It happens every year. As summer fades to fall, this city gets clogged with a new batch of freshmen. I watch them stroll wide-eyed and slack-jawed into the welcoming womb of the university system, and I hate them. I hate every one of them. How dare they gorge themselves on canned beer and book learning while the rest of us working stiffs are condemned to 9-to-5 on the hamster wheel? It's just not fair.
But instead of getting mad this year, I'm getting even. If they can learn, I can too. What's my major? Everything. No, scratch that … Everything awesome. That's right, this time I'm going for the whole enchilada: full Renaissance man. By the time these post-pubescents are thinking about graduate school, I will be a card-carrying Homo Universalis.
Impossible, you say? Wait until you get a look at my plan. Especially since I've figured out a way to quench my thirst for Eternal Knowledge without setting foot outside of Central Virginia.
1. I want to be the life of the party.
First, I'll need interesting stuff to talk about. A few night classes at the University of Richmond should do the trick. I've got my eye on Volcanology, The History of Ideas and Advanced Canine Logic . When things slow down, I'll jazz up the room with a little tribal belly dancing and perhaps a wicked bagpipe solo that I pick up from the lads of the Greater Richmond Pipe & Drums. And once the keg runs dry, I'll snap to action using advanced mixology techniques from the Professional Bartending Academy . Next time you're out, look for me. I'll be the smart-looking guy shaking his moneymaker with a pitcher of Tequilatinis and a T-shirt that reads, "Ask me about Krakatoa."
2. I want to kick it really old school.
VCRs? Microwave popcorn? A true Renaissance man has little need for the conveniences of the modern world. That's why I'll add some retro flavor to my Learn-a-Palooza with a pair of golden oldies. While the rest of the civilized world wastes their thumb-strength Tweeting from their Blackberries, I'll have the ladies at Quilting Adventures calling me "Peter Scissorhands" in no time when I'm rocking a needle and thread on some stupid-soft quilts and pillows. YouTube may be hilarious, but you'll never find a viral video that can keep your toes warm at night. And since every yin needs a yang, I'll balance my feminine side with the hippest, hardest, most hardcore man-skill of all time: blacksmithing at the Visual Arts Center. I'm going to bang out so many metal broadswords, battle-axes and candelabras that the poor anvil is going to go to bed crying every night. Some of you may think that I'm wasting my time living in the past. But we'll see who wasted what when I'm the one with a living room full of decorative horseshoes and sock monkeys!
3. I want to be a superhero.
I'll start at the MMA Institute and learn how to fight. I'll ask Rick McCoy to be my Mr. Miyagi. He was Virginia's first mixed-martial-arts fighter. My ultimate goal is to learn how to take down evildoers quickly, effectively and with little to no chance they can punch me in the nose or kidneys. I know from watching Dog the Bounty Hunter that bad guys don't like getting caught. That's why the bail-bondsman training I get from the Insight School of Investigations will help ensure I always get my man. And thanks to my superior sewing skills (see No. 2), I'll have an amazing costume that will look even better when I swoop down on lawbreakers in my new crime-fighting hang glider .
4. I want to make my wife happy.
A wise man once said that a husband's only job is to make his wife happy. What that wise man failed to mention is that the job involves a complex skill set including basic toilet repair, ornate sushi construction and mastery of the art of foot massage . Of course, I could rest after satisfying the basic requirements of spousal bliss, but why stop there? I'm going to learn how to say " Je vis d'amour et d'eau fraîche " while doing a walley jump leading into a triple lutz. And if private tutoring in French and figure-skating lessons at the Richmond Ice Zone aren't enough, I'll resort to my nuclear option — pole dancing (with some help from the exotic-dance experts at Studio X on West Broad Street).
5. I want to join an elite team of international jewel thieves.
I'm no idiot. I know that Ocean's Eleven wasn't a documentary. But I also know that big heists get pulled all the time. There are probably genius thieves in Europe right now who would kill for a doughy white dude with a totally unique skill set. That's why after I complete my remote-controlled helicopter lessons and private tutoring in Arabic and Mandarin , I'm off to fencing lessons with the Richmond Fencing Club and my ninja-fighting class at Richmond Budo. In between "jobs" I'll go undercover as a mild-mannered fly fisherman on the James River.