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.

(Alda's Aunt)

Then, there's the garden variety trailer park note:

Mr. Prego,

Please excuse Michael from school on 11-14-05 because,
he broke his toe and tore his nail bed.

Thank You,
Mrs. Jones

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:

Mr. Prego

Ray stayed home yesterday because he had a 24 virus. Please excuse
my son.

Mrs. Minnows

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.

Mr. Prego

Ah... that's too verbose. I think I might stick with the "24 virus."


Chele In {dot} LA said...

this is the greatest post..
Very funny..

Meghan said...

Thanks for the laugh. You rock. And it's admirable to admit to liking Heath in a heterosexual way.

EverydaySuperGoddess said...

Can I commission you to write all notes to the Demigoddess' teachers in the future?

I always put the note-writing off until the morning before school, and by then am just happy to have found a piece of paper AND a functioning pen. Creativity is out of the question.

Jacques Roux said...

No, no, no. Please do not waffle on such an admirable endeavor. The "note" is a truly under-rated, underused form of communication, and should be ressurected from the ash heap of the actual "written" word.

My old man pulled something like this once or twice when I was in elementary school. I brought home some history questions (short answer stuff) and he took it upon himself to complete the assignment on my behalf. Well, not really, because I had to take my own answers in to the teacher. His answers, however, were not exactly on point. Actaully, they were more like the kind of answers the writers for Saturday Night Live might give. Much to my teacher's amusement.

I found out a short time later, that my parents and my 5th grade teacher (and spouse) would often meet up at one of the local taverns for "Parent/Teacher conferences" on a fairly regular basis. So I had that going for me come report card time...

Bitchet said...

Blue Marble has to be home from school tomorrow as she has strep.. thumb through your archives and find me a funny note for strep that I can give to a religious preschool! ha ha

kenju said...

Verbose, but really funny!

Jessica said...

That was great! Working in a pharmacy, I find that most people offer WAY too much information about their ailments.. Sometimes a note would be better so I could skim though it..

Eve Hallow said...

I vote for making the teacher smile - or heave, depending on said teacher's quease factor.

kenju said...

Back again, via Michele. Have a great day!

Lazy Daisy said...

Love the title as well as the picture.
Thanks for the laugh. Michelle sent me and it was a good time!

Plumkrazzee said...

Michele sent me today. That was priceless...can I use that one, or would that be plagiarism?

Plumkrazzee said...

That picture of Edgar freaks me out. I hate it.

jules said...

Hi - here via Michele.
Funny stuff!

Sandy said...

Just puts the joy in teaching, huh? :)

Here via Michele's today.

Mama B said...

Good Morning!! Here via Michelle!

emaleejayne said...

Very funny! Will you write me a note to get out of work?

Uisce said...

Popped in from Michele's and I want a copy of emaleejayne's note. Can I get out of work, too? :)

ivoryfrog said...

Here from michele's!

I haven't needed to write a note to a teacher yet but I like the idea of being a bit creative with it... maybe a picture note would amuse? Hmm, maybe that would be too much info on most cases.
Great post. :-)

surcie said...

I never, ever wanted my mom to say I stayed home because of cramps. But she always thought she had to be honest in her notes to my school.

Maryanne said...

I'm one of those creative types. I've even gotten thank you notes from my kid's teachers. My favorite one was when I wrote a note to my daughter's teacher telling her my daughter wouldn't be absent from school that day. She got a chuckle out of it.

kontan said...

oh no, that was great! send that one! HA.

you know, sometimes you get those parent notes and everything about the child just clicks doesn't it.

valbee said...

All those years I could have been expressing my creativity through absence notes and it never occurred to me.

Perhaps I have an unhealthy fear of authority?

Michele sent me here. :)

ribbiticus said...

i'd excuse your child any day if i were eve the teacher-recipient of that note. then have it framed and hung in my classroom for all to see. classic!!! :)

~A~ said...

Ahhhhhhhh, I love it. Having three kids in school I too write the occasional absent note. Seeing as I'm blessed with wonderful teachers with a line of humor like myself, I should start improving my notes.

I did send one last year to Mrs. Amy who has taught Kindergarten to three of my four kids. It went something like,

Good Morning Mrs. Amy,

You may have noticed that Muffin Man has a large bandage on his index finger. I want to send you an email to explain what happen. Some how MM managed to cut his finger on a replacement carpet blade that was hiding in the crack of a chair. I am not sure exactly why the carpet blade was there because that’s not where we normally store them. Personally I like to keep them in the apples.

I have sent a few extra Band-Aids to school with MM incase his Band-Aid falls off.

Thank you for understanding.


Oh and I'm just here on my own accord. Nobody sent me.

rob said...

I think the 24 virus is what happens when you're exposed to too much Jack Bauer. First comes the sleep deprivation; then the paranoia. It slowly drives you mad causing you to put yourself in precarious situations and beat up on minorities.

Carmi said...

I see the basis for a book. This is too funny. My wife - a kindergarten and 2nd grade teacher - would no doubt roar with laughter.

She'll be reading this soon.

Plumkrazzee said...

Hi Spaghetti. I had to get a new URL. I'm now at : Mama Drama....Plumbkrazzee.blogspot.com

katie said...

I love it!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Very Very Funny, {rego! I think your note is very clever and explains it all AND, will, hopefully give the teacher a laugh, too!

Here from Michele, again...(I'm following you today...in a big way!)

glomgold said...

I wonder if your son's teacher would think you were "showing her up"? She might fail him in 'scissor-usage'.