Column: Frankie says relax

By Elizabeth Aleman

As the end of the year approaches, everyone scrambles to get those final papers done, read those novels they never got around to and whatever science majors do – something involving an abacus. Relax. Just follow these simple instructions that I use when stress levels rise. You will feel much better and if you don’t, please, don’t write to me. I don’t really care that much.

1.) Crank call neighboring restaurants during the busy dinner shift – Sundays make everyone feel like soggy bread. I don’t have class on Monday, but I do have an article due. By eight o’clock I am usually frantic for ideas. Sometimes, to ease the anal retention, I like to go out on my stairs and prank call Garcia’s pizza across the street with the old, “I ordered a baby-stuffed pizza and it didn’t have any babies in it. I want my money back.” The only thing more satisfying than prank calling is watching through a window while you do it. After I’m done I like to call Papa John’s and tell them about it. Make sure to note every move the person makes and every garment they wear.

2.) If you thought puzzles were rainy day fun, try tanning – tanning is a sacred time. A time to go over the events of the day and relax with one’s thoughts, or take a twenty-minute power nap. The last thing I want to do is take a shower afterward, it’s just more shh – er – stuff, I gotta do now. Well, unless it’s Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday or Wednesday, in which case I just got done sleeping all day. Either way, I love it when it rains after I’m done tanning. You already have to walk home, the rain allows you to cool off and get clean at the same time.

3.) Call home. Chances are your parents are way more unhappy than you are – I’ve just been doing graduation announcements and I called home to make sure what the requirements for cum laude were. My dad said, “You have to have a 3.5 or better, but you can put it on there anyway. If you’re gonna lie, though, you might as well put summa cum laude.” I laughed, but then he said, “Do it. They’re just announcements.” As I realized my father was only half joking, I could hear my mother yelling at him in the background. She could probably smell that he was smiling. After I hung up the phone I was relieved that I wasn’t married and then decided on a happy compromise for my announcements: magna cum laude.

4.) Plan B. Nooo, not the emergency contraception, although that’s fun too. I’m talking about planning an alternate future, just in case, you know, ‘coz you’re dumb – sometimes I wake up at night with cold sweats, wondering what I would do if I didn’t graduate. Then I remember that I can always write children’s books; they’ll let just about anybody do that. My brainchild is a series called Cowbones Loves Calzones and it is about the misadventures of a cow skeleton who is just nuts for the Italian delicacy.

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Here is a synopsis of volume one: Cowbones is in the desert. She looks up in the sky and to no one in particular says, “I would give my left hoof for a calzone!” Suddenly a calzone on a ceramic dish appears out of nowhere. As she steps forward to eat it, she stumbles due to her missing left hoof and breaks her snoot. She is rendered unable to eat her precious calzone. Moral of the story: Don’t give up something you need for something you want. First purchase with my millions: a pair of galoshes.

Okay, that’s it for my relaxation tips. I hope they helped you, but just to clarify, if they didn’t, please don’t contact me, I don’t care, really.