College Writings

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I went to college at Green River Community College and the University of Washington. Since respectable journalism majors didn’t write for the U of W Daily, I did all my RobZerrvations for the Current newspaper at Green River. I would have all week to write it, then dash it out with an hour to go until my deadline. I still write like that today. Some things never change.

Jan. 11, 1979

A Religious Experience

My wife and I were driving along Interstate 303 last week when we passed a billboard which caught my attention. It was lit all in red neon and proclaimed in bold letters, “ALL SINNER TURN RIGHT ONE MILE.”

“We must be nearing Hell,” I joked, “I wonder what in the devil is going on up ahead?”

The turn drew nearer and being naturally curious, I turned.

The sight that lay before my eyes was unbelievable. There, poised in neat little rows were religions. To the right of my car sat the newer religions; shiny, promising and expensive. To the left sat the older beliefs; a lot of mileage and some rust.

I reached for the door handle and with a click it popped open. At that very same instant, 20 men, dressed in an array of garments, descended upon me.

One of them, dressed in a three piece suit, said to me, “Friend, I can tell that you are in search for salvation… you want the hand of the Lord Himself to take hold of you and lift you from the jaws of eternal damnation.”

Just as he finished his thought, a frail elderly gentleman thrust him aside.

“I represent the First United Christian Neo-Intellectual Church. Have I got a deal for you!”

He led me to the farthest corner of the lot and pointed at his religion. “I can make you an offer you can’t refuse,” he drawled. “Not only can I guarantee you a high place on the other side of those Pearly Gates, I will, if you act now, throw in a subscription to our monthly magazine, Martyr of the Month, for only $10.

While I was thinking over the offer, another man grabbed me from behind and pulled me towards his belief.

“Son, I represent the Reorganized Church of Frisbeetology. We believe that your soul is like a Frisbee and that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and you can’t get it down.”

“That’s an interesting concept,” I confessed, “What do you have to offer.”

“Well, it all depends on the level you attain on the roof. We have the Pee-Wee level, the Beginners level, the Masters level and the Professional level. Oh yes, we also have the “Glo-in-the-Dark level but no one has gotten that high yet.

There wasn’t enough time for me to reply for another salesman latched onto me and whisked me away.

“I can see by your expression that you are on the brink of sinning! You need a savior boy, and I have just the one for you. You see this? This is Willie Torvol… he’s a cute little dickens, isn’t he. He became a profit… uh, prophet, at only three years of age. We don’t understand a thing he says but we don’t question our savior boy, we just act according to his commands.

By now, all the religious salesmen had gathered around me – anxious for me to make my decision. But just as I reached my decision, the group began to shout at one another, and the next thing I knew I was in the middle of a ruckus.

“I’ve had enough of you fellows,” I said, as I stalked back to the car. “I think I’ll try the Sinners Bust with Lust Lot down the road.

“I can’t afford anything there but I’ll have a lot of fun looking over merchandise.”

Oct. 5, 1978

Computers Dating? What Will They Think Of Next?

According to many researchers, the number one cause of mental depression is loneliness. It kills thousands annually and until I talked to Sperry, there appeared to be no cure.

Sperry is an old friend of mine who fell into the loneliness trap because he was a workaholic.  He spent all his time at the office working on figures and statistics. One night, while he was working overtime, Sperry began to feel like a machine. He couldn’t remember the lat time he had been on a date or even out at all. He was alienated from the outside world, he was… LONELY!

Sperry’s future seemed hopeless until he went to a computer dating service and filled out a questionnaire. After filling in the last section, Sperry gave it to the receptionist who ran it through the computer. Within a few seconds, the machined returned with a match… someone from the dating service no less.

On the appointed nigh, Sperry met his match. She was beautiful… a perfect 24-24-24, dressed in a casual steel blue which blended perfectly with her electric eyes.

“Hi there,” she said in a soft, almost animated tone. “I’m Uni Vac, and you must be my computer date.”

“Why yes I am,” Sperry replied, as he handed her a box of assorted nuts. Spetty and Uni exchanged compliments and started off to the movies.

“What would you like to see?” asked Sperry. “Oh, how about Star Wars; I just love those cute little droids. Or how about 2001: A Space Odyssey. HAL is so funny in that.”

Halfway through the show, Sperry’s wheels started turning. He leaned over to Uni and whispered, “How about you and I blowin’ this joint and go up to my place instead?”

“Sure,” Uni replied. “I’d love to.”

Once at the apartment, Sperry decided he would ply her with exotic substances. “Have a corner Uni while I rustle us up something to consume,” said Sperry.

Uni took the nearest corner and began to admire all the photos on the wall.  “You must love to play with computers,” concluded Uni.

A few moments went by before Sperry returned. “Here, this will reboot your system.”

After a few drinks, Sperry decided it was time to make his move. He turned down the lights and grabbed her.

“Keep your connectors off of my reels,” screamed Uni.

“Ah, come on sweety, I’m protected. I just got my 30,000 hour check up and besides, I’m using castor oil… You grease my wheels and I’ll grease yours.”

“Listen here,” retorted Uni. “Either you get your connectors off my knobs or I’ll plug your circuits into 220. And by the way… you can take your nuts back you, you,  Son of a PC.”

Maybe computers dating wasn’t such a good idea after all.

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