So Sick of Being Sick - Comin' To Class

Darrell Schultz shares some of his 'mother's-style' notes.  The schools used to photocopy them and put them in the teacher's mailboxes for all to enjoy, I kid you not!  Darrell was actually once told that the school always liked when one of his kids got sick, anticipating his forthcoming note.

It’s “Jive 5,” your leading source for news, weather, sports, weather reports, and tv shows that will rot your brain! Today is Wednesday, May 07, 2008. Let’s move right to our meteorologist, Darrell Schultz, with a report on the disturbances in the air over Fort Worth yesterday and today…

“Disturbances is right! Well, it moved in yesterday…a rolling bark and precipitation from sneezing. If you take a look at our medical map, you’ll see Her-a-cane Stephanie rolled in with a mighty roar while most of us slept! All day on Tuesday, we had that constant noise disturbance, cloudy lungs, and an occasional outburst. Temperatures were a bit on the high side, but they cooled down overnight. Unfortunately, we’re looking at the prospect of more such stuff today. Hail? Yes. She’ll hail the school for excusing her so she doesn’t pass over and cloud the attendance reports of other students who might be affected by her downpour. Snow? Snow way. Not this time. Lightning? Lightning fast to the bathroom when she needs a tissue!

Let’s take a look at our outlook for the rest of this week and the upcoming weekend. We’re still looking at the chance of occasional outbursts of coughing, “sneezing rain,” and snow letup (until she gets some antibiotics). Be prepared for things to slowly move out of here and, hopefully, we’re looking at a brighter weekend. Now, to our morning anchors…”  


My children and stepchildren have given me many things down through the years:


-Gray hair;

-A billboard-sized gluteus (from sitting on my haunches to watching all their evening events);

-Sleepless nights (especially those when I had to clean up the bedsheets);

-Wrinkles; and

-Blessings aplenty.

In return, I guess it’s only fair that I, too, give them something. I’ve begun my retaliation…I mean, “compensation”…this week. I gave my daughter a whopper of a virus that’s plagued me the past week. I guess she didn’t think it fair that she pass on that treasure to the rest of the students at the Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts, thus she forced me to pick her up yesterday (Monday, March 6, 2006) from the school.  How does she have such leverage over me?  It’s called “tax deduction.”

Just another lucky parent,

Darrell Schultz


I think my first recollection of 'it' was when I told my kindergarten teacher my middle name was 'Helen' not even knowing people HAD 'middle names.'

I felt 'it,' for sure, when that female classmate I had a crush on, albeit back in third grade,  showed up at the local grocery and produce store in her red dress and red bow. Geepers, she melted the popsicles my best friend and I were panting over. (I also think the man with cataracts, down the street, suddenly could see once again.)

When I ate five Big Mac’s as a high school sophomore, before going to a six-hour ballgame and taking a four-hour ride back to school in a bus that must have had no shock absorbers, I DEFINITELY felt 'it!'

Oh, and I sure experienced 'it' when the I.R.S. told me I underpaid $500 (even though it was due to a mistake by my accountant)!

Yup, 'it' keeps cropping up all around me down through the years. 'It'…in case you were wondering by that 'earth moving under my feet'-feeling. The one that makes one’s tummy gurgle in a way that even the cartoon creator of “Zits” is unable to translate into guttural lettering…guggggroarrrrluhptttttttt!

My child had “it” yesterday. That's one of your students whose tummy thanks you for allowing the absence. Our toilet, though, hopes the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits and that your wrists are Super Glued to your hips.

Darrell Schultz


Boy, how many amusing stories I heard (when I taught high school and middle school) from students trying to cover their posteriors! I can spot those real fabrications really quickly.  My son faces punishment because I caught him spinning such a yarn today.

I wrote his coach, this morning, letting him know that his mom and I didn’t have a track schedule or a list of needs for that venture. He returned my correspondence and kindly provided a schedule. When I saw it arrived, this very afternoon, I noted that my son should have been at a 4:30 p.m. track meet.  I immediately jeopardized my life to look for his track clothes at home. (You cannot imagine how messy the three children living in my home can be. If there is a reality show for slobs, please let me know.)

After several small strokes and hours of vain search, I still hadn’t found his jersey. At 3:35 p.m., a cellphone-deprived son made a call to me informing me that there was a track meet (duh). I told him I would leave, within ten minutes, to bring what clothes I could rescue from perishing in a sea of carpet monsters. Furthermore, I’d transfer them to your wonderful administrative assistant (“Superman’s Sister in Disguise”) at the school office. Though I had found the essentials that kept him from competing in the mode of the ancient Greeks (in the buff), I couldn’t assure him I could find the actual uniform before the bus had to leave the school.

At 3:39, Frantic Boy (a new anti-super hero) called me again. He had the audacity to ask someone already on the last half of his years in life, “Do you think you could hurry it up? The bus is about to leave.” (I want to digress from the recap, at this moment, to let you know I don’t EVER want my son to speak in such a manner to anyone in authority, whether it’s you, any other teachers at school or church, or even a skunk with an elevated tail.) I specifically told him that I’d immediately leave for his school, but “if I don’t get there before the bus heads to the track meet, you go ahead and I’ll bring them there.”  

Papa, in the family car (instead of a Dale Earnhardt special), was approaching the gate at the Prep Campus when your school's white monster of a bus, full of tracksters, pulled onto Dirk’s Road. After making a nifty 180-degree turn, Papa headed east in chase of the Abominable Snow Bus Monster. Alas, however, the evil enemy known as the “Red-eyed Dragon” (stoplight) squelched Papa from overtaking the puttering transit. By the time Papa and car made it to the site of the track meet, your bus had already emptied and he--with his bespeckled, failing eyes--had to search for his son inside the stadium.

But, alas, my son was nowhere in sight at the track meet! “What?” Our protagonist was in confusion and it was amplified further when he queried the tracksters.  They feigned not even knowing who my son is!  (Come on, guys, I’m SURE you’ve noticed my him before…the one who has imaginary dinosaur wars with his hands!)

So, I rushed back to your school building.  He wasn’t in Mrs. Specht’s class. Interesting. School would be out in minutes.

When the tiny troublemaker saw the Papa in the car, he rapidly lunged for his 300-pound backpack (ALL of today’s students will end up with back operations which will empty the Social Security coffers so none of us old fogies will get a dime) and headed slowly to the waiting car and Papa. (The fumes coming out of his ears were not “exhaust” from the car being overworked in the past forty-five minute jaunt).

I immediately asked him why he hadn’t gone to the track meet. Question two, in case you’re keeping 'track' (pun intended), was, “Did you go to Mrs. Specht’s class?” My son hasn’t yet mastered the cold eyes of Charles Manson, and his peepers gave away the answer. “Yes,” he lied.

I realize children sometimes forget things but I will only swallow that shortcoming to a certain limit (after all, he DOES somehow remember to put on clothing each day before we go to school).

Bottom line…whether or not he was with Mrs. Pippen, he did not act in a responsible manner and call me on my ever-alert cellphone (at my weight, I love for it to ring because I claim that moving it from pocket to ear counts as “exercise” for the day). In essence, it appears he may have—for whatever reason—taken off from BOTH the track trip AND Mrs. Specht's classroom during the last hour of the day. (I made sure he DID go to the track meet and this letter is to make sure you know I am aware the antagonist of the story wasn’t sweating bullets over mathematical variables when he was supposed to be under your tutelage.) He also wasn’t being chased by a UFO or the I.R.S., just for the record.

Sorry for the length. I probably wouldn’t write your English teacher such an enchanting letter, lest she feel obligated to grade it, but I thought you might want to start your day with a lighter fare than the usual letters you get from parents.

Darrell Schultz


To whom it concerns:

Please note the attached 'doctor's note' and kindly excuse the Schultz daughter's absence yesterday.  Like those in Huntsville, she was put into a chair and had wires attached to her head.  Yes, I know, this was for a DENTAL visit--not that of an executioner--but I think she felt the same level of terror.  (Me?  I only fear the bills.)  

I did not return her to school yesterday because, by the time I could have gotten her to campus, she would be dismissed in fifteen minutes.  Besides, I had two 'rugrats' to pick up at another institution...I mean 'school.'  

I'm sorry to hear she neglected to bring this 'doctor's note' to start class today.  I'm sure she'd like to use the excuse that the anesthesia effected her judgment, but she had none at the dentist.  (She also didn't have laughing gas for breakfast today.)  Thanks.


In case you haven't noticed, my oldest child--and your school's student--is a 'turkey.' We also have two younger 'birds' in our house—who 'flock' to another school daily and are on a different Thanksgiving schedule--who took “flight” out of state. Not wanting any members of the family to be 'henpecked' or, worse yet, run of things a'fowl' if left on their own, the Schultz turkeys all took “flight” together. (After all, “birds of a same feather flock together,” you know.) We couldn’t leave my older daughter-turkey behind and end up as someone’s Thanksgiving feast!  (I kid you not…there were three burglar alarm events on our home while we were gone and I’m glad she wasn’t here by herself!)

I’m not trying to 'quack' you up, but she wasn’t trying to “duck out” of schoolwork last Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. She met with all her teachers in advance, told them she would be gone part of the very “nest week,” and did her required work (including tests…she tried to “baste” the scores her classmates would get) before the family went aflight. And don’t think she didn’t do any homework during the holiday. I made sure she did some core subjects last week. She had math, of course, eating “Pi” at the Thanksgiving feast.

Theater/acting? Of course. She “acted” unabashed while having to walk next to a daddy whose physique looks more like that of a beached whale. Geography? She had to read maps and maneuver all over the place. Physical education? She flew thousands of miles!!! Social studies? In those three days, she saw all sorts of “strange ‘birds’,” believe me. Reading? I couldn’t even read some of the menus we saw, so she had plenty of opportunities to test her “word attack” skills. I know English is important to you, too, so I had her practice that on me (she got mad at me and hit me with a punch that had “plenty of 'English' on it”).  

Though there was plenty of “stuffing” (things into her suitcase) over the holiday, she survived the long trip over and back with the family and came back “American Airline Eagle-eyed” to your institution of learning.  By then, she was ready to “roost”-ume her role as a reliable student. Please don’t “trim” her grades because she had to 'fly' with the family. In these days, the law tells the parents which ex gets which “bird” for which holiday and dictates the schedule. She knows that such scenarios really “cluck,” but she has to live with it until she “takes flight” on her own and brings her dad little grandducklings, or whatever she and her “turkey” of a husband will produce.

I don’t know the “buzzard,” I mean, 'buzzword,' that I need to share to keep the hunters at bay. All I can say is that she isn’t 'chicken' of having to make up work with extra effort…just being penalized for following the lead of her parents who tell her, “You’re comin’, kid, because we’re not leaving you behind to get your ‘tail feathers trimmed’ while we’re gone.” So, give her the 'feast of schoolwork' that remains in her semester. 'Bird watch' her and you'll see she will be up to the task. Even if she has to stay up late, she can change from 'turkey' to 'night owl' doing her homework.  

Just don’t lay her out beside pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, olives, green bean casserole, dressing, etc. She’s just a “turkey,” after all!