Thursday, December 4, 2008

How to survive your child's school crap

Okay, so they're not exactly my kids, but they're awfully damn close. They are the fruit of loins that come from the same fruit of loins that I came from. Yep, my nephews.

Several weeks ago, my brother-in-law (do we really have to bring the "law" into this?) decided to take a day off from work and begged his wife, my sister, to play hooky as well. Being the stick in the mud that she is (i.e. responsible), she said no. He got pissed off, hopped on his bike, a Kawasaki Concurs (i.e. big mother fucking bike), revved the engine up nice and tight, drag raced himself down the driveway and promptly lost control of the behemoth roaring between his legs. He laid it down, or rather, it laid itself down on top of him, and after what I'm sure was a few panicked hours later, he woke up in the hospital. For a week or so there, it was touch and go (like so many of my dates). There were tubes going into and out of him, and that's never a good thing. But he did finally awake, with less sedation, and started being the nice, if slightly incoherent, guy he should've been all along.

Through it all, of course, being the callous bastard that I am, all I could think was, "Dude . . . you fucked up!"

Bec ause it only takes a fraction of a second, doesn't it? To make that decision that costs you your life or your leg or you penis (God forbid!) or anything else for that matter.

To make a long story short(er), he's going to be okay, but it's going to take awhile. In the meantime, I've been corralled into staying for a week or so at a time to drive the nephews to school while my lovely sis visits her idiot, scratch that, banged up husband in the hospital.

Surprise, surprise, this involved me attending the "Recycle Faire" at the youngest's school. I've never attended a "Recycle Faire" before, but I had an idea what Elementary School was like when I attended some four decades ago, and I had little reason to believe it had improved.

My boy, the youngest nephew, diagnosed with Asberger's Syndrome (which always calls the phrase "Ass Burger" to my head when I think of it), which is a mild form of autism, had created a PowerPoint presentation and had somehow reformed two radial tires into "Recycled" sandals, which had mysteriously been lost by the teacher, but which would also just as mysteriously show up the day after the "Recycle Faire".

Repeat after me: recycle stuff.

There. Now you know all you need to know. What took the Elementary school numerous presentations, skits, music, painted posters, etc. ad fucking nauseum etc. I just managed to do in two words. The entire evening consisted of one media event after another of the word "recycle" being used enough times that I seriously considered recycling my own vomit.

But, since I was just an uncle and not a parent, and since no one at the school had the foggiest idea who the hell I was, I had prepared myself well ahead of time.

That's right: shortly before the beginning of the festivities, your hero, asshole incarnate, or is that asshole in carnal, anyway, I dropped acid. Flying Eyeball, to be exact. Three dots of some extraordinarily expensive LSD. I timed it almost perfectly.

By the time the fruit of my father's daughter's loins PowerPoint presentation hit the screen, I was not only well lubricated, I was folded, ironed and slightly scorched. Never was there a more interesting, compelling and amusing presentation.

When Roby the Robot came on to tell us in his mechanical voice about how Recycling was important . . . I was riveted. Wow, recycling . . . is like cycling . . . again. Wow, watching the beams of light flowing to and from a projector screen is like watching lint imitate popcorn, and if you ever cared to know, a projection screen is, in fact, not salty at all, but rather bland, and tastes slightly like rice.

By the time the two little girls were finishing their skit which repeated the phrase "Recycling is Good" no less than 52 times (the same number of cards in a deck; coincidence? I think not, or way too much and way too fast actually), I was sitting on the floor, laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes. My hand shot up first for every question. Steel cans are the most recycled material in the nation, and yes, you can even recycle circuit boards, transforming (magically) phone circuitry into personal computers, EKG circuitry to Fallout 3, a game I've discovered also during my one week stay at my sister's house is grossly inappropriate for children under the age of 34. Okay, so a few of my answers might have been a little off base. Screaming "Bloated Clown Balloons!!!!" twenty-two times in a row does tend to get the attention of the attending teacher.

Anyway, the real point here is that if you have children you almost certainly have to attend one or more of their events. Politics aside, accurate data aside, you have to sit and look interested, which is why I recommend drugs. LSD, marijuana, mushrooms (one of my personal faves), is a sure way to make the evening fun and lively for all involved.

On the plus side, while I am allowed to drop my nephews off at school, I'm now and until further notice forbidden from attending any extra-curricular school events. Who could ask for more?!?

Why are we fighting a war on drugs again?

Just curious.

Aaron Diaz Hoal

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