i
The fact is the world wouldn’t be
turned upside down by alien pres
ence. The sheer size of our universe
places the probability that life exists
somewhere other than Earth at near
100 percent It also makes the likeli
hood of making contact with any
extraterrestrial life almost zero.
Lots of us would like to believe
otherwise. But when most of us won’t
even accept changing the seat we take
every day in class, how could we ever
live with the changes forced by the
advent of Joe Outworlder?
I, for one, am relieved.