Past Opinion Articles

Article for the week of 8/20/09

Back to School Blues
By Puns McKenna

It's that time again. All across America children and parents alike are preparing for the inevitable. Most schools start their year either the last Monday in August or the first week after Labor Day weekend. Regardless of when the new school year starts in your town, the time is coming… and kids everywhere are more than ready.

Let's look at some of the things that you need to do in order to prepare for the return of school. School supplies can cost a fortune, but they don't have to. You could find Waldo at Wal-Mart and get the best prices for your writing sticks…gum rubbies… and pulped trees.

Back to school clothes are another major expense, and they aren't really worth what they charge, are they? I mean, it's super hard to find clothes that are tasteful and functional anymore, let alone cost friendly. Instead the trends seem to be sending our children back to school dressed like some sort of demented killer clown. Red noses and big shoes are passe, however, goofy patterns and baggy hangin' off your backside seem to be in.

I know it speaks to the current human condition, but why do we have to dress our children in such gaudy overly dramatic rags? When I was growing up, my mother used to say I looked like colorblind gypsies dressed me when I'd pick something even remotely like today's clothes. But I digress. The point is, if you look hard enough you're going to find the bargains and the things that aren't a clown suitcase explosion. What about those lunch boxes? We've got Spiderman, Hannah Montana, Barbie, etc. All of your back to school needs in one convenient jumble of scattered clown gear and hype. Now to be fair, not all of the back to school gear is that bad, but it seems that the majority is.

All that aside, this is the time when parents and kids alike seem to be climbing the walls trying to get away from each other. Might be easier to do if we put Velcro on the walls and ceiling… or perhaps we could invent and mass-produce these human fly shoes. They'd have suction cups attached to the bottoms and all you'd have to do is rock back and forth to release the suction. Of course we'd all look like Antwerp© if we did. Couldn't you just see the populace of the world turning into a bunch of tear-shaped blue blobs that bounce around?

It would seem that even without those innovations, the school year has its own magnetic pull. Drawing children back to school like rusty nails to a magnetic plate. So in a week or two we should all be able to breathe a little easier as routines set in and activities become more organized. Just think of all those underwater basket weaving classes that little Johnny will be taking. It should be entertaining to watch, no?

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