6/01/2007

When I am King: Sick Daze

When I am King...

Children will no longer take sick days off from school.

When I was a kid and stayed home from school sick, I lay in bed bored out of my mind all day. The highlight was when the morning talk shows ended and Dennis the Menace came on. At first, I even enjoyed the show. But just one episode was enough for me to develop a deep loathing for Dennis, and I would find myself aligned with the grumpy neighbor, quietly plotting the brat's demise. After Dennis, it was all soap operas for the rest of the day. This death-by-dullness approach was a cure-all, and kids not actually dead would magically find themselves well enough to go to school the next day.

Now, kids have a myriad of entertainments available to them, from DVDs to video games to web surfing to building meth labs. Kids will stick golf clubs down their throats to puke, on the hope that they'll get to stay home from school and have some fun instead. We've cottoned to this trick in my house and now have a policy that any child in possession of a majority of their appendages is well enough to go to school.

This health care and education crisis cannot continue. How can children get educated if they're not at school getting beaten up on the playground or getting picked last for kickball? How can parents expect children to get well when they don't get serious rest time imposed by murderously boring TV? Most importantly, how can parents expect to get anything done around the house with sick children lying in repose on every horizontal surface?

I propose a new system that will motivate children to get healthy, stay healthy, and stay in school.

First of all, sick children will be strapped to their beds, unable to roam around the house looking for activities. This will remove the free-for-all that sick days have become.

Secondly, special TVs will be provided for these sick rooms which show only Dennis the Menace reruns. Having nothing to do is a good start for a sick kid, but getting actively bored is even better. This show has a proven track record for boring kids back to health.

Finally, schools will be provided with all of the entertainments now reserved for sick days at home: videos, games, ... the works. Hey, if school weren't so boring to begin with, kids wouldn't be looking for excuses to skip it. Let's make school more fun. Let's make it a place that kids want to attend.

I look forward to the day when the nightly dinner table question, “What was your favorite part of your school day?” is answered by, “I got a new high score in 'Alien Invasion!'” Or a morning conversation goes like this: “Aw, c'mon! I only coughed up a little blood. Pleeeeeeeease let me go to school!”
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