Chasing the Man (reprise)

Dear Reid,

Hey, did you ever notice that that’s a palindrome? Anyway, I am a sophomore at UMM and have been struggling with the same problem since the beginning of my freshman year. For over a year now, the same question has plagued my mind and robbed me of precious hours of sleep. I kept my troubles to myself, too perplexed to seek the guidance of the one person I knew could help me, until it was simply too late. You left, Dear Reid, apparently disappearing into retirement or assimilating under cover into the fabled “real world,” before I was able to reach out to you. I have simply worn myself out with worry, and realize now that I must seek some advice. As such, I will address this envelope simply “Dear Reid” and let my faith in the United States Postal System guide it to you.

With that lengthy introduction complete, I will describe to you the dilemma which has me so distraught. My question is thus: Why isn’t college like it is in the movies? From “Animal House” to “Real Genius” to “Revenge of the Nerds” people who were the underdogs of high school—picked on, derided, and lacking in self esteem—were able to go to college, come out of their shell, and party like rock stars. And, most puzzlingly, these former geeks, transmogrified dorks, and rehabilitated nerds time and time again can be found making love to beautiful women by the end of their first semester.

Now, I easily fit into the category portrayed by the guys in these movies. Indeed, I have managed to find myself a fantastic group of friends, fitting into a social setting much more comfortably and honestly than I ever did in high school. Only one thing is lacking. Where’s the sex? Where is all the sex, I ask you?! This is driving me crazy! I want it, but I’m just not getting any! I’m beginning to think I’m never going to score, and it sucks! Help me!

Frustrated and Frisky

I know how you feel. I must start off by clarifying that the rumors of my retirement have been greatly exaggerated. In fact, I’ve been accessible all along, though admittedly my new residence (neé cave) in the mountains north of India as I work to complete my Associate’s Degree in Guruism has caused some delays in the otherwise impeccable campus mail system’s forwarding of my weekly bundle of preapproved credit card applications. I am puzzled, however, that yours is the first advice-seeking letter I have received since my departure from parts west. I mean, I do have e-mail for crying out loud.

But on to your problem, which, as is apparent to anyone with half a week’s training in the janitorial sciences, is probably some derivation of a simple Oedipus complex, a common disorder that can be treated by enrolling in any number of affordable twelve-step programs.
However, since you seem to believe the problem lies in the discrepancy between your life and that of a young Anthony Edwards, that is the angle from which I shall attack it.

What you need to do is look at your problem from the perspective of the film producers in Hollywood. The demographic group that makes up movie going public is, in a large part, post-adolescent males. By creating films in which characters similar to the people in the target audience are able to rise up above their real-world social position and, as you so eloquently put it, make love to beautiful women, they are able to ensure a wildly successful box office return.
The very reason these movies are made, and the reason that they are popular, is that they provide a fantastical situation which their target audience is able to live vicariously through, thereby giving them, for a few short minutes, an artificially inflated sense of self esteem. In simpler terms, they’re just movies, and real life is never, ever really like that.

If my intuition is correct, and it always is, this answer will not fully satisfy you. Who, you will ask, do these self-serving movie producers think they are jerking us around like that? And that, my friend, is the question you should have been asking in the first place. Anticipating your eventual question, I have secretly infiltrated the advertising industry to learn first hand just what goes into this dispicable practice of targeting an innocent group and forcing upon them the will of the almighty dollar.

During the course of my undercover assignment, I have followed a trail of lies, deceit, obfuscations, and quite a lot of parties, to find the scoundrel behind this great conspiracy. To my shock and dismay, my fears have been realized. As is the case in so many of the troubles with which my faithful readers are plagued, yours is rooted deeply in the pockets of The Man.

This time I really thought I had Him. I was hot on the trail, following a map delivered to me by way of a curious, chirping, blue and white garbage can; many Bothans had died to bring me this information. I burst into His office, a tastefully decorated suite with a view of the western horizon hidden in such an obvious location as to be mind-numbingly impossible to find, only to find it barren, stripped clean.

He was again one step ahead of me, leaving only a haunting note which read: “Na-na, na-boo boo, you can’t find me!” Well I will by golly, if it’s the last thing I do. I will bring down The Man.


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