Monday, May 21, 2012

they won't be calling me again

I finally track down Denise and I had to call three different schools to accomplish this.  She called me weeks ago regarding an ecological meet tomorrow and I am to be a chaperon for fourth graders, my grandson included.  I don't remember agreeing to be a chaperon, I could have, but the exact story is not coming back to me. Perhaps my daughter or my grandson volunteered my name, I'm easy meat, no big deal.

We are at the park now and at last Denise appears wearing a
tie-dye shirt, who wears this stuff, but it's no surprise, she has the memory capacity of an acid-wasted hippie, I would know this. We are waiting for Ranger Phil to start his presentation on Water Safety and for all practical purposes Phil should be dead. He is an old lumpy man with pale skin like a fish's belly and he consistently forgets to put the microphone next to his mouth so God knows what he's saying.  He does tell a few tasteless alcohol-related drowning jokes that are clearly lost on this age group.

 "Did you bring the clipboards?" I ask Denise. The kids are required to take quizzes after every lecture and the teachers were supposed to bring clipboards. "In the past the children have found the clipboards annoying so I did not bring them this year," she giggles.  How can a 9x11 piece of cardboard be annoying and my fourth graders are growling about balancing their test papers on their knees and that's annoying.

The kids fret over the test questions. "This stuff wasn't in the reading material," they commiserate to each other and their lighthearted mood is fast disappearing.
"How important is this in the scheme of things?" I ask them, "is doing well on this test going to get you a better job? Hell, no. Let's just get to the end of the afternoon and we'll go to Dairy Queen.."  I try to establish a measure of relativity here and create a pleasant diversion but I may be confusing them. I don't care, they need to hear this.

 We're the first to leave the event because I saw no point in staying to view test scores.  But I do know we beat the Catholic kids' butts and they even had matching sweatshirts and caps with "Eco Meet 2012" across the front, the papist snobs.  Due to our early departure we are first in line at Dairy Queen and soon we are back in the air-conditioned luxury of my daughter's soccer mom van eating chocolate extreme blizzards. As we round the block to the school parking lot I hear Dylan tell the others, "Adam's grandma says winning is highly overrated."
 My work here is done.

1 comment:

AmySueRose said...

Jesus, no wonder China's going to beat the hell out of us someday soon.