Date: Thu, 13 May 93 01:58:14 PDT
Subject: Comma-Splice 101
From: "EL Shaw" <email@example.com>
From: andrew@parthum.HQ.Ileaf.COM (Andrew Parthum)
[Andrew says "Numerous forwarding messages have been removed to protect
people who forward messages via e-mail on company time." It's an
interesting concept... -psl]
This is an actual essay written by a college applicant.
The author, Hugh Gallagher, now attends NYU.
-------- Beginning of Marginally Humorous Included Mail --------
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
REALIZED, THAT HAVE HELPED TO DEFINE YOU AS A PERSON?
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 inclines 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
worldwide 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 traveling 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 for 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 prizewinning 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.
© 1993 Peter Langston