Given Princeton’s academic rigor, I am appalled to see that it lacks any formal instruction in my divine art. Rather than forcing tomorrow’s brightest minds to learn my science on the streets, I have resolved to outline a few basic principles.
First, I shall prove my existence – for some doubt that, among such compulsively overachieving students as at Princeton, I could ever exist. And so, the famous Ontological Proof. Assume there is no procrastination. If that is true, then you are currently doing something productive. But you are also reading this inane letter, which is not productive. This is an inherent contradiction. Q.E.D., there is procrastination at Princeton.
My Proof also demonstrates the most basic law of procrastination: disguise me as something as ostensibly productive as possible. If you notice, the form of my Proof is phrased so that it could be disguised as a way to sharpen one’s logical skills. The procrastinator could pass off reading this letter as part of his “liberal arts education.” Staring slack-jawed at the wall, although perhaps pleasant, is hardly a way to go procure my blessings. A blatantly pointless activity will quickly make you realize how much of a bum you truly are. This is why activities like listening to music (while ostensibly sweeping your room), checking friends’ AIM profiles (“keeping in touch”), and spending enormous periods in the dining hall (“education outside the classroom”) are quite useful in their uselessness.
What’s this I hear? That I am “the thief of time?” And what time do I steal? The time it takes to acquire wisdom? A wise man, in the words of wise Erasmus, is “thrifty, impoverished, miserable, grumpy, harsh and unjust to himself, disagreeable and unpopular with his fellows, pale and thin, sickly and blear-eyed, prematurely white-haired and senile, worn-out and dying before his time.” So all I do is save you from yourself. Erasmus himself knew all about this – he even said he wrote Praise of Folly to amuse himself. I have no doubt that Folly herself would lend me her support, if I ever got around to asking for it. And so we have the unique situation of a wise man and Folly agreeing on one thing: aaaaaah.
[Here Procrastination breaks off. The best linguistic evidence suggests “aaaaaah” should be pronounced in the back of the throat, as an indication that Procrastination just got bored and quit.]