Hello everyone. Sorry for the radio silence here on the blog. I've been busy writing and getting together a project that I'm going to be announcing here in a couple of days.
However, rather than leave a gaping hole of not-blog, I've decided to post up some back-in-the-day writing. Specifically, a satirical advice column called "Your College Survival Guide" that I used to publish in the local paper. It was a delicious blend of demented ravings, bad advice, black bile, with just a tiny garnish of truth.
Fair warning: The tone of the College Survival Guide is different than what you might be used to here on the blog. It's different than my novel too. Different audience + different purpose = different style. So don't assume that I've had a psychotic break.
And if you don't know what satire is, you might want to look it up before you read the column. It might help prevent confusion....
Anyway, here's one I wrote a couple years back. Enjoy.
Hello Young Rothfuss,
How you do amuse me from time to time with your silly column... it really is the best read I've come across in a long time.
I've been wondering about men lately. In particular, boyfriends. I've been asking my gaggle of girlfriends why women have attachment issues. (That's not your question) I want to know why most males in a relationship like to play games with their bitches (i.e. "I'm not gonna call her for a couple of days to see if she cracks and calls me first... A HA!") OR if they just deal with distance better than us women.
My friend and I call our condition, the "Kiss and Cuddle" syndrome. The only reason we go back to our loser boyfriends is cuz we want to hold them and kiss them and squeeze them until their heads pop off "wike kwazy widdle cutie pootie wootie puppies!" I'm rambling now, but why why why does my boyfriend (who lives in Minneapolis) NOT CALL ME, GODDAMN IT!!!????
Well Anitra, I have a good answer to your letter. Actually, I have two good answers. Luckily, due to psychotic break brought about by midterm stress, I have two fully-formed personalities willing to give you their opinions on this issue.
Evil Pat's Response.
So, why are guys thoughtless, callous, game-playing jerks? Simple, Anitra, because that's what you women have trained us to be.
Let me explain this with a story. Imagine that you're a young boy, and like most young boys, you're a Nice Guy: innocent, polite, and considerate. You meet Julie. She's smart, funny, and pretty. You become friends and slowly but surely you realize you're in love with her.
So you join forensics because she's on the team. You cheer her on when she tries out for the swim team. Soon you're talking on the phone for hours at a stretch, really getting to know her.
But while you're investing time and energy into building an emotional and intellectual bond with Julie, some basketball player asks her to the prom. She says yes, because he's a junior, and he has his own car. Plus he's got an ass you can bounce a quarter off of. Let's call him Chad.
Then Chad proceeds to treat Julie like crap, because he doesn't know the first thing about her. But for some reason she clings to him like he's the last life preserver on the Titanic. And all the while, there you are, her friend and confidante. Every night you're on the phone, listening while she cries about how obnoxious and thoughtless he is. But she forgives him because she's in love, right?
Then it slowly dawns on you. Julie will never be your girlfriend. Why? Well, given the overwhelming evidence, Julie doesn't want a boy who listens to her thoughts and feelings. Julie wants a cretin with a nice ass. Guys like Chad get all the lovin'. Guys like you are the equivalent of an emotional tampon. End of story.
Now if you're a Really Nice Guy you move on with your innocence intact. Then you meet a girl called Erica. Lather, rinse, repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
And after you slide down this emotional razorblade about a dozen times, you know what you get? You get me. I'm not nice anymore. Over the years I've molded myself into an arrogant bastard of such vast proportions that women find me irresistible. And you know what? It works great. You can get radiation burns from the amount of raw animal magnetism I throw off.
And now you're complaining that your guy doesn't call you? Get bent, chicky. You women have made your collective bed, and now you have to lie in it. Alone.
Nice Pat's Response.
Well Anitra, your letter reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend about a week ago. She told me that she liked getting massages. More than that, she considered them essential for her emotional well-being, especially when she was in-between boyfriends. She went on to explain that she thought touching and being touched was a vital part of being a primate.
Which means, in a nutshell, that she feels like her inner monkey occasionally needs to be loved.
Personally, I couldn't agree more. I think that deep down we all have basic monkey urges. Do you remember that experiment we all learned about in psychology 101? The one where the baby monkey had to choose between two fake mommy monkeys? Given the choice between a non-cuddly chicken wire mom that had milk, and a furry fake-mom that didn't have any milk, the baby monkey always chose the furry mom. It goes to show how important this cuddling impulse is to us primate types.
So to answer your question, Anitra, I decided to perform an expanded version of this experiment. I added a balsa-wood monkey with a cookie and a handgun; a sheet-metal monkey that gives out bong hits; and a monkey made entirely out of Cool-Ranch Doritos that gets drunk and burns you with cigarettes.
Anyway to make a long story short, I never got around to finding a baby monkey to experiment on. Apparently you need a permit or something for that. But I CAN tell you that my favorite was the razorwire monkey with a tazer that dispensed sweet, sweet, methadone. I still sleep with it at night.
So what's the moral to the story? Shit. I have no idea. Scientists hate monkeys, I guess. There's your moral. I'm outta here.