Thursday, December 16, 2010

I Should have gone to Hollywood University!


Once upon a time, there was this magical land called America In The 1980s. Everything was fun back then- we had this amiable actor in the White House, the United States was the Terror and the Hope of the World, gasoline was a dollar a gallon, phones were starting to lose their cords and your Personal Computer from Radio Shack was really cool with it's monochrome screen and floppy disks.

All throughout this magical land, kids graduated from High School and went off to college, which was basically a kind of Earth-bound Paradise, to spend four years swilling beer, playing music by The Cars, Blondie, U2 and Michael Jackson and having lots and lots of sex with stunningly beautiful young women. There were also things called classes, which were supervised by fat, dull and dimwitted versions of your parents. Classes were important to go to because it was the place to find out where the next kegger was and to meet stunningly beautiful women while they were still clothed.

I didn't live in America in the 1980s. The place I lived in had colleges, but they were nothing like the ones I've been seeing on TV and in movies for the past thirty years. Catholic University back then didn't bear much resemblance to the movie version of Revenge of the Nerds, or the TV version for that matter. Maybe Dear Old CUA was just an outlier- except that my High School didn't look a whole lot like Fast Times at Ridgemont High, either. And it sure as hell didn't look anything like "Glory Daze," the television's most recent attempt to feed on the apparently all-but-unanimous theory that college is just a four-year orgy of booze and sex. It's as if screenwriters watched Back to School and figured it was a documentary on campus life in the 1980s.

Hollywood tells me I came of age in the right decade; maybe I just grew up in the wrong country? If that's so, damn you, Mom and Dad!! Look how much fun I could have had if you had just emigrated to America before I hit my teens!! All these college kids I see on the silver screen have more fun in one night than I had in four years!

Look, I'm not complaining all that much. I got a good education in college, spent Fridays at The Dubliner with my girlfriend and my dad's American Express Card, and the Homecoming dances were pretty cool. But if I'm ever reincarnated, I'm rejecting the scholarship and going to Hollywood University. I'm joining one of these frat houses with big impressive Greek letters on the doors. And then I'm spending four years in a dazed stupor, drinking gallons of booze between one-night stands and screaming "PAR-TY!" at the top of my lungs whenever I'm at a party, or just think that it's time to start one.

Next time, I'm doing it right. And I'm doing it to the strains of Crowded House and The Boss. Thank you, Hollywood, for showing me the error of my ways. I only wish Rodney Dangerfield was still with us to provide extra guidance.


  1. Spot on -- the "good old days" as viewed from today never seemed that good to those who were actually there.

  2. Guess what-- the fifties weren't as much fun as Happy Days/American Graffiti would have you believe either.

  3. Well, maybe if you were a white kid who had grown up in Levittown....but I get your point.