Mission: Fool Dad

By , Knoxville, MD
My story begins a long time ago (November 2008) in a far away land (The Continental U.S.) during the age of heroes (High School). And what’s more, it was time for basketball tryouts!! Ooh, excuse me. I get the shivers just thinking about… anyway; I was excited for tryouts, as I always am. It was my chance to assert my dominance over those puny freshmen!!! I would show them my mastery of… oh, sorry dad, focus. My bad! Where was I? Oh yeah, tryouts… well, I made the team. Okay, so everyone who tried out made the team that year… that doesn’t prove anything! Well, practices were going great. And I was having a lot of fun, but my parents decided that before… what dad? Oh, you don’t like this part? Want me to juice it up a bit? Okay…
Well, my dad delivered an ultimatum, complete with a drum roll and delivered on a silver platter, almost. It said:

BEHOLD YOUNG GRASSHOPPER,
I, THINE ALL POWERFUL FATHER, HAVE MADE A DECISION. YOU MUST COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING TASKS BEFORE THOU WILT BE ALLOWED TO COMPETE IN ANY ATHLETIC EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES:
1. ALL OF THY ASSIGNMENTS MUST BE WRITTEN DOWN IN THINE OFFICIAL BOOK THINGY AND INITIALED BY THINE TEACHERS.
2. ALL HOMEWORK MUST BE COMPLETED BEFORE THE TIME OF THINE GAME.

And of course I was like, “Oh yeah dad. Of course, I got it covered.”

But you want to know something really weird? I really didn’t hear what he said. Ha! Isn’t that a shocker? That like never happens to me, I always hear what my parents say! Umm… yeah.
So it’s the day of the game and I still don’t have anything done and I’m like freaking out. And, of course, I wake up late. Now I’m rushing around frantically, trying to get ready for school in like twenty minutes. When my dad gets there my shoes are untied, my shirt’s half tucked in (we’re required to wear uniforms to school otherwise I wouldn’t have to worry about this), my lunch is falling out of my backpack and my gym bag is still unzipped.
And then my dad is driving me to school and he’s says, “HAST THOU COMPLETED MY REQUIREMENTS, O YOUNG GRASSHOPPER?”
My knees are knocking and my hearts pumping a million miles an hour so I try and cover up (bad idea), “I have part of my thingy filled out and I’ll get the homework done on the bus. I can talk to my teacher to get the rest of the assignments and I’ll get all the signatures during lunch and before school, maybe Matt will help me with the Biology homework, and Brent’s good at Spanish, and History, umm… well I’ll get history done before I go to class. I’ll even climb Mount Everest, win a Grammy and an Oscar, eat an elephant whole, and find Atlantis if you want me to.” (What’s even more impressive is I said it all in one breath.)
He considered it for a second, “BE CAREFUL TO FULFILL ALL OF THESE REQUIREMENTS, OTHERWISE… I WILL HAVE MY VEANGANCE!!!” The smoke coming out of his ears was really impressive.
So I get dropped off at school and, being the genius I am, I forget all about THE REQUIREMENTS. I hang out with my friends, goof off in class and then the bus is there and we’re off!! The excitement of the ride! The exhilarating sites and sounds! Okay, so traffic in downtown Baltimore isn’t exactly exhilarating, but who cares? We were off to do battle with some evil school and we would be victorious!!! And then I realize I didn’t get any of my signatures or assignments or do my homework. I trembled at the thought of my father’s wrath! I could see the smoke coming out of his nose and ears, the fire out of his mouth, the scream as he devoured me whole!
“Dude, are you ok? You’re squeezing the life out of my arm.”
“I am not!” And that’s when I look down and realize I’m clutching Buzz’s arm.
“Oh, my bad, I was just thinking about my dad.” Yeah, the look on his face was classic.
Don’t panic, don’t panic. You just need… a plan! I needed a plan! That was good, so far, but what’s the plan? Slowly the parts and pieces fell into place. And Mission: Fool Dad became a reality.
Phase 1: Make up fake assignments to write down in my book thingy.
Phase 2: Forge my teachers’ signatures. I’d even get my friends to sign for me, so they’d look realistic.
Phase 3: Show them old homework assignments that I’d never turned in and tell them that I’d got my stuff done.
It was foolproof! The entire plan took me all of about three minutes to prepare.
“Everyone, play hard. I don’t want as many turnovers as last game… Dupuis! Why aren’t you ready?”
My head swung up and focused on… Aaahhh! Coach was having the pep talk. And I wasn’t even ready. I rushed to get my shoes on… and so Mission Fool Dad dropped to the back of my mind.
I don’t remember if we won or not. I couldn’t tell you if I even played. I do remember that blonde sitting in the left section of the bleachers, what? Oh right, focus. And there was my dad, sitting in the front row, cheering me on.
“Come on! Hold that bench down!! That’s my boy!! Way to go!! You look great! Amazing posture!!” It was every boy’s dream.
And then it was all over. I was outside. We were getting ready to go home. I don’t even remember what was said, but I can tell you this: Mission Fool Dad was a total failure. He knew from the beginning. The amazing thing was, he didn’t ground me, he didn’t take away TV or phone privileges; he just looked at me and I could see the disappointment in his eyes. And then he asked me to write a fifteen page research paper on truth.
Well, like most things, I screwed that up too. Plagiarized most of it, and the stuff I did write was not anywhere near the best I could do and it took me almost a month to write. So he just looked at me again. Shook his head and asked me to tell you my story. Well, here it is. Lying and deceit get you nowhere. Look at me. I created a strained relationship with my parents, just because of lying. Trust me, it doesn’t help.
Things are getting better now though. With God’s and my parent’s help I’m breaking my habit. Times are looking up. Take it from me, tell the truth. You’ll regret it if you don’t.





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