Hello, how can I help you? Oh, I’m sorry, ma’am, but we don’t serve coffee here. However, if you’re looking for a pick-me-up, I can offer you a tour of my many advanced degrees and certificates.

Yes, I am aware that a tour of advanced degrees and certificates is not generally seen as a substitute for caffeine, and yes, I understand that the sign reading DALE’S COFFEE SHOP might be misleading. But, did you know that nearly ninety-eight percent of people would rather drink coffee than look at advanced degrees? It’s true! I learned that while working on my Master’s in Deceptive Marketing—hanging right over there—at the Wisconsin School of Herbal Medicine, which, interestingly enough, has no herbal medicine program and is in Delaware.

I have forty-six advanced degrees and certificates in total, but don’t worry—the tour won’t include all of those. No, I’ve spent countless hours devising the most efficient route so that we can focus on only the finest of my advanced degrees and certificates. Which brings me to our start here, with my doctorate of Interest Dynamics and Discretion in Tour Planning. In fact, this whole first room is devoted only to tour-related degrees and certificates, such as this diploma from the prestigious Pre-Tour Ramble Workshop and the certificate marking completion of a one-day training session on Touring Tour-Related Items.

In this next room is the thermostat. I used to set the temperature to correspond to the number of degrees I had, which at the time, was twenty-two. However, after obtaining my Master’s in Temperature Control Dynamics, I realized twenty-two degrees was too cold, which is why I hung that one right here next to the thermostat. Doesn’t it just look like it it’s standing guard, like it’s saying, “Oh no, mister! Don’t you even think about setting the temperature to correspond to the number of degrees you have!”? Well, maybe it doesn’t look that to you, but it would if you had your PhD in Personification, which is that one over there with the googly-eyes and the smiley face.

I keep all of my statues in this room. That Greco-Roman statue there served as my dissertation topic for my Master’s in Statue Studies, which itself is represented by that marble statue there, of the man looking at the Greco-Roman statue and scratching his chin studiously. Getting a statue in a lieu of a paper degree is a top indicator of high quality Statue Studies programs, and I should know given that I’m a Licensed Statue Studies Program Evaluator. My license is that third statue there, the one with a clipboard watching the degree statue study the Greco-Roman statue. Above that, you’ll see a framed photograph of the three statues together, next to that my MFA in Three-Dimensional Degree Photography, and finally, an honorary doctorate to celebrate my achievements in “Linear Room Arrangement.”

Now, in here I have my Doctorate of Master’s-Level Curriculum Design and my MS in Computer Programming. Using those, I built this computer, which writes online curricula for new advanced degrees while simultaneously enrolling itself in the classes under my name, thus earning me advanced degrees and certificates that no one’s ever even heard of before. In fact, here comes a new degree, fresh off the printer! You are now speaking with the proud recipient of a Master’s in Chaise Lounge Leadership Mechanics! I can’t wait to go online later and look for some exciting adjunct teaching opportunities in the growing Seat Management field!

This door here leads to the alley behind the building. While not a formal degree showroom, the dumpster out there does contain a few of my degrees, such as my MA in Educational Moderation and my certificate for Modesty in Academic Achievement Presentation. Totally useless! I look forward to the day that I officially can rid myself of them, which should be sometime in mid-March, when I finish the coursework to become a Licensed Degree Retractor.

Well, that’s it. We’ve reached the end of our tour. On your way out, feel free to stop by the gift shop, where you can find Xeroxed copies of all of my advanced degrees and certificates, as well as a coffee bar. And while you’re grabbing a latte to go, take a look at my final two certificates hanging behind the counter: one from a notable barista training program and another from the Fullman Summer Institute of Promise Acknowledgement and Fulfillment.