A plan for tomorrow’s young’uns

Here in Florida, the geniuses in Tallahassee started a program 19 years ago called the Florida Prepaid Tuition Program.  Basically, if you register your little angel, you make small tax-free payments while s/he is just a wee moppet, and VOILA, by high school graduation, little Johnny or Janie is off to one of our fine universities, all expenses paid.  They are guaranteed admission, too.  Oh, joy.  See? Florida isn't all about Disney World, Palm Beach County's inability to construct a ballot, and being a target for invading tropical storms and tourist hordes.

Between talking to Puddin' and talking to Ali the other night, I had an idea of how better to help today's kids.

First, one caveat.  I'm not an authority on raising kids.  I had a freakin' houseplant run away and become a crack-whore.  Furthermore, I wasn't even a successful kid myself.  I failed the balance beam in Kindergarten, for God's sake.  I read every book in the room the first week, but I couldn't balance myself.  I still can't.  The teacher, Miss Fontana, was not amused, probably because she had to keep balancing herself off to the library for more books.   Plus, I think I read better than she did.  She had to sound everything out, and I could read without my lips moving.  And that was while living in abject terror of Don Dowling biting me.  Nice kid, really.  Used to forget to flip the little stop sign on the door around when he used the bathroom, so the little girls were always barging in on him…

Maybe he didn't forget, come to think of it.  But the sumbitch did bite me on occasion, and though he never broke the skin, it was annoying.  He was still my friend, and I was perpetually amazed at his ability to color inside the lines before he ate the crayons.  He never ate a color before he was through with it.  Don Dowling was very observant.  He observed that Jerry, another of our classmates, always wore "Kool-Aid shirts."  Indeed, every day, Jerry wore a short-sleeved button-down shirt in the color of a different Kool-Aid flavor.   Don and I would be doing some sort of tree-destroying craft thing, and Jerry would walk by on one of his 28 daily trips to the bathroom (he later became a coke addict (just kidding)).  Anyway, Don would glance up and declare: "Cherry Kool-Aid shirt." I'd nod; Don would eat a fingerful of paste, and life in Room 1 would roll on unabated.  Sometimes, Don would go without speaking until naptime.  Jerry would

get his mat from his cubbyhole, and Don would stage-whisper, "Grape Kool-Aid shirt.  Grape Kool-Aid gives me green stinkies." Then he'd bite my leg, crawl back to his mat, and fall fast asleep.

I didn't take naps, so I got to sit and read quietly. (as if I could've slept anyway)  I sat at my table with a book, shaking my overlarge, unbalancing head.  Miss Fontana had checked out a book on haunted houses for me, and I loved it, although I was more frightened by the image of Don Dowling making the grape Kool-Aid/green stinkies connection.  My mom had never bought grape Kool-Aid.  I made a mental note to ask for it, so that I could investigate the green stinky mystery.

Kids like Don might benefit from the Florida Pre-Paid Tuition Plan.  He might have gone on to become a successful dentist (or cannibal, for that matter).  But more likely, Don could have used my new idea, the Florida Pre-Paid Psychotherapeutic Program (PPPP).  Under PPPP, if you have a strange little kid, you could start a PPPP account for him.  Add just a few pre-tax dollars a month, and your money would grow, until by the time your little oddity reaches full-blown crazy, he'll have all expenses paid tuition to some of the finest nut-bins and rehabs in the state.  So Jerry could wear his Kool-Aid shirts to the nice, coke-free bathrooms of Windmoor rehab hospital in Clearwater, and Don would be welcomed for a nice stay in…

Let's face it, Don would probably be in Chattahoochee, the state hospital for the criminally insane, but he could use his PPPP money for all the crayons and paste he could eat. 

PPPP benefits could also be used for private therapists, counselors, gurus, ear-candlers, feng-shui consultants, aromatherapists, acupuncturists, primal scream therapists, Scientology audits–whatever floats your psychological Good Ship Lollipop.  If you're going to end up doing telemarketing anyway, would you rather be educated or happy?

So call or write your legislators today (mine is the one with the orange Kool-Aid tie).

Oh, and my mom did buy grape Kool-Aid.  As I suspected, it was more Don's chemicals than the Kool-Aid's. 

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3 Responses to “A plan for tomorrow’s young’uns”

  1. Hysterical post, Tom! You've inspired ideas for other similar programs (post to follow).BTW, I understand your issues with feng-shui consutants and Scientology auditors, but ear-candling is real, goddamnit! You know it's real because of all the black stuff that's left over! Plus, you can HEAR it working!!! No way it's fake if you can hear it working. Get a clue about modern medical science, man. Geez…

  2. Kirk, I happen to know for a fact that you work for the Washington Area eXtracters, a loosely based cabal of rogue ear candlers and mattress tag removers. The auditors alerted me to your WAX connections. Black stuff, indeed. The only thing you hear is the last vestiges of your goodness burning away in a beeswax taper. Oh, the humanity, to use such a sincere and serious platform as my heartfelt essay on…Okay, you win. I can't keep it up anymore. You got me with the ear candle thing. I just couldn't connect the black stuff with your soul. Damn insomnia. lolStaying in character is the key to being a successful smart-ass, and I broke. You are the master. I can't hold a (wait for it) candle to your twisted genius.

  3. OK, yeah, I admit it, I was just kidding about the ear-candling thing. But I'm totally serious when I talk about losing weight with our friend the tapeworm!

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