How my school days prepared me for a world which doesn’t exist, and didn’t prepare me for the one that does


SCHOOL DAYS. They were so long ago, you probably don’t remember them. Or maybe what you remember didn’t happen.

I’m talking about you, not about me. My memories, of being the team captain and MVP, are as sound as any Ken Burns documentary. See how the camera pans across a photo of me, holding an electrified cattle prod to keep from being torn to pieces by sex-crazed females? It’s more dramatic with video, but that’s what you get when imaginary Ken Burns narrates the Dionysian out-in-the-woods madness that was your school days.

I find it amazing that school was preparing me for a world which was non-existent pretty much on the day I left. There was a hole for an ink well in all my desks, up to grade seven. I may as well have spent my days in a monastery, scraping a translation of the Septuagint into a rock, using some sort of ancient rune language like a Tolkien character.

The idea (I guess) was that I’d finish school and get a job in one of the town’s now-defunct factories. I’m not saying that my teachers should have known about the Internet, which was decades away when I was in grammar school. But they could have at least caught up to where things actually were. Ballpoint pens were not only on Star Trek.

I like living in the 21st Century more than I liked the 20th. There’s so much more to do. For example, here’s something I found on Twitter.

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First of all, Kindle books. Wow, right? A book that is electronic, that you read on a computer.

I would like to go back to 1977 and show a Kindle ebook to my grade six teacher, Mr. Gardiner. Then I’d watch his head explode. You see, back then I didn’t have things that could make my teachers’ heads explode. And that alone makes the 21st Century The. Best. Century.

Second of all, this.


Here is a person who, for five dollars, will post a five-star review of your Kindle ebook on Amazon. This is totally unethical, and who knows there may also be a negative side. For an extra fee they will buy copies of your ebook and download them as well, which I guess helps get your stats going. Whatever. I just think it’s remarkable that this is a thing that someone does for money, and that people will pay for.

I intend to contact this person to ask if they actually write the review with a massive, human-size pencil. Because I think it would be worth five dollars to sit at home and know that at that very moment someone was writing about my ebook with a pencil that weighs five hundred pounds and requires an articulated lorrie to bring the sharpener.

This amazing website is, and it’s filled with people who will do stuff for you for five dollars.

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Think about how insane it is that we’ve gone from a small-town, do-as-your-boss-says world to this—people making up jobs on the Internet. The five dollar part is kind of a drag, because who can live on five dollars? But when you get inside this website, you realize the “I will do X for $5” is a loss leader, and that it’s possible to make real money using this model.

So I got logicalling. What would I be willing to do for five dollars? While I was thinking I poured myself a drink and read a scientific study. Here is an excerpt.

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I don’t know that I agree with this article, but who am I to argue with science? Even if I do see a lot of not-so-geniusy types stumbling out of the bars on a Saturday night. Maybe they were smart a few hours earlier. As far as I can tell, the study doesn’t say.

Anyways, this article inspired my million dollar idea.


I figure it will work something like this.

I’ll drink your scotch for $5. If it’s a blend, it’s gonna cost you more. Also, Johnnie Walker Red is going to cost you more than Black. I mean, I’ll drink it if that’s what you want. But that’s my loss leader. I have a product funnel which works like this: Johnnie Walker Red, Black, Double-Black, Green, Gold, Blue. (NOTE: I don’t actually drink these through a funnel: that’s a marketing term.)

Email me to ask for a price list. Also note that I will not drink Writer’s Tears.


Find me on Twitter and, also, here is my new book.


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