Sunday, June 04, 2006

School's Out!

School's out for summer! Friday was the last day until the kids go back in late August.

Remember how that used to feel? That is, if you've been out of school as long as I have and can still remember those feelings. If the school year was over on Friday afternoon then I had all weekend to think of how great it was going to be on Monday morning with nothing to do…no school to get up for…no worries about a math test, or a term paper that was due (that I hadn't started to write). Then Monday would come along and by noon I'd be bored because being footloose and without responsibilities always sounds fun, but falls short of expectations.

Anyway, school's out, so starting tomorrow about noon you'll hear kids start to whine, "Mom, I'm bored! Can we go to the waterpark? Can we go on a trip to Disneyland? Can you stick me in a cannon and shoot me anywhere but this boring place?" Ever notice that kids always want to do something that costs money? You say to them, "Go out and play with your friends!" and the kids say, "Give us $20 so we can go to the mall." That's their idea of playing. Going to the mall. We had to find different games to play because we were bored but we didn't have any money nor did we have parents who had money to give us.

We played a game called eggs. Kids sat on someone's front porch and one kid stood in front of the sitters. The one standing would say, "Do we have any green eggs?" and if anyone had chosen green to be the color of their eggs then they'd jump up and the kid who did the asking would chase them around the yard until they caught them. Then that person became "It" and asked for colors. Pretty dumb game, really, because it depends on having some sort of personal integrity and honesty. I found myself one time asking every color I knew of and no one jumped up. Finally in exasperation I asked, "Well, what color are your eggs?" and one kid said, "My eggs are greenish-purple," and another said, "My eggs are chartreuse with a tiny bit of mauve as a highlight." (That last one I made up.)

This year one of the ladies I've worked with for over 20 years retired and on the last day we spoke for awhile about our mutual friends and coworkers. She complained about one of my coworkers and said, "It's worth it to retire and not listen to that guy's phony bullshit. If he'd come in to my school one more time and said, 'How are you, young lady?'--I'm not young and hearing that makes me feel even older--I was going to cut his fucking nuts off."


A female guidance counselor in one of the junior high schools motioned me into her office. She was signing kids' yearbooks by using a rubber stamp. She stamped the back of my calf with a rubber stamp of a purple elephant. I wear shorts, just so you know I didn't have to drop my pants. When I washed most of it came off, but it looked like a bruise and I hoped my wife wouldn't ask me about it. She didn't.

This year I wasn't victimized like I have been in previous years. I didn't get my District truck shaving-cream bombed or get any personal insults (that I noticed anyway). Junior high kids like to bait me. They will be with their friends and say something smartass, at which time I act like I'm deaf as a cement post. This year some kid said something I don't remember because I really wasn't listening, and when I didn't respond he told his buddies, "He's not allowed to talk to us." Hell, I'm allowed, kid…you just don't wanna know what I'd say to you if I talked to you.

To all of you who graduated, have graduates in your family…to all of you who are through with school for yet another summer and are counting down the years until you're done, hope you have a good summer and quit your bitchin' about not having anything to do. Go get a job. As for me, I'm a 12-month contract employee so I go to work every day regardless of the season. Schools are open 12 months of the year, you know, because someone has to get them ready for when school starts up again. It's a process that starts even before the kids leave in June.

Ciao for now, El Postino

My 17-month old granddaughter Bella gets a call while she's at our house on Saturday. Some kid asking her to a graduation dance. She says, "Hey, call me back in about 17 years, willya?"

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