Orange Rhymes With: A Fondish Farewell

This is going to be a goodbye column. But not really.

It’s Commencement. The end of the 2011-2012 school year has finally rolled around, and for a certain group of upcoming graduates, it’s time to jump ship and run like hell. The culmination of — what, let’s be honest — five or six years has now led up to this one definitive moment of leaving college life behind and moving back in with your parents.

I’m leaving too. It’s an extremely hard thing to do, but I’m off for orange-er pastures — not graduating, sadly (there’s realistically another three or four years before that), but onto a new college, a new institute of higher learning, a new phase of life.

It’s a crazy notion. Sort of a scary one, when you really sit down to consider it: packing up and moving your life onward. It’s a shared notion — between the graduates and the transferees and the, um, nomads, I suppose — you grow comfortable and find a sense of purpose in the place you’re in, only to move on in search of a new one.

But it’s okay. It’s all good. When you think about how huge the earth is, and how it’s just a tiny blip when compared to the size of the sun, and how that’s just a speck of incomprehensible dust in the vast overall universe … it’s pretty easy to rationalize just about anything. We’re all just specks, to horribly misquote Kansas.

That being said, compared to most others, we’re some damn good-looking specks. Specks with a purpose. Not really sure where I’m going with this, to be honest — but that’s one of the benefits of having your own column, and a humor one to boot: you can get away with saying some pretty nonsensical stuff and chalk it up to being funny.

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For example, I’ll throw in a random paragraph that has nothing to do with what I’ve been saying:

I’m not the manliest of men. There’s one pretty simple fact to life: If you use aloe vera body wash on a regular basis, you’re probably not going to grow up to be a hyper-masculinized lumberjack. I resigned myself to this quite a while ago, and no longer feel too disappointed about my inability to look like Hugh Jackman. Plus I enjoy that aloe tingle.

See what I’m saying? It’s funny. Laugh.

My attempts at humor writing have definitely developed over the past year and a half. It’s not easy stuff to do by any means — if you don’t ride that fine line between crude and respectful, you may come off sounding like a raging jackass. I’ve had my share of misfires. In my holiday political-correctness jab attempt of HanuKwanzaaMas, I may have unintentionally pissed off some people of Jewish or African-American culture, or any of those whom still believe in a big white guy with a beard and robes and the wonderful ability to be both omniscient and omnipresent — I mean Santa, of course. I apologize for any offensiveness in that article; it wasn’t the goal.

I may have at one point also strongly bashed womankind for reading too much into men’s glances — but I don’t apologize for that one at all; it’s still the truth. We men don’t have dictionaries for eyes. Knock it off.

But enough self-reflection already. This is my chance to say things to people I didn’t have the time or space to in previous columns. Like to those living in Lynchburg, Tennessee — it might be time to talk about changing the name there, folks. Gives off the wrong impression. (It’s a real place; look it up. It’s where Jack Daniel’s is made, which is even worse.)

I’d also like to thank my roommates and close friends for doing so many dumb things and giving me so much writing material in the process. I wouldn’t have willingly fallen out of trees, massacred Winston Churchill lobsters, swam uphill through mountains of snow or hunted for lingering stenches in the depths of odor-consumed refrigerators without you. So thanks. Hopefully we can all grow a few IQ points at some point down the road.

The same goes for my coworkers and this place of employment. We’re all pretty damn dumb. And it’s been awesome.

I’ve had the pleasure to know, work with and befriend several of this year’s graduating seniors. It’s been quite the pleasure indeed. A certain Russian goddess knows what I’m talking about. So does one prematurely bald guy. And a perpetually pregnant woman. They’re several among a large group of crazy-talented people, and are going to go off and do crazy-talented things. Hopefully at some point I’ll get to as well. If not talented, at least let it be crazy — I’ll be satisfied with that.

There’s a wish that extends to everyone, really. Let’s go out and make an impact. Stir up some noise. Punch life in the gut and collect the loose change. Before the graduation caps hit the floor and before I resort to any more cheesy clichés, let’s start doing things no one will ever forget, except amnesia patients.