...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Friday, March 28, 2008

'if i go for 10, i'm probably gonna have to barf up a lung'

As I was heading out the door to go to work Thursday morning, the nurse at my sons' school called to tell me that my youngest had thrown up and was down in her office, waiting for me to pick him up.

(Typing that - "had thrown up" - made my stomach turn a little bit, because I'm not a good nurse when it comes to my kids vomiting. Additionally, my imagination kicked in and I got a sensory recollection of that horrid stuff the janitor would sprinkle on the floor when a kid christened the hallway or classroom and I totally gagged. Blech.)

Twenty minutes later, my little ashen face boy was nestled on the couch, under strict orders to aim for the bucket placed near his head if he felt the urge to purge, and watching the Cartoon Network. During a commercial, I rubbed his back and asked how he was doing. His response?

"What's for lunch, Mama?"

It was 10 a.m., the kid had just tossed up his breakfast 30 minutes prior, and he was ready to score a peanut butter sandwich. Might ye be fakin' this malady, me wee little laddy?

He assured me he wasn't faking, but you can't fool a pro! It takes one to know one, and in my day, I was a master faker! I don't know whether to be proud of him that, at the tender age of six, my kindergartner pulled his first fake sick day on me (I waited until I got my thespian skills down hardcore in eighth grade), or dismayed that we could be in for a long and illustrious career of this.

When I would pull a fake sick day on my parents, I used to work out the plan a good two days in advance. If the intent was to take the entire school day off, then the night before, I'd start with a few quiet moans and a random complaint that my throat was scratchy. The next morning, I'd not respond immediately when my mother would wake me. Maybe toss in a cough here and there. Then I'd wait. Wait for one of my parents to ask if I thought I should stay home from school. Tell them "Oh, I think I ::cough, cough:: can make it. ::BIG COUGH::." Then smile proudly, yet covertly, when they'd call the school office and tell them I'd not be in that day.

An hour later, when I knew both parents were firmly entrenched at work, I'd call my friend Cameron, tell him if he wasn't at my house within 15 minutes, he could find himself a new best friend, then we'd dupe our nitwit principal, pull my girlfriend, Sloane, from class, and tool the streets of Chicago in a Ferrari that Cameron's dad loved more than Cameron. Danke Shoen, my little sausage kings. Danke Shoen.

The full sick days were rare, however. More often, I'd go at least a portion of the day, lest the guilt of my ruse truly did make me sick. At the designated time - usually before lunch - I'd ask to be excused to go to the office, place that call to my mom, then walk home. Two blocks later and away from school, I'd break into a grin and hustle on my way. Most fake days weren't taken to get out of a test or some unfinished homework assignment. Quite likely, it was to get out of gym (again, my stomach just turned a little bit at that). Other times, it was because I just wanted a moment's peace, and if I could get a few hours home alone, more the better.

When I got home, I kicked into gear. For starters, a snack that wouldn't make it appear obvious the sick girl had eaten. Then, being a former huge General Hospital fan (and because we didn't own a VCR when I was growing up because it was the olden days and we went to square dances and read by the light of one tiny candle and would go to bed early to build our endurance for fighting off locusts bent on destroying our crops in the summer), I'd kill an hour watching. Finally, it would be show time! I'd pull my 45s out, load the stereo in the living room, and sing, baby, sing! Quarterflash's Harden My Heart, the Motels' Shame (Tricia Thongs and Penchant for Panties has lurked within me for a long time!), and the John Lennon tracks off the Double Fantasy LP. Occasionally, and sadly, sometimes I would toss in Chicago's Hard To Say I'm Sorry as an ode to my high school crush. Good, good times. What I figured was, dancing around the living room, emoting to the classics, I'd work up a set of flushed cheeks and maybe a headache if the music had been playing loudly. Settled down and ready for my parents to walk in the house by 5:30 p.m., I could still pass for quasi-sick, and the next morning always dawned with a miraculous recovery!

As the day wore on, as my son downed his peanut butter sandwich, crackers and juice, then danced around the house in anticipation of his older brother arriving home from school so he could play - all while remaining vomit free, mind you - I browsed the Internet on faking it and discovered nearly 2 million entries on how to fake being sick (aka "pull a Ferris"). The world is filled with sneaky little bastards, and again I was left proud and a little dismayed.

Today I am a straight arrow and I don't fake squat. I've got perfect attendance at work, and I can't bring myself to lie to get out of a commitment. Trying to act sick makes me short of breath and break out in hives, which perhaps qualifies me as sick, but I like to think it's just me being lame.

Tomorrow, 24 hours without vomiting (shudder), my kindergartner (who, for the record, I don't think was actually faking...at least not for the entire day) will return to school. As for me, the pro? I'm actually a touch sick with a sore throat and cough I can't seem to shake, but I don't think that will stop me from staging a festival in my living room. I'm thinking Scandal's The Warrior to warm up, then onto the Go Gos' Vacation. It's the cure for whatever ails you, fake or not.

Before I go, XI Summit tagged me for a six word memoir. Being a wordy, wordy girl, I cranked out a blog entry last week where I dumped out several miniature biographies that summed me up in six words. However, XI dropped the gauntlet and wondered if I could sum up my life with just ONE six word summation.
So here goes:
Verbal mojo rages, pimping others' books.
Ta da!!
Now, before I add more (because I want to, and it's hard for me to stop...), I'm going to spell check and publish. So many of you graciously shared some really great memoirs in comments with me last week (and everyone I know has been tagged!), so I'm going rebel and tagging no one. I'll just read all of you out there.



Blogger Phyllis RenĂ©e said...

I never missed school or skipped out, but I have faked being sick to take off work. I'm so ashamed.

Friday, March 28, 2008 5:50:00 AM  
Blogger Bogart in P Towne said...

I used to fake until the 4th grade...I faked it, then realized, as my dad was walking out the door, that it was the day we were going on a field trip. Whoops. "Wait dad, I feel better. I want to go to school now." Nope, he knew. I sat at home and watched the Adams Family and Gilligan Island reruns while my class was touring a US Navy Battleship. Never faked it again.

Friday, March 28, 2008 7:16:00 AM  
Blogger 1blueshi1 said...

hehehe, you are TOO funny, girl! wasn't Sloane, like, the coolest girl name EVER? I wonder what happened to her. She did that movie with Tom Cruise and then disappeared. Possibly being held at the Scientology Celebrity Centre with a nice apartment right next to Suri's?

Friday, March 28, 2008 7:18:00 AM  
Blogger FTN said...

Abe Froman? Is that you?

I had multiple Ferris quotes all worked out, but you even use the clammy hands thing. Drat. I'll go with this one:

I do have a test today. that wasn't bullshit. It's on European socialism. I mean, really, what's the point? I'm not European. I don't plan on being European. So who cares if they're socialists? They could be fascist anarchists. It still doesn't change the fact that I don't own a car. Not that I condone fascism, or any -ism for that matter. -Ism's in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, "I don't believe in The Beatles, I just believe in me." Good point there. After all, he was the walrus. I could be the walrus. I'd still have to bum rides off people.

As for Sloane, check picture five here. In fact, Fadkog may enjoy that entire link. Except for the Judd Nelson section, because he's looking rather creepy these days. And hey, look, Weird Science!

Hope you don't get too sick. The world's books would never be properly pimped without you.

Friday, March 28, 2008 7:56:00 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

I can see being hungry after puking - after all, there's nothing left in the stomach!

Man, you had it down!

Friday, March 28, 2008 9:03:00 AM  
Blogger XI Summit said...

Memoir, the faking edition:

Faked once, nurse Mom, paid dearly

Yes, I done it once. Never try it when Mom's an ER nurse, just trust me. Never stood a chance and she cured me for good. Can't even sick-it from work, afraid she'll come after me again. Nothing verbal, nothing physical, something terribly insidious- I was not allowed to leave my room. And back then we didn't have ipods, x-boxes, PC's or TVs in our rooms. Just toys and books and the odd piece of clothing. And the toys were off-limits until Mom pronounced me well. Two days later. Solitary confinement in a bare cell. But even then I wasn't allowed to leave the house other than for school for another 2 days. Lost 4 days of sledding, skating, and shoveling proceeds. It was truly a sobering experience. Thanks for bringing that back. Really.

Oh and the vomit thing? Yeah, if we did so even for real it was stale toast and water for 2 days to make sure we were well. Sure cure I tell ya. "Honest Mom, it just came up with a burp. I didn't really puke! Please believe me!". Good times they was. Thanks again.

And thanks for rocking it with 'just' six. I knew you'd pull it off but wondered if you could keep temptation at bay! Nice and perfectly fitting ....

And before I go: Ever vomit in gym? really, just asking ....

Friday, March 28, 2008 9:03:00 AM  
Blogger Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Yes my wieners are plump...what's it to you??

I like my wieners plump. Oh hell, I really don't. I prefer a sleeker, more aerodynamic wiener!!


Friday, March 28, 2008 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

Molly has a pretty effective disincentive system in place for our kids, as far as faking sick days goes. Kinda similar to XI's mom, altho not quite that hard-core. You're too sick to go to school? OK; then you're also too sick to leave the house until tomorrow. 'Miracle cures' at the end-of-school bell are not allowed. So, if you're gonna fake sick, think it thru, 'cuz if you had something in mind for after school, you ain't doin' that, either. . .

My word verification ends with 'pewx'. . . Coincidence?

Friday, March 28, 2008 10:09:00 AM  
Anonymous TwoBusy said...

Thank you for implanting the voice of Peter Cetera deep in my skull, where I now can't get it out.

Please kill me.

Friday, March 28, 2008 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger Backpacking Dad said...

I used to be able to make myself sick if I tried hard enough. Wan complexion, nausea, vomiting.

I could never manage the fever though. Probably a good thing, because I might have had to go to the ER instead of staying home on my couch watching "Another World".

Er...I mean: "Monster Trucks Running Over Stuff". I was all manly when I was sick.

Friday, March 28, 2008 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger Tracy said...

How did he fake the vomit? My first grader fakes it but she always complains of headaches or stomache aches, neither of which can she prove.
Oh, and do they still use that stuff to sprinkle on the floor? Ugh. that stuff was gross!

Friday, March 28, 2008 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger Choppzs said...

Yes, I too, am a faker! lol Well was....lol But our mom never would keep us home, so even when I really was sick, I still had to go to school! lol

My Girly has tried this, and usually I just think about how I used to do it, and tell her "ahhh, go ahead and go back to bed, but tomorow night you better be able to get these 2 days worth of homework done!" lol Hubs always gets on me for letting her do that! In my defense though, it's only been like 2 or 3 times!

Friday, March 28, 2008 1:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tried to get sent home sick a large chunk of first grade. I also pretended I was half of a set of twins, allergic to chocolate, and couldn't read. I had a slight need for attention.

Kudos to the little one for faking it. At least he got a day with mom, right?

Friday, March 28, 2008 3:55:00 PM  
Blogger kimmyk said...

when i was a kid my mom use to pay us to stay home with her and go shopping. "if you stay home...i'll take you shopping!" who can argue with that logic ya know what i'm sayin???

i hope your lil guy is feelin better today. and i'm sorry you're sick.

you totally "scooby-doo'd" me with your friend cameron and your best girl sloane. i was all...hey! she has a friend named sloane...so did..and then i read the word ferris and was all ...ggrr that girl!

Friday, March 28, 2008 5:54:00 PM  
Blogger Bee said...

I fake it.
I fake it all the time.
I never get caught cuz I'm that good! ;op

Migranes I mean.

Friday, March 28, 2008 9:11:00 PM  
Blogger Wethyb said...

Ditto to Choppzs--Ma never fell for it. Dammit all.

Can't wait for the school days. I'm so thrilled--can't ya tell?

Friday, March 28, 2008 11:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I have pulled many a Ferris, diff gal! Damn, and i used to love watching that movie when i stayed home "sick". "Bueller, Bueller". a classic fo' sho'.

You have a great weekend, my dear!

Saturday, March 29, 2008 7:27:00 AM  
Blogger Backpacking Dad said...

Ferris is on WGN....RIGHT NOW! Quick! Turn on the TV!

Saturday, March 29, 2008 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger Nanette said...

Bonk bonk, chick chick chickchickchickwa....bonk bonk, chick chick chickchickchickwa.

I now have some strange desire to watch Ferris. Tell me, did they take up a "Save MILK" fund at the school while you were out sick?

my word verification just called me fat! hmmmmph

Saturday, March 29, 2008 4:57:00 PM  
Blogger Biscuit said...

I faked sick in the 5th grade one time to avoid a test. I told my mom that I had a sore throat, and damned if I didn't have one within an hour and missed 3 days of school, including the Valentines' party.

Sunday, March 30, 2008 5:44:00 PM  
Blogger Mandy Lou said...

I never once faked sick when I was young - now a days it's a bit of a different story. I prefer to call them "mental health days".

Sunday, March 30, 2008 5:53:00 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Phyllis - Everyone needs a mental health day from the perils of work. The good thing with my job, as it is, is they give me a couple days off the schedule each week, so I have to count those as mine. Minimum wage keeps me marginally honest!

Bogart - You learned a harsh lesson that day, my friend!

1blueshi1 - If I couldn't be as cool as Sloane back in the day, I long ago thought I'd name a child Sloane. Then, in a fit of madness I like to call labor and delivery, I completely forgot!

FTN - "In 1930, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, in an effort to alleviate the effects of the... Anyone? Anyone?... the Great Depression, passed the... Anyone? Anyone? The tariff bill? The Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act? Which, anyone? Raised or lowered?... raised tariffs, in an effort to collect more revenue for the federal government. Did it work? Anyone? Anyone know the effects? It did not work, and the United States sank deeper into the Great Depression. Today we have a similar debate over this. Anyone know what this is? Class? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone seen this before? The Laffer Curve. Anyone know what this says? It says that at this point on the revenue curve, you will get exactly the same amount of revenue as at this point. This is very controversial. Does anyone know what Vice President Bush called this in 1980? Anyone? Something-d-o-o economics. "Voodoo" economics."

Melissa - To his credit, it was me who was afraid to give him more food because I don't do well with the potential after effects. But when he was able to keep it down and then dance, it was a good sign the bug had passed! To me. Nice.

XI - You really lived dangerously as a child with that attempt! A mom who was a nurse!? Risky. I'm not sure I'd have taken those odds. Credit to you!

WWW - I bet titanium weiners aren't shabby, either!

Des - Your word verification takes the cake. I'd not want to eat it right now, in my weakened state, but 'pewx' is as topic appropriate as it can get!

Twobusy - To quote one Peter Cetera, it's hard for me to say I'm sorry. I just want you to stay.

Ok, I really am sorry. Believe me. Recalling that tidbit planted it in my cranium, too. It's not pretty!

Backpacking Dad - You could make yourself vomit?! You were hardcore! I have nothing but respect for you! I always had to go with the minor infliction, because there was no way - NO WAY - I could take it to that level!

Tracy - Oh, he had witnesses. He totally tossed something up in the hallway on the way to a special. The janitor brought out some device he called "The Retractor" to clean it all up, so I think they've given up on that powdered junk. Gah, that stuff was awful!

Thanks for visiting, and for your comment!

Choppzs - I think you have a good sysem worked out. I'm pretty sure my oldest son, if he ever tried to pull the fake out on me, would be cured instantly and out the door if he knew he had two days of homework hanging over his formerly inflicted head!

Meg - Oh my gosh! Growing up, I used to pretend I was half a set of twins, too! I wish that pretending to be allergic to chocolate was real, though!

kimmy - If the chance to go shopping was out there, I bet my attendance record would have been filled with holes when I was in school. How lucky were you!?

You can be my Sloane, girlie!!

Bee - Ok, you got me, I fake the migraines sometimes, too... ;)

Wethyb - The key is to get them sick on the same day so they miss the same days. That way, you can get them back at the same time and still get at least a day or two of peace! Ha!

Katie - Stay home sick Monday morning, Katie! It's on TV. Do you feel a nasty cough starting to kick in?!

Backpacking Dad - I wish I would have caught that yesterday! I had woken up from a long, long nap after it had been over awhile. I'm all over it tomorrow, though, I think.

Nan - Straight up, ll. RU overweight? Would U be willing to send pix to prove the word verification wrong. No rush. Whenever UR comfy, man. (pity there's no clown icon...)

Biscuit - That was karma kicking you in the ass, Biscuit!

Mandy - The good thing about mental health days is no pesky insurance co-pay!

Sunday, March 30, 2008 10:46:00 PM  

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