MAD DOG: Why Johnny Shouldn't Go to College
It starts at an early age. You know, the brain washing: graduate high school, go to college, earn at least one degree, then get a job that pays lots of money so you can live the American Dream and live happily ever after. The problem is, most of us would rather hang out at the mall, go to Europe, earn lots of Frequent Flier Miles, and win the American Family Publisher's sweepstakes so we can live the American Dream and live happily ever after. Of course that may not be possible much longer, seeing as how Ed McMahon and Dick Clark are under fire for allegedly misleading people. Damn, we may have to get an education and do it the hard way after all.But now it's looking like the traditional parental advice to get a higher education may not be all it's cracked up to be. Sure, there's always been the traditional There-are-plenty-of-ways-to-get-a-good-job-and-make-good-money-without-a-lot-of-education line. And it can work. After all, plumbers do it. Auto mechanics do it. Hell, Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard to write software and he did okay for himself -- he ended up owning Earth.No, it turns out the best reasons for not getting that extra degree are being espoused by researchers. You know, the same people who tell us that smoking cigarettes is bad, eating less fat is good, and movies based on Saturday Night Live skits can cause brain damage. Or is that caused by brain damage?Anyway, it's now being revealed that education is bad for your health. This came to light in a study published in the February issue of American Demographics magazine (motto: "They cut down trees for this?") which claims that the more education you have the less sex you have. Who would have thought you'd trade one sheepskin for another?The study also says that married people have more sex, older people have less sex, and Presidents don't have improper relationships, though it doesn't define an improper relationship. These are hardly startling conclusions. After all, married people have readily available sex partners, the older we get the more likely we are to forget to have sex, and Presidents, well, they have a long-standing tradition to uphold, and after all, if our leaders can't be traditional, who can?It would be easy to assume that the reason highly educated people aren't having much sex is because they're busy trying to decipher the latest Pynchon novel, watching French movies subtitled in Latin, having long discourses about the relative merits of the buckyball, and watching billions and billions of science shows on PBS. But apparently this isn't true. Oddly enough, the study says that people who watch a lot of PBS are having more sex than those who watch prime time TV!It's doubtful this is caused by the high arousal factor of Miss Marple. I hope. More than likely it's the result of extreme boredom during Part 17 of Ken Burns' "Millard Filmore -- A Man and his ZZZZzzzzzz" series, the sight of yet another British comedian running around the countryside in drag, and the fact that prime time viewers consistently fall asleep at the beginning of Suddenly Susan and don't wake up until the Today show.But there's another possibility. Another recent study -- which is just what we needed -- says the more education you have, the more likely you are to get headaches. As reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association (motto: "Thank God for drug company advertising."), only 30 percent of men and 38 percent of women with high school diplomas have problems with headaches. Meanwhile, 49 percent of those with graduate degrees do.This raises an important question: Do highly educated people have less sex because they have more headaches? Or do they get more headaches because they're not getting enough sex? Personally, I'm getting a headache just thinking about it.This will put a whole new spin on those personality tests children take in school. Instead of asking the usual questions, like whether you'd rather read a book or eat a pound of dirt, or whether you'd rather go to the opera or dance in the middle of the street naked while singing the Star Spangled Banner, they'll offer a whole new set of options. Like: Would you rather get a masters degree or live a life free from headaches? Or: Would you rather get a Ph.D. and win the admiration of everyone around you or have sex?When you put it that way, dropping out of high school doesn't sound like a bad idea.