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Best line ever on Da Vinci’s Inquest the other night: “Yep – this man has an octopus on his face. You know that’s never good.”

This morning I paid off, in full, the balance on my student loan and my credit card. The total came to less than five hundred dollars, so it’s not like I was drowning in debt, but it’s still pretty liberating to realize that I am now 100% debt-free. I don’t owe nothin’ to nobody, even factoring in those double negatives.

It’s a particular relief to pay off the last of my student loan. Making my payments every month was like being served a Biggie-sized “Insult and Injury” Combo with extra salt in the wound: it was humiliating, somehow, paying several thousand dollars for an experience that left me with nothing more tangible to show for it than a hoard of amusing anecdotes, a heightened appreciation for the work of Daniel Clowes, and a liver with the hardened consistency of well-used leather chaps.

“Art school is useless, you say?” Yes – try to contain your surprise! It’s especially useless when, like me, you spend most of your class time twitching in the throes of a looming hangover the size of a Henry Moore sculpture. It was art school, of course, so “getting fucked up” was practically inscribed on the first-year curriculum; but I tackled that aspect of campus life with a verve and vigour that left me with very little time for the finer points of critical appreciation.

The memories left to me by my surviving brain cells are fond, however: there was nothing like traipsing along the hallways with my horn-rimmed-spectacled friends, playing a fun game of “Is It Art, or Is It Trash?” You could never be sure whether that pile of old newspapers and car parts, or those symmetrically arranged piles of dirt, were waiting for the janitor or whether they were someone’s intended masterpiece. Another popular game: “How Fucking Gay Can This Get?” Profs were continually reaching for new heights in this challenge. Just when you thought nobody could top the “found object interpretive dance” studio class, along came “fecal sculpture as social commentary”! Competition was fierce!

Feh. I didn’t even get a degree, which would have officially qualified me to work at McDonalds. After two years, I did some soul-searching and realized that art school wasn’t the right path for me; and if you believe that, I have a fecal sculpture to sell you. In reality, I did some searching for the bottom of my pint glass and realized that art school started too early in the morning for me, and I dropped out. La vie bohémienne!

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