An amazing time of year is upon us. The sweet sounds of the season are a symphony to my ears. The belching backfire of barely serviceable buses clogging the city streets, and impeding the flow of traffic. Cash registers clang and chime as unwitting parents lay down hard-earned cash for Trapper Keepers that will, no doubt, be pulled unused and dust covered from their lockers and thrown directly into the trash come next spring’s year-end cleanup. And of course, the most pleasing sound of all, the void of sweet children’s laughter, silenced. That’s right gang, it’s back to school time!
Is it all the little boys and girls that have to trade in their fun-filled days of backyard hose fights and awkward treehouse truth-or-dares for the dark and dreary minutia of prison style chow lines and No. 2 pencils? Hell no. Even the nerdiest of student wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to spend another two weeks at space, chess, or robotics camp instead of getting back to dodging bullies and polishing apples. It’s hard to navigate the dimly lit hallways of public school with even the thickest of glasses, and there still isn’t a summer science program around that has figured out how to open a locker from the inside. At least you can still pass a standardized test by picking all C’s.
Perhaps the college-bound leaders of tomorrow might be a tad more enthusiastic about the impending transition back to the world of academia you say? Hardly. While it might seem that all those eager teens are just chomping at the bit to start the formidable 13th grade, in reality, it’s the disasters of unbridled freedom that they are truly after. No one thinks to themselves, 'Hey I just went through twelve hellish years of nightmare inducing punishment, wouldn’t a bunch more be great?' College is about the experience, and you can mimic that easily: Beer, drugs, loud music, occasional awkward sex, and procrastinating… I’ve been doing it for almost 20 years. The world will be a much better place when people realize they don’t have to go to some dumb school to figure out life. I just used two horse references in this last paragraph and I didn’t even graduate, so who’s the idiot now?
Ok then, the parents have to be clamoring to get their kids back in school and out of their hair if only for a few hours a day right? Wrong again. On the surface it certainly seems like a brilliant idea to shuttle your kids off in a rattling yellow death trap to an under-funded government property, to be looked after by glorified babysitters just trying to make it to retirement. But there’s definitely some downside that you might not see. First of all, your kids are going to be attending school, most likely, at the same time that you are counting down the hours 'til your own dismissal bell. At least during the summer, they’re off at camp, and you can hit that happy hour in style, now you’re forced to head straight home to make sure the brats get off the bus alive, without a single martini to take the edge off what will no doubt be a noisy, restless evening as your kids take their pent up aggression of a day spent having their creativity sucked dry out on your possessions and each other (God forbid you have more than one). All your kids are going to do at school is meet a bunch of other little pains in the neck and bring them home. You’re going to have to meet these kids equally miserable parents, who you won’t like either, and now you’re forced into intolerable situations like birthday celebrations that for some reason always include rats that sing.
Nope, there’s only one kind of person who truly gets excited about back to school days. Childless weirdos! Sure I may be living a life that some might feel has a gaping void in the form of not having a little version of myself that I can praise no matter how much it fucks up. But I can get to happy hour every afternoon without fear, and with school in, I can speed through my residential neighborhood after dark without fear of hitting one of the little bastards. Enjoy your English homework suckers, I ain’t never passed it, and I talk good.