Art History

The most significant works of art in the world are apparently those of which the instructor has vacation slides. He’s gained weight since Delphi.

I’m not an expert, obviously, but The Last Supper is not a “fresca,” right?

Stand-up Comedy Workshop 1

The class receives handouts with the definitions of “pun” and “slapstick.” I bolt during the cigarette break.

Stand-up Comedy Workshop 2

A woman actually delivers a serial/cereal killer joke.

I tell a joke concerning mail-order marriages, the punch line of which went something like, “Who gives away the bride, the UPS guy?”

Beginning Basketball

For drills, I’m paired up against the only other male in the class, a tall but frail, middle-aged man who stumbles across the court as if in the midst of a very personal earthquake. He plucks at his wristbands compulsively and carefully pantomimes his free throws before missing the rim by a time zone. This is the part when I’m supposed to confess that he—surprise! —demolishes me in one-on-one. But I’m proud to report that we were pretty evenly matched.

Wine Tasting

In the first class, I make a private wager. I will treat myself to Thai food if at least one wag includes “and I’m an alcoholic” in his introduction. I enjoyed my basil chicken noodles. I could have doubled up for spring rolls if I had anticipated the second guy, who said that he wasn’t an alcoholic—but he might be by the end of the class. (He’s the naughtiest!)

Introduction to Guitar

I’m having trouble strumming “Wish You Were Here” because I was listening to that song during a head-on collision when I was sixteen. The chord-changes are challenging because I’m waiting for the air bag.

How can my instructor listen to the fourteen of us—students who, at best, are clumsy novices and who, at worst, are black holes from which no talent escapes—simultaneously desecrate “Hey Jude” and conclude that we are “really jamming now”?

Beginning Billiards

I have trouble making contact with the cue ball. I may be the first person to strike out at pool.

For some absurd reason, I attempt a behind-the-back shot. The stick gets snagged in my belt loop. Withdrawing it leaves a streak of chalk along my waistline. Were women watching this? No. They could not bear to.

Spanish 1

Just when I thought I couldn’t get any whiter, I am asked to pronounce barrio.

Hiking Group

I meet a woman on an excursion to New Hampshire. A week later, after dinner and a game of Scrabble, she’s kissing me using only her jaws—no tongue, no lips. I am making out with Pac-Man. (Attention, Gen Xers: I do realize that “Ms. Pac-Man” would have offered gender precision, but let’s not forget that Ms. Pac-Man does, in fact, have lips, or at least a painted-on smooch of sorts. If my choice bothers you, you may substitute “with a piranha” or “with a staple-remover” into the sentence.)

Writing Workshop

This is a story of indomitable awfulness. It is sub-literate prose a third-grader would write and a fourth-grader would surely rewrite. I think the alphabet’s older brother should visit your home and beat the shit out of you. In other words, “Nice details!”

Just wondering, why must so many characters masturbate?