To the Straunzinililielius 922-V University Admissions Board,
I have lived what you might call an eventful life. A child prodigy, I was making breakthrough discoveries in chemistry and astrophysics before my age hit the double digits. By fourteen I had acquired my doctorate from Harvard (one of my planet’s most prestigious colleges, though paltry by your standards I’m sure), and I don’t mean to brag or anything, but when I was twenty-three I invented an artificial gateway system for Earth, my home planet, which allowed my species to make the prodigious jumps through hyperspace needed to get anywhere.
Yes, I realize it must be surprising that an Earthling is applying to one of the most challenging institutions in the universe. I believe I’m the only Earthling to do so, and as you’ll see, the only one with any qualifications.
After my gateway breakthrough, I set out to explore the now-open rest of the universe. I’ve borne my fair share of trials, let me assure you: two years spent shucking Gloosles on Armine for a ticket off the planet, six years on the prison planet Hockthoros over what turned out to be a misunderstanding. But I never once let my aspirations waver. I knew I was destined for greatness, and I kept living in search of the path that would lead to it.
Finally I found a planet that treated me like a living creature. They taught me the Universal Language and extended my lifespan indefinitely, which was necessary, since the Universal Language took fifty years to learn by itself. What was this hospitable planet? You guessed it: Straunzinililielius 922-V. It didn’t take me long in your solar system to discover your illustrious university, and after visiting it some weeks ago I knew at once that it was the right one for me. I may be 700 years old, but I feel it’s never too late to start fresh.
I look forward to your acceptance. Because I mean, come on: of course you’re going to let me in. I’m the one who allowed Earth to travel the galaxies.
Dr. Tad McCollam
P.S. I doubt that I need to inform you about your Affirmative Action policies, requiring a minimum number of race- and species-based acceptances from the board, which I assume includes Homo sapiens.
P.P.S. My father is a lawyer.
* * * * * * *
We regret to inform you that we cannot offer you a place in our school this semester. Yes, our application pool is large, and in fact the three million students we have enrolled at any given time only constitute .0000005 percent of total applicants, but to be direct, the issue here lies solely with your so-called “qualifications.”
It’s not that we aren’t impressed that you, an Earthling, were able to create wormhole technology at such a tender age, but you have to understand that that’s like — we’re using our telepathy here to find an appropriate comparison — that’s like you being impressed at a dog who put sunglasses on his own face by himself. You should know that Straunzinililielian babies have to invent wormhole technology just to make it out of the womb, and if that doesn’t drive the point home, consider this: it took you fifty years to learn the Universal Language, but we glanced at one of your sentences and became fluent in English instantly.
And while it is true that we enforce Affirmative Action policies, and thus must fulfill certain quotas for students of all species, if you refer to the list of prerequisites you will find that we also utilize a minimum age requirement of thirty Staavs for enrollment, or, in Earth time, 14,196 years. Unfortunately, your 700 Earth years aren’t enough to meet our requirements, as we do not accept infants into our college. If you would like to apply in 13,496 years, we will be open to reviewing your qualifications at that time.
Finally, a note: it is considered bad form to use subtly placed threats of lawsuits in an admissions letter’s postscript. But more importantly, we would like to warn you that Straunzinililielius 922-V, and indeed most of the civilized universe, has forbidden lawyer-related practices as an unforgivable crime. If your father — who, by the way, we know is just a piddling defense attorney operating out of a tiny office next door to a Quiznos — were to come within 35,000 light-years of this planet he would be promptly vaporized by the Reaper Drones of All Space. We suggest you tell him to stay in Duluth.
We wish you the best of luck in finding a college that suits your abilities/accepts toddlers.
Please don’t call us,
Straunzinililielius 922-V University Admissions Board
P.S. Hockthoros was not a misunderstanding. You were incarcerated for assault of a mailbox while inebriated by illegal narcotics. Drug abuse is not something we condone at Straunzinililielius 922-V U, Mr. McCollam, and neither is lying. Good day.