Second Reading: Also from the Book of Emesis...
I've been an English teacher for five years now, and due to our student body's high absentee rate I've been the recipient of my share of "Signed, Epstein's Mother"s.
One such classic is:
Dear Mr. Prego,
Alda was absent yesterday because of a family problem but everything's okay now.
Then, there's the garden variety trailer park note:
Please excuse Michael from school on 11-14-05 because,
he broke his toe and tore his nail bed.
Ouch. A broken nail bed is nothing to laugh at. It makes the hairs on the back of my calf curl just thinking about it.
You also have the fail-proof:
Ray stayed home yesterday because he had a 24 virus. Please excuse
I'm sure she meant one of those 24 hour bugs; you know the ones that say, "Yo, I'm going to f*ck wit' dis kid here today, then I'm bouncin'." I always wonder if viral middle management frowns upon overtime for these workers. I'm sure they might want their union to look into it.
Virus A "Shit... they hooked up HIV with a long-term contract, and the mother f*ckers at Bird Flu are cashing in."
Virus X "Don't get too greedy. Remember what happened to Tuberculosis. And those cats over at the SARS sector are even getting laid off."
After years of being on the receiving end of these notes, I now grudgingly find myself on the giving side of the transaction. Fortunately, since the O-Dog started pre-kindergarten I've only needed to write one note. I must admit I pretty much took the perfunctory route. Today, the O-Dog again finds himself at home, which means I have to provide him with a note to take to school tomorrow. Hopefully I won't have to write too many of these in the upcoming years, as I would hope he and the Fletch Monster continue to have a relatively healthy, happy childhood.
In any case, today, my co-worker "V" showed me the notes she was sending her children's teachers. They were pretty goddamned funny. Following her example, I hope to elevate the "note" to a higher art form and inspire all parents to do the same. It makes it much more interesting for the reader. There is a fine line in discerning between quality writing and verbal trilling (nobody likes reading sesquipedalian drivel), but the aims here are two-fold: to document my son's absence for the school's record and to do so while making the teacher smile.
Dear Mrs. Davis,
You might have noticed that my son the O-Dog was amiss yesterday. It seems some miscreant microbe took it upon himself to use my son's gastro-intestinal system as his own personal playground. Whatever this little creature was doing in there must have been a vigorous activity, since it caused my son to empty the contents of his stomach onto his bed linen at 8 pm on Wednesday. The acrobatics continued well into the evening, as the O-Dog retched thrice more before daybreak.
After several trips to the bathroom and a couple of bed spreads, the O-Dog and I finally got some sleep. Yesterday morning, I thought it best to keep him at home, lest his little inhabitant decide to continue his escapades. The tenant has since been evicted, though I'm not sure through which thoroughfare.
Ah... that's too verbose. I think I might stick with the "24 virus."