Yesterday I took the day off from work. Wyatt had a doctor’s appointment in the morning and instead of re-working my schedule I just took the whole day off. Besides vacation and the occasional time off for the birth of my kids, I try to never miss a day of work. I enjoy my job and I enjoy working. I look forward to going in everyday.
As far back as I can remember I have always been like this. Even in school, grade school through high school, I never wanted to miss a day. Sure there were a few times that I was sick but for the most part I always wanted to go to school. Except one day, Senior Cut Day. It was tradition at my high school that all of the seniors would take off a day from school. The day was decided by what year the seniors would graduate. I graduated in 1988. So with 88 days left of school all the seniors would cut classes for the day.
I was pretty good kid (good, not great) and I remember asking my dad if I could cut classes that day. I knew if I had his permission I could not get into any trouble. Sure the school might give me a suspension or a week of detentions but I knew I could handle that. I did not want to get into trouble with my parents. Any time I needed my dad to sign a note he would simply sign a blank piece of paper and have me fill in the reason. If I needed a permission slip for a class trip, he would sign the bottom and I would fill in the details. If I had to miss a few classes due to a doctor’s appointment or because of other obligations, dad would sign a blank piece of paper and I would write in the excuse.
I always wrote the truth as to the reasons for my excuse, but more often than not, I would add a little flourish. I would add drawings of me at the doctors or maybe put in a line about the fact that my parents thought I had super powers. But for the most part I always wrote the truth.
So I asked my dad if I could cut for Senior Cut Day. He agreed and signed the blank piece of paper. “Make sure it says you are taking off for Senior Cut Day.” He said as he handed me back the blank note with his chicken scratch signature.
Senior Cut day came and went. About two weeks later I came home from school and my dad was waiting for me. “Bill, when you submitted your excuse note for Senior cut day, what did you write down as your excuse?”
I could tell he was angry. I could not think of what I wrote down as my excuse but I knew for a fact that the note did say I was going to be off for Senior Cut Day. I hesitated before I answered. “Um, Uh. Senior Cut Day.”
“Are you sure?” He said with raised eyebrows.
“Yes.” I said tentatively, not quite sure of what I had written.
“Then why did I receive this letter in the mail?” he said as he held up a piece of paper. Before I could answer he walked over to the phone and dialed the school. I could hear him ask for the principle. He stated that he received a letter from the school saying that I had cut classes for the day. The letter also indicated that some of the parents were not aware of the cut day and that if they, the parents, provided notes for the kids, the notes were not truthful as to why their kids cut class. The parents need to respond so their kids do not suffer punishment from the school. My dad asked the principle to pull my file and read the excuse note. He waited for about ten minutes. When the principle came back to the phone this is what I heard on my dad’s end of the conversation.
“Okay what does his note say? Can you read it again? Read. It. Again.” My dad glared at me and I thought I was in serious trouble. He went back to the phone conversation.
“Read the first part again. That’s what I thought. Now what part of “My son will be missing school so he can partake in senior cut day” makes me a liar? Well clearly the letter you sent to me says I was not truthful. I DO NOT care what the rest of it says. I do not like being called a liar. What do you mean him taking off for senior cut day is not a valid excuse? I excused him. That is as valid as it gets. You have kids missing school for trips to Disney World as so called educational trips. What is educational about Mickey Mouse? Listen, I excused my son and that is as valid as it gets. This letter I received makes it sound like I was lying and I look forward to receiving an apology letter from you.”
He hung up the phone and looked at me through gritted teeth, which, within seconds turned into a broad smile.
“Jack ass.” He said referring to the phone. “I am sorry I doubted you Bill. But that letter from the school was insulting.”
I let out a big sigh of relief.
My dad chuckled and asked, “Why did you have to write, “P.S. he may or may not be abducted by aliens?”