I walked May of 1998. I had "Show Me The Money" written on the top of my mortarboard/awesome hat. My family threw me a rager party in Jersey (Gram and Grandad showed up!). In DC they took me and my friends to the Cheesecake Factory to celebrate. I went to the same Cheesecake a year later and the valedictorian of my class, he was a mutha-fuckin' waiter there. And yes, immediately after the blessed event family members, parishoners, and close friends of family members did indeed show me the money. Talk about gettin' checks for drinking, smoking, and chasing two things: 1) ass and 2) extensions on papers. I was even listed on the school website in 03 as a celebrity alum. Chris Wylde gameshow host. The year is now 2006. I realized something not long ago
When you graduate, you get handed a thing. While you're handed that thing you shake hands with the dean, the presidents of school and university, et al. You even get your picture taken at the moment you get handed the thing. I, of course, opted not to shake hands but rather leap into the arms of president of the American University, Benjamin Ladner (now thrown out for embezzlement). A really queer photo was born that day that none may ever see. The thing that President Osama Ben Ladner (was calling him that in 97 son!) handed me before I assaulted him was not my diploma, friends. It should have been. It would have created a truly special moment. But it was just a thing a guy handed me that I think I even had to give back at the end. Yesterday it dawned on me, I never got handed a diploma. I never got a diploma.
I never received a college diploma. A cold shame besmirches the Wylde family name.
I called my United Methodist minister mother.
CHRIS: Yo mom, did AU ever send you my diploma?
REVMOM: No they never sent me that shit.
CHRIS: Are you sure you didn't get it. It was the 90's. You were in that happy Clinton coma. You did a lot of weird stuff you probably have chosen to forget.
REVMOM: Bullshit artist! Trust me, they never sent it to me. If they had I woulda hung it in a frame next to your sheet music from Working Girl with Carly Simon's autograph and the box of pizza with your picture on it.
CHRIS: Yeah mom, those are real treasures.
REVMOM: You can't put a price on a memory, asshole. You want to talk to your father?
CHRIS: (click noise)
I called the school.
CHRIS: So yeah, what the fuck?
AU: Sir, calm down. It says here that you were given an incomplete on a one credit course you took in the fall of 97.
CHRIS: Oh dear Lord.
It all came flooding back so swiftly. It was like when the ring rolls on the floor in front of Bruce Willis and he realizes oh dip I'm a ghost! That one credit class. I tried to squeeze it in first semester senior year, but couldn't so I said I'll do it next semester. I put it off, procrastinated. Turns out 8 years later I have really nailed this whole procrastination deal. In order to get my beloved diploma I need to run the lighting board of a college play.
I was a theatre major which of course is a needed, important degree. Congratulations, we taught you pretend. And I never ran lights. I need to do that in order to graduate. But guess what? If I majored in Theatre, then my minor was surely Pride. Not the pride a homosexual feels when he marches through a gay neighborhood on a rainbow float wearing leather dancing next to a Shim in sequins. I'm talking about the pride of a man with 5 cancelled television series under his belt since pseudo-graduation. Surely the guy who currently toplessly sells State Farm insurance (like a good neighbor bitches!) doesn't need to hang some frikkin' lights! They have professional guys on a set who do that. They're called grips. And these guys did not study Ibsen, Shakespeare, or Stella flippin' Adler when they went to college. Which is somewhere they probably never went. What am I to do friends, what am I to do? What would you do?
What would you do?
To Be Continued