Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Full Contact Origami

When I was a secretary at ADI, spending my days:

a) writing up tutorials for my Uni course,
b) having countless running email conversations with workmates and Kristen in Canberra, and
c) not really doing anything

I had a vast word file of all the jokes I had ever received. I am sure I have it SOMEWHERE in my box of important papers, but this one, recently sent to me again, was one of my all time favourites.

I use the phrase ‘full contact origami’ all the time, usually during my ‘torment a barfly’ routine during which I tell sozzled Lotharios that I am a retired World Bootscooting champion who is looking to move into acting in karaoke video clips and was born on Ayers rock because my mum wanted me to channel Azaria Chamberlain’s spirit.

Blessed are the jokers, because they will get mates rates at the bar in heaven.

The following was published in The New York Times. This is a NYU college admissions application essay question, and an actual answer written by an applicant:

Question 3A
In order for the admissions staff of our college to get to know you, the applicant, better, we ask that you answer the following question:

Are there any significant experiences you have had, or accomplishments you have realised, that have helped to define you as a person?

Answer:

I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice. I have been known to remodel train stations on my lunch breaks, making them more efficient in the area of heat retention. I translate ethnic slurs for Cuban refugees. I write award-winning operas, I manage time efficiently. Occasionally, I tread water for three days in a row. I woo women with my sensuous and godlike trombone playing, I can pilot bicycles up severe incline with unflagging speed, and I cook Thirty-Minute Brownies in twenty minutes. I am an expert in stucco, a veteran in love, and an outlaw in Peru.

Using only a hoe and a large glass of water, I once single-handedly defended a small village in the Amazon Basin from a horde of ferocious army ants. I play bluegrass cello, I was scouted by the Mets, I am the subject of numerous documentaries. When I'm bored, I build large suspension bridges in my yard. I enjoy urban hang gliding. On Wednesdays, after school, I repair electrical appliances free of charge. I am an abstract artist, a concrete analyst, and a ruthless bookie.

Critics world-wide swoon over my original line of corduroy evening wear. I don't perspire. I am a private citizen, yet I receive fan mail. I have been caller number nine and have won the weekend passes. Last summer I toured New Jersey with a travelling centrifugal-force demonstration. I bat 400.

My deft floral arrangements have earned me fame in international botany circles. Children trust me. I can hurl tennis rackets at small moving objects with deadly accuracy. I once read Paradise Lost, Moby Dick and David Copperfield in one day and still had time to refurbish an entire dining room that evening. I know the exact location of every food item in the supermarket. I have performed several covert operations with the CIA. I sleep once a week; when I do sleep, I sleep in a chair.

While on vacation in Canada, I successfully negotiated with a group of terrorists who had seized a small bakery. The laws of physics do not apply to me. I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and my bills are all paid. On weekends, to let off steam, I participate in full-contact origami. Years ago I discovered the meaning of life but forgot to write it down. I have made extraordinary four course meals using only a mouli and a toaster oven.

I breed prize-winning clams. I have won bullfights in San Juan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and spelling bees at the Kremlin. I have played Hamlet, I have performed open-heart surgery, and I have spoken with Elvis. But I have not yet gone to college.

He was accepted.

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