His words hung heavily in the air. I tried to come to terms with what I'd just heard. "Excuse me?" I managed to stammer.
"You heard me," he asserted twirling an unlit cigarette between his fingers, "You'll go onto an island, you'll get a spray tan, then a regular tan, as your skin becomes crisped by the sun. You'll reveal something deeply personally embarrassing, probably due to some mild heat stroke from being in the sun all day, that will be broadcast to millions. Then, you'll be filmed, using a special night-vision camera, in flagrante with a yoga instructor from Barnsley under a duvet. From this well, fame and notoriety will issue forth."
He leaned back in his chair, a mug of weak green tea steaming gently on the desk between us.
"But," I began, "That's not a career." He paused, and stared at me, a slight frown spreading across his face, exhaling so that, if you were close enough you could see the ends of his nose-hair flutter. "What does that say?" He pointed toward a small wooden sign on his desk, "Huh? Read it boy." I let my eyes skim over it, "Careers Guidance Counsellor."
"Exactly boy!" He growls leaning forward suddenly so that the steam rising from his tea begins to steam up his glasses. "So if I say it's a career it's a career! Now I don't want to hear another peep out of you about wanting to become a 'lawyer' or 'entrepeneur' or whatever else it was you were banging on about. They're 10 a penny! What society really needs is people to go to an Iberian island and try competitively sex one another." He looked me up and down, "Though you may need to start hitting the gym a bit before then."
Understandably it came as no surprise to any of us in that school when this Careers Guidance Counsellor was taken away by the relevant authorities. Due to a heady mixture of rapid physical deterioration brought about by a plethora of questionable lifestyle choices during my college years and a deep-rooted Catholic sense of bodily shame, I failed to heed his advice.
However, should you think that you are emotionally prepared to implant yourself into a rural Spanish villa so that you may be scrutinised by a viewing public while you try and negotiate a minefield of sexual dynamics, then this is the opportunity for you! Applications for this summer's season of Love Island are now open.
The closing date for applications is April 30, so you've got plenty of time to mull over whether you think this would be a good decision for yourself and those close to you - then to ignore all the valid reasons you come up with against applying, and to fill out that dang form!
So if you, or someone you know, is suitably shame-free then why not apply?