Sunday, September 12, 2010

Course Overload #19: "Health Unfair"

Unfortunately, I won’t be writing a Course Overload article today. Yes, I know; you’re devastated, but ever since I learned that I’m going to die, I’ve been feeling a little lazy.

Yes, you read right; my days are numbered. I was as shocked as you must be when I found out about it one dark day last week. I’ve been going over the tragic events of that day ever since, and I’ve noticed that I should have known there was something amiss by the way I woke up that morning.

My day started at 8 a.m., and promptly ended around 8:01 a.m. It was one of those short days; all I did was sit up, look at the clock, bellow mournfully, and fall back into the womb-like comfort of my bed. My day started again around 9:17 a.m., when I looked at the clock in horror and promptly bolted out of bed. I had only 13 minutes to get ready, so I limited myself to only the most essential morning operations. And obviously, it was imperative that I finish Level 3-A in Shinobi for PlayStation 2 or my Copyediting professor would have been very disappointed.

Unshaven, hair blowing free and clothes mismatched, I bolted from my house. Sadly, most people can’t tell the difference between one of my 13 minute mornings and one of my hour and a half mornings, probably because I wear the same outfit every day.

On the way to school, I wondered what happens to all those short, three minute days in one’s life. If you measure a day by waking up, doing things and then going to sleep, then my average week is 67 days long. By those standards, having classes only five days a week is a bargain.

Somehow, I managed to make it to Copyediting on time, if not in the best condition. In the middle of class, I overheard someone say that there was going to be a health fair at Wonka Hall. I was so excited; I love fairs! I couldn’t wait to get out and start riding the merry-go-round and buying badly-made balloon animals from disinterested, chain-smoking clowns. Maybe there would even be a Ferris wheel! After class, I ran as fast as I could to the fair, knocking down any children, nuns, or kittens in my path. Above the entrance, a giant sign read “Health Fair Today.”

I burst through the door. Surrounding me were a few people in suits and tables covered with dreary pamphlets. My heart immediately sunk. Where were the games? Where were the rides? And for the love of God, where were the clowns? All this so-called fair had was a bunch of signs telling me that eating doughnuts covered with bacon and lard isn’t good for me. I wondered what other lies they would try to tell me. Looking around, I knew that my life was ruined.

I was about to go running into the streets and hopefully get run over by a beer truck when Sarah appeared behind me.

“Guess what, Matt!” Sarah exclaimed excitedly.

“This fair has shattered my dreams and expectations, so I’m going to kill myself now?” I replied woefully.

“Even better!” yelled Sarah, smiling from ear to ear. “My cholesterol level is a zero!”

“Mine is a five,” said a passer-by, frowning. “Sarah beat me.”

“Matt, you should get your cholesterol reading,” suggested Sarah, grabbing my arm and pulling me over to an ominous looking table in the far corner of the room. “Come on, it’s fun!”

A very angry man in jet black suit grabbed my arm and yanked me behind a black curtain. I’m not sure what happened after that, but a minute later, I was pushed back out into the crowd.

“Wasn’t that fun?” Sarah asked with a smile.

“I …don’t know?”

“So what’s your cholesterol rating?”

“It’s 957,” I replied. “He says that I have about seven minutes to live.”

“Oh no!” sobbed Sarah, adding, “Can I have your stereo?”

Shaking his head, the angry man in the jet black suit said, “Well, what do you expect from someone who uses alcohol-based hair gel? I’m surprised his hair hasn’t fallen out yet, too.”

I stumbled out of the fair in a daze. What was I going to do with the tiny bit of life I had left? I was distracted when someone ran past me, yelling something about Wonka Hall. Indeed, random passerby, Wonka does look like it’s made of radiant legos, but that wasn’t going to help me! Just then, I heard a familiar voice. It was Kristy, my digital video partner.

“Hey Matt! Sarah and I are going to lunch now and you’re welcome to come with us if you want.”

I shook my head. “Thanks, but I…”

“For lunch, there’s chicken patties and french-fries,” said Kristy, ignoring me. “Just lay off the salt this time; you use way too much and I think it causes high cholesterol.”

But I was only half listening. I was too busy thinking about how I was going die soon.

“Kristy, I’d like to eat lunch with you, but I’m dying,” I said, tears welling up in my eyes. “Go call an ambulance; I should be convulsing by the time it gets here. I’ll stay out here and listen for the sirens.”

“Sirens are so romantic,” said Kristy, adding, “Can I have your stereo?”

So, my dear readers, that’s why I won’t be writing an article today. Instead, I’ve been trying to decide the best way to use my remaining time. I think I’ve got it: I’m going to go to Dunkin’ Donuts and order a great big doughnut covered with bacon and lard for lunch.

But I’ll be sure to tell the waitress to hold the salt; gotta watch that cholesterol.

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