“My school was so tough the school newspaper had an obituary section.” – Norm Crosby

With the school year about to begin we thought we’d take this opportunity to conduct an exhaustive survey of the state of modern education at the dawn of the twenty-first century. Ha-ha, just kidding, what we really want to do is deliver our regular back-to-school message to all the young scholars preparing to resume their studies in the middle of a heat wave:



Yep, here we are, junior. Remember that glorious day, probably in early June – aren’t they all glorious in June – when your school let out for Summer vacation? You thought it would never end, didn’t you? You would lie on your back in the grass with gentle zephyrs wafting by and observe the fluffy white clouds scudding along, momentarily forming interesting shapes, then dissolving into other interesting shapes. And now here’s mom, dragging you to Walmart and Target, maybe even Sam’s or Costco to rummage around for spiral notebooks and yellow hi-liters, #2 pencils and 4 pocket folders, Elmer’s Glue and loose-leaf paper. You haven’t gotten your homeroom assignment yet, but you know it’s going to be either the lady with three strings of pearls and a bun so tight she can barely close her eyes, or the guy with the tumbleweed ear hair who wears argyle sweater vests and clears his throat after every third word. Either way, you’re doomed.

Then there’s the seating chart. What if they put you next to the hay fever guy who sneezes so many germs onto your Social Studies book you have to microwave it after class. On the other hand, maybe you’ll sit next to that cute girl who had a locker across the hall from yours. The one who told you there was a piece of spinach on your front tooth in the cafeteria? Then she told you Kennywood was open. Don’t worry, girls don’t remember stuff like that. Besides she was so impressed with your comprehensive knowledge of Mixed Martial Arts and the UFC that those little miscues have faded into insignificance. Your Mom thinks you should ask her to the semi and you know what that means. You might have to learn how to dance. This is going to be a tough year

What about sports? When you were running laps last Spring, remember how you tripped over your own feet and collided with the kid in the next lane, giving him a concussion? The gym teacher was a little off the hook about having to call an ambulance, but when the football coach found out about it he said you ought to try out. Mom was totally against it until Dad pointed out what a semester in college was going for these days, and besides, what are the chances you’d get in on your grades. Or your looks. If you’re good at knocking people over without even trying, why not make a career of it? Plus, you’re walking into walls half the time anyway, so if they fit you for a helmet, you can wear it all day for your own protection. Old Dad, he doesn’t pull any punches.

OK, clothes. Is there still time to switch to one of those schools with uniforms? Also, isn’ t wardrobe the one thing that Mao Tse Tung got right? Like, when an old fashioned Chinese Communist wakes up, his big decision is whether to wear his green Mao suit or his other green Mao suit. They never had to worry about whether they wanted to look preppy with the pleated Dockers or working class with the black jeans. Shirts? Polo or oxford? To tuck or not to tuck? This is probably why China became such a big economic power. They made all those clothes, but they didn’t have to waste a lot of time worrying about which ones to wear. Dress tennies or regular? High tops or low?

Maybe you better take some time to think it over. Pull on a tee-shirt and shorts. Go out in the yard, barefoot, and lie on your back in the grass. Maybe you better put on your helmet in case you trip along the way.

Comments – DickVerbo@hotmail.com Also, Like “The Idler” on Facebook

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