Hey. Hey wait! Wait everybody. Hold up. I have something funny to say…
annnnd nevermind. Just gas.
This week has been a series of unfortunate events. I am currently using frozen garlic bread to ice a foot that I miraculously injured via sitting still.While hopping on one foot to gingerly protect the sprained other, I rammed the good leg’s knee into something pointy and awful. Also my dog has some wrathful intestinal warfare going on, filling up my fresh, new house with atomic stink bombs so radioactive that I keep checking to make sure that I haven’t actually shit my pants, too. Suddenly smelling like garlic and butter doesn’t seem so disgusting. This just in, Thomas not only agrees, he thinks it is all scrumptious and has taken to trying to bob for garlic bread off mommy’s gnarly cankle. So, you see, there’s nothing but poots and potent freezer food going on around here. While I Febreze my entire neighborhood and think about not injuring myself further by sitting still, you just thank your lucky stars that I’m not smart enough to hit this post with some Smell-O-Vision and enjoy this old piece of work which, oddly enough, revolves around stinky dogs and dysfunction. Let it be known, this blog is straight up classic and timeless.
TRUANCY. It’ll Kill Your Dog.
I went to the Mommy Market this week. Target was gloriously Target-ish: swarms of red-shirted teenagers stocking new shipments of shoes, pouty baristas mixing lattes in the mini Starbucks, Jackson’s entire population of moms cramming carts full of seasonal decor. It’s all so beautiful.
Baby and I waited patiently in line behind a few other customers. He cooed and gurgled at the cart in front of us, a fairly frazzled mother and her adolescent daughter. The girl begged for candy. Then she begged for Blistex Shimmer chap stick. Then she begged for batteries, and- in a last desperate attempt- declared that she would die if her mother wouldn’t let her get a pack of pink Bic razors. The mother waved her hand signaling surrender. I winced seeing this parent being completely dominated by a small child. It was like watching her getting a spanking at the age of 40, and I was humiliated just to be watching. Mostly, I winced because I still can’t look at those little pink devils without feeling physical pain.
Pleased with her victory, the young girl pranced towards our cart, noticing Baby’s focus on her. She held his hand, speaking babytalk to him as he bounced and reached out to touch her hair bow. Trying to make small talk (and, as always, opening a big ass can of worms), I asked why she wasn’t in school today. “I faked sick,” she stated proudly.
Here is the point where a normal adult would giggle nonchalantly, shoot her mom a judgmental glare, but then return to business as usual.
I CAN’T DO NORMAL.
“When you skip school,” I leaned in closer to her. Poor girl had a look of total thrill in her eyes as she prepared to hear an awesome secret. ” A puppy dies.”
Her face, appropriately stunned, stared blankly at me and then returned to her mother’s side. Sniffing and coughing to exact the perfect display of illness, she looked back at me only once, as if to say “Thanks for ruining everything, asshole.”
I felt a little guilty on the drive home. Did I really have to spoil her day of freedom?
I’ve decided I did the girl a favor. Better she hear the harsh truth from a perfect stranger than experience it first hand. I developed an uncanny ability to get out of going to school by a fairly young age. It started innocently enough. I would have a “horrible headache”, a “muscle cramp”, maybe even a “stomach bug” . Carefully studying the level of parental sympathy that coordinated with various illnesses, I could effectively get what I wanted: a day all to myself sans quizzes or gross cafeteria lunches. On rare occasions that my mother seemed to put up a stern front, I would up the ante. Using anything available (fish sticks, spare packet of taco seasoning, orange juice) I would splatter my bathroom, leaving behind a pukey massacre. I never knew if my mother genuinely felt convinced by the sight of this “vomit” or just admired my ingenuity and masterful method acting, but either way I would be given a free ticket. I won… or so I thought.
By 6th grade my parents had put me in a private school. I hated it with a fierceness, felt totally isolated in a sea of wealthy, well-dressed kids, and desperately wanted a day off. I formulated a plan. We were out of taco seasoning, so I opted for a sore throat. I think I even went so far as to use words like “pustules” to really amp it up. Midway through my school-free day, I realized that I really didn’t feel so well. I had consumed almost a whole block of cheese and two sodas for lunch, so I chalked it up to poor dietary conditions. To my shock and horror, my mom called around lunch time to inform me of my afternoon doctor’s appointment. Oh, we’re gonna play hardball ole’ girl?
I was smart enough to know that I could not possibly get sick in an hour; I’d have to settle for miraculous recovery.
You can imagine my surprise when the doctor entered the room and explained that I had mono.
I am being punished for skipping school. I have messed with the universe,and she is seriously pissed.
Three weeks and an inflamed spleen later, I resolved to never act sick to get out of school again…
Until high school, that is. Several years into my superior attendance habit, I was ready to dust of my sick pants and get to faux gagging. I told my mom a line about “chronic diarrhea” which she gladly accepted without further explanation. I was off the hook for the day. Just me, a couch, and 8 hours of utter laziness.
In the early afternoon the doorbell rang. I opened the door to find a middle-aged man and woman standing on the steps. They held leashes and the man leaned a leg against a large crate they had brought along. Maybe they came to abduct me?
The Dog whisperers informed me that they had come to pick up Maggie and Bart.
[Maggie and Bart were our pet bulldogs. They had stinky, crunchy faces and were prone to seizures, but I mostly loved them.]
I sat on the stairs in front of the crazy dog couple and cried. As Maggie snorted excitedly through her flat nose and Bart tried to chew on my hair, I said a very serious apology to my stumpy dogs.
You are being punished because I skipped school. I have messed with the universe, and you guys are pretty much animal sacrifice for my sins.
I found out later that my mom’s boyfriend couldn’t stand the smelly dogs. She had scheduled to have them taken to a Bulldog Rescue when we were away at school to spare us the trauma of it all. Whatever reasonable explanations were given, I remain convinced that my fake-poop episode set off a chain reaction in which the final link in the chain was getting my loveable dogs sent to a puppy mill.
There you have it. Verifiable proof that truancy will straight up kill your pets or (at very best) cause your spleen to explode. I expect to get a letter from that little girl years from now. It will go something like this:
I’m so glad I listened to your advice. My cousin skipped school. He got an unsightly skin rash and his parents got divorced. Things could’ve been really bad for me. You are a life saver.
And to this I’ll say, ” You are welcome, brat. You are so very welcome.”