"Do your children like to read?"
She stood outside the local Borders with pamphlets in hand, ready to pounce, a tigress with a sales quota based on parental guilt and state-test underachievement steeped in unfunded federal mandates.
She looked 22, but everyone obviously younger than me but beyond puberty does these days. She was blonde with straight hair, square shoulders and a round pin advertising salvation for tween TV obsessed. She looked pleasant. Happy. Content with her station, such as it was, behind a table of four-color glossy brochures of smiling, bookwormed kids and a Technicolor vomit of photocopied fliers standing on the concrete apron outside a suburban bookstore on this sun-drenched, suburban June morning.
She was definitely not from these parts.
Did she know about Thing 1's track record? The summer school following first grade. The remedial state-grant funded afterschool program. Was this mockery or coincidence?
Thing 1 had made great progress this past year. She bypassed another mid-year classroom swelter by the virtue of a generous "alternate" testing methodology. But she was still not up to 8-year-old par. No Nintendo DS Lite for this little one.
Now, this woman stood here, self-assured with a knowing look that here comes a neat commission on 249 bucks a week worth of "reading is fundamental" schlepping toward her in an age-inappropriate indy band T-shirt featuring Phil Spector in an amazing, gravity-defying, pre-mistrial white boy 'fro.
So, was this mockery or coincidence?
"Sorry," I waved her off. "I don't have any kids."
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My Uncool Past
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- ► 2011 (57)
- ► 2010 (100)
- ► 2009 (87)
- Father, Thy Name is Dork
- To My Love, On the 11th Anniversary of Our First N...
- The Day I Disowned My Daughter
- George Carlin: Comic Genius, Mets Fan
- Ever Get The Feeling You've Been Cheated?
- Party of One at DadCentric.com
- "Stick Out Your Can …"
- I'm the King of My Castle (When You're Not Around)...
- Brief Interlude - Don't Run Yet!
- Summing It Up in a Simple Six
- It Was a Dark and Stormy Night
- My Little Diva
- Happy Father's Day and Thanks for Not Kicking My A...
- Progress Among Modern 6-Year-Old Boys
- Chew on This, Pal
- For Father's Day, all I want you to do is give it,...
- Life is a carnival -- believe it or not
- I got a desk full of papers that mean nothing at a...
- Screw Soccer Moms. This is a Mannish-Boy Blood Spo...
- Invading the land of estrogen and mommy talk
- Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions: At-home Dad St...
- ▼ June (21)