From the Xanga Archives: Welcome to the Institution

Well everybody, I’m getting married! You heard it here first. I proposed in a karaoke booth after singing “Happy Together” with Laura and she said yes. I’m so excited!

Now begins the annoying, convoluted, and potentially long process of getting myself a UK visa. The multifarious intricacies of the application process and of UK immigration law in general reminded me of a post I wrote on my embarassingly personal old blog,, when I was frustrated with the unnecessarily fiddly bureaucracy at my alma mater, Occidental College. Here it is, followed by a classic cartoon that also came out of my frustration. Enjoy!

Welcome to the Institution. We hope you enjoy your stay.

Your first week will be spent in rigorous and delightful orientation programs. You will be tickled, yelled at, washed, spun to dry, and fed. You will not be given maps, instructions, pamphlets, guidebooks, calculators, refunds, lemons, or access to our file cabinets. Please be aware that the Institution assumes no responsibility if you are unable to be oriented.

During the first week, you will attend mandatory socialization seminars, in addition to safety, health, sexual hygiene, oral hygiene, moral hygiene, awareness, recognition, and catharsis training sessions. You will not be briefed on protocol, expectations, disciplinary measures, animal husbandry, home improvement, “Home Improvement,” or authoring. Carnivals are provided free of charge every 10 minutes in the parking structure. Failure to engage in at least 3 carnivals by the end of the second week will result in automatic suspension of your identity. If you do not reclaim your identity by the end of the third week by filling out the requisite application form, with all required stamps and signatures, your files will be purged from the Office and moved into the Department, where they will come before a panel to decide on a date for their partial incineration. Applications to reclaim your identity will be unavailable after the third week. Thereafter, you may petition for a retroactive application with a minimum of 50 signatures (40 of which must be from people you have never seen before). Your petition will then be brought before the Committee, who will carefully review your petition and reach a decision by no later than 5:00 PM (HST) on the third Thursday of the following month. If your petition is accepted, you may apply to reclaim your identity, but you will incur a penalty fee of no less than 1/250 of the Supervisor’s projected salary for the next fiscal year (this is approximately equivalent to the cube of one month’s engagement fees). Retroactive applications will only be accepted after a thorough examination by the Office. You must explain all extenuating circumstances (including the number of igloos in which you have resided, and the length of time spent in each one) in an essay not to exceed five (V) words in order to prepare your retroactive application for the recommendable procedures.

For more information on orientation and identity reclamation regulations, please revisit Part B of your Institutional Handbook, Section 2, item J, psalm 4:23, line 3.

During your first year at the Institution you will be offered the opportunity to sit at a desk. It is recommendable that you accept this opportunity and thank the Supervisor with at least three (3) signatures in the log.

Approximately 55% (or 2/3) of your time at the Institution must be spent trying to destroy the other 45%. The Intranet will assist you in determining the most efficient and acceptable way to manage your percentages. Percentage negotiations are not permitted, except in the case of accidental death (excluding murder, suicide, Japanese “love suicide,” or spider bites), in which case your family will be reimbursed with at least 35% of your time. Time spent in mandatory orientation sessions, form completion exercises, spheres, or altered states of mind are considered extraneous and/or frivolous and will not count towards your time quota. The Department recommends that you attain your time quota by enlisting in activities specified by the Annual Report on Substantive Activities (ARSA) published by the Institutional Commission on Fulfillment and Development (ICFD). Activities listed in the ARSA database from previous years are considered problematic and will be discussed (we recommend discussing problematic activities with the Associate Mentor, who has access to this paragraph). Contradictions found between various ARSA publications should be reported to the Office, who will then audit the ARSA as well as the Institutional Handbook and the United States Constitution to determine the flavor of the activities in question (for more information on this process, please consult our page on ARSA Degustation and Digestion, located on the G drive, accessible through any Intranet outpost operating on LINUX or Windows 95). After the audit has been completed, you will be asked to undergo a routine physical examination from the Medical Center to test for psychosis, IBS, foreign languages, dental caries, and acne. If you are diagnosed with breast cancer or Remedial Pregnancy Disorder (RPD), we will be forced to (temporarily) revoke your identity until the Council on Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis has touched your genitals (occasionally, this may cause discomfort and possibly asphyxiation; you will be given more information on this during the mandatory health training sessions administered during the first week). Your physical examination can only occur after you receive your Institutional Insurance card, which is provided to all users of slang for approximately 113% of your current insurance premiums (or the square of two (2) months’ engagement fees). Please keep in mind that you will not be permitted to engage in any Substantive Activities unless you have verified your identity and stapled it to your identification badge, to be carried at all times.

If you wish to submit activities from other Institutions to count towards your time quota, you will be served a subpoena and a light brunch. In accordance with the Institutional Mission Statement and the Intranet User Agreement, you may not refuse the light brunch (free samples of this brunch are available upon request, but please be aware that you will only receive the most tasty morsels of the brunch usually reserved for the Trustees). Failure to attend the brunch or accept the free samples will result in immediate suspicion and cause unrest in the Department.

If you have any questions, please feel free to submit yourself to the Brig, located on the basement level of the Founder’s Hall of Symbiotics.


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